Young scientists form group for International Polar Year

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

In anticipation of the upcoming International Polar Year, a group of young scientists at UAF have formed a University of Alaska IPY Young Researchers Network (UA IPY YRN) with the hopes of getting involved in this exciting historic event.

The group will next meet on Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. in the West Ridge Research Building, room 101. The network is looking for involvement from fellow young researchers from any of the UA campuses. Teleconferencing will be provided on request to those outside of Fairbanks.

The volunteer network is comprised of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows representing a variety of disciplines. While many of the students are from areas far from Fairbanks, the members felt the need to "Think Globally, and Act Locally." To that end, the ideas of engaging Alaskans outside the university in IPY activities and creating a lasting legacy for future generations are behind the group's proposed projects, which include Science Café - a series of informal science discussions for the public; Project Snowball, in which schoolchildren across Alaska will analyze snow chemistry; and Wildlife Day by Day, which will put young researchers in contact with local people throughout rural Alaska to share information and data about the state's various migrating wildlife - many species of which are being affected by climate change and development in the Arctic. The group is also developing an overarching synthesis project that promotes life and science in the North through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural partnerships.

The UA IPY YRN has a presence on the Web at For more on the overall IPY effort at UAF, go to Those interested in arranging to attend the meeting remotely should contact:

• Derek Mueller and Jeremy Harbeck, IPY YRN co-chairs: (907) 474-5382,,
• Matthew Druckenmiller, IPY YRN member: (907) 474-1156,

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