Tundra Plants in a Changing Climate
Meet the Team
Teacher - Keri Rodgers
Keri Rodgers teachers at and was on the planning committee of The Gateway School of Environmental Research and Technology since its inception in 2003. Using an interdisciplinary approach to learning that integrates math, science, history, art, language, and maintenance of the campus ecological garden, she has designed and implemented the Spanish and Environmental Studies curriculums used at the school.
Researcher - Bob Hollister
Dr. Robert (Bob) Hollister is a biologist and ecologist at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He is interested in the interactions between humans and natural ecosystems, and his area of expertise is vegetation change. Dr. Hollister conducts his research in research in the wetlands of Michigan, on tundra in northern Alaska, and in tropical dry forests of Puerto Rico. To learn more about Dr. Hollister, please visit his faculty biography page (http://www.gvsu.edu/biology/index.cfm?id=01231D74-B48B-B025-D10ECE66ECEC...).
Where are They?
The team will be working out of the communities of Barrow and Atqasuk, both located on Alaska’s North Slope near the shoreline of the Arctic Ocean. Barrow is a small community of approximately 4,500 people, and Atqasuk has just over 200 people. The climate of both communities is arctic, with the daily minimum temperature dropping below freezing 300 days a year. Both communities are primarily inhabited by Inupiat Eskimos, and neither is accessible by road.
What are they Doing?
The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) is a network of science experiments set up to study the impact of climate change on plants that live in tundra and alpine ecosystems. Plants at each site are exposed to simulated warmer temperatures using an open top chamber, which acts like a mini greenhouse, trapping heat close to the plants. Research teams at more than two dozen circumpolar sites carry out similar experiments, allowing scientists to compare the plants responses to warmer climate conditions.
The research team will be visiting two ITEX sites in Alaska, Barrow and Atqasuk, to collect data on the plant’s lifecycle and growth. They will also observe the makeup of the plant community and other parts of the ecosystem. The knowledge gained by the network helps to increase the understanding of changes that may take place in tundra plant communities. The information also helps scientists better understand the exchange of carbon and water across the land and atmosphere in a changing arctic climate.
|Tundra Studies in Alaska with Keri Rodgers (English/Spanish)||17 August 2010||This PolarConnect event was held on 16 August 2010, and included Keri Rodgers and members of the...||Event|