SEDNA Beaufort Sea Ice

What Are They Doing?

Mr. Harris and Dr. Geiger joined an international team of scientists on the SEDNA project, working north of Alaska on the drifting pack ice of the Beaufort Sea. SEDNA was an International Polar Year (IPY) project; the goal of the project was to develop a deeper understanding of how the atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice interact and influence the mass balance of sea ice cover. The results of this study helped researchers better understand the effects of climate change on sea ice cover, leading to better predictions of future changes and assessments of the impacts of these changes on regions and global communities. While in the field, the team took measurements on, above, and under the ice, and compared the ice thickness and distribution with data provided by satellites. Instruments placed on the ice collected and transmitted data via satellite, in order to track the ice conditions even after the science team had left the ice.

Where Are They?

The team worked at a temporary camp established on the drifting pack ice of the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. The camp was set up prior to the scientists’ arrival and consisted of a collection of insulated plyboard huts. At the end of the season the entire camp was dismantled and removed from the ice.

Expedition Map


The Arctic Scenes for Stargate Continuum (now on DVD) were filmed at the APLIS '07 ice camp, before the SEDNA scientists arrived. It is interesting to read about the experiance the film crew and actors had on the Arctic sea ice, just before the scientific crew arrived. Here are some links. Articles about Stargate Continuum Behind the Scenes Continuum (Pt 1) Behind the Scenes Continuum (Pt 2)
I have created some Photo Stories of my PolarTREC experience. They are available under Resources.
Epilogue Dr. Geiger and I arrived home at the tail end of the spring break. We had four days to reacquaint ourselves with our families, and then on Monday I was at school standing in front of my classes, and Dr. Geiger was in her office back at work. It was great to be back at Hartford High School with my students and colleagues, sharing my experiences on my expedition to the SEDNA / APLIS Ice Camp. My students were unfocused after 3 weeks with a substitute teacher and it took sometime to round them up, gather the strays and get them headed in the right direction. (I guess you can take me...
Arctic Sea Ice Science Expedition The National Science Foundation has declared 2007 the International Polar Year. As part of this research effort Dr. Cathleen Gieger (University of Delaware) and her colleagues, Jacqueline Richter-Menge (Cold Regions Research and Engineering facility in Hanover N.H.) and Jennifer Hutchings(University of Alaska--Fairbanks), have received National Science Foundation funding for the scientific research program (SEDNA: Sea Ice Experiment: Dynamic Nature of the Arctic). Part of their research involves field studies at an ice camp located in the arctic. I have been...
Jenn Hutchins and Pat McKeown helped Cathy and I gathered our gear and then saw us off at the airport for the 1 am flight to Seattle.  I slept on the plane.  In Seattle Cathy took advantage of the lay over to nap in the airport.  Cathy gets some shut eye. We caught our Seattle to Boston flight and I took advantage of the time to journal and read.  Flying to the east we lost time with the time change.  When we arrived in Boston it was night time.  Cathy arrives in Boston. Cathy and I gathered our gear and caught the bus.  We left Boston  Leaving Boston from South Station. and were...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

21 March 2007 to 18 April 2007
Location: SEDNA Ice Camp
Project Funded Title: Sea-ice Experiment-Dynamic Nature of the Arctic in the Beaufort Sea

Meet the Team

Robert Harris's picture
Hartford High School
White River Junction, VT
United States

Robert Harris has been teaching high school science at Hartford High School in White River Junction, Vermont for 19 years. He has a Bachelors degree in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies and a Masters degree in Fisheries Oceanography from the University of Alaska, and has worked and traveled throughout Alaska, including work on various research vessels. Mr. Harris grew up reading the adventure stories of Jack London and Robert Service and dreamed of visiting the Arctic. The north still has a special allure for him and he was very excited to have the opportunity to return to Alaska.

Cathleen Geiger's picture
University of Delaware
Newark, DE
United States

Cathleen Geiger is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Delaware. She has worked across the Arctic and has participated in nine high-latitude oceanographic cruises, using remote sensing and field measurements to study ice changes. Dr. Geiger's long-term research goals are to improve navigation in polar seas and assess the interaction and impact of sea ice on our world. Dr. Geiger hopes to develop a long-term outreach strategy leading to the development of research-related curriculum materials for teachers.