Dr. Stephanie Pfirman
Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Stephanie Pfirman
The Bridging the Poles workshop will bring together researchers from the Arctic and the Antarctic in a dialogue with educators to help polar scientists conduct meaningful education and outreach and reciprocally, to help educators include meaningful polar research in their classrooms. The workshop product will be a guide (printed as well as web-based) for linking polar education with research. Planning for the workshop began in the summer and fall of 2003 with identification of existing resources, solicitation of potential participants for the workshop, a special session on polar education for the American Geophysical Union in December as well as a planning meeting also held at AGU. Draft sections of the workshop guide are already being distributed to have a working copy for discussion during the workshop in June 2004. There will be a public comment period on the guide prior to its publication and broad dissemination of the web-based version in fall 2004. The workshop will advance knowledge and understanding about successful educational approaches and ways to harness synergies between research and education. The workshop and guide will define future directions for polar education, including needed infrastructure, which will also maximize the educational impact of the International Polar Year beginning in 2007. The workshop will build stronger partnerships between Arctic and Antarctic communities, and between polar education and research in order to engage the next generation of scientists, engineers and leaders, as well as to educate the general public about polar regions.