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UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS
Alaska Arctic Observatory & Knowledge Hub: Community-based observations of changes in the seasonal cycle in Alaska's Arctic

Education and Outreach

We heard from community members across the AAOKH network who would like their children to be involved in observing Arctic change. We give students and educators the tools and training to study the environment around them:

  • Students learn more about their changing environment
  • Students learn science by doing science

Outreach examples

  • Sea ice field trips. Students learn to tell the difference between safe ice and dangerous ice from local hunters and scientists, how animals use and rely on sea ice, and what's happening to sea ice as a result of a warming climate.
  • Kite flying. Students launch kites equipped with a camera to safely observe sea ice and landscape, and instruments to measure weather variables.
  • Cloud observations. Cloud type, height, and percent cloud cover, which are important in understanding weather and climate science. This activity, suitable for all ages, aligns with the Alaska Science Standards.
  • Strategy and survival game based on the Arctic Marine Ecosystem. Players build food webs, learn about the importance of sea ice, and environmental change impacts.
  • Community events and publications. Conferences, workshops, and newsletters are a regular part of AAOKH activities to exchange information with communities, youth, and scientists. See our News page for the latest updates.

Educators: we'd love to hear from you

Elena Sparrow

Elena Sparrow is the AAOKH education and outreach lead. She is a research professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and has been working with educators and community members for decades in engaging K-16 youth in earth/environmental science education and research.

If you are an educator or college professor in an AAOKH community, contact Elena to learn how students can collect data, participate in field trips or use coastal data in science curriculum to meet education standards.

On a sea ice field trip offshore of Utqiagvik, students learn how ice cores are used to study Arctic sea ice.
On a sea ice field trip offshore of Utqiagvik, students learn how ice cores are used to study Arctic sea ice.
AAOKH is working to get kites into classrooms across the AAOKH network so that students can safely monitor sea ice. 
AAOKH is working to get kites into classrooms across the AAOKH network so that students can safely monitor sea ice.