Pole Dancing

When you are out in the cold, taking samples and measurements, do you sometimes get “jiggy with it” to keep warm? Then perhaps pole dancing is for you—dancing at the North or South Pole that is. March 1, 2007 marks the beginning of International Polar Year (IPY), an international and multidisciplinary effort involving 50,000 people from more than 60 countries in Arctic and Antarctic research.  IPY 2007-2008, which actually extends to March 1, 2009 to allow researchers to conduct two annual observing cycles in each polar region, occurs on the 125th anniversary of the first polar year and the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year. Â

IPY 2007-2008 aims to “unlock the secrets of the Arctic and Antarctic worlds” with more than 200 projects. Key research areas include: assessing environmental status and change in the polar regions; understanding past change and predicting future change; studying links between polar and global processes; increasing science exploration in the polar regions; observing Earth and space from the poles; and studying the sustainability of circumpolar societies.Â

One key outcome of IPY 2007-2008 is to excite and engage the public. Most people on the planet will never visit a polar region, yet changes in polar processes affect us all. Multimedia images and videos, along with classroom curricula and activities, will provide a link to these hard to reach polar regions. Many projects also involve teachers who will create blogs, develop curricula, and take back to the classroom their polar experiences.Â

To learn more about IPY and all the interesting research projects going on, visit http://www.ipy.org/

The spirit of International Polar Year will hopefully continue past its official end date and promote continued interest in polar research. Perhaps, one day you too can dance at a Pole.Â

Contributed by Mindy Destro, Science Programs Manager, Ecological Society of America

Author: admin

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