Student participation is an integral part of the Arctic Rediscovery Project.
Through internship and volunteer opportunities at the US National Archives and the New Bedford Whaling Museum, university students and post-graduates are participating in essential digital imaging, historical research, and document preservation aspects of the project. Students are also helping design web-based research tools and contributing to the Old Weather forum.
High school and university students are also carrying out their own research projects with mentoring from NOAA scientists and partners at other institutions. Several student-led research projects are producing valuable results:
New! Arctic Data Explorer
The data captured in historic ships' logbooks represent one of the world's deepest untapped reservoirs of meteorological, historical, and environmental information. Logbooks from nineteenth-century Arctic exploring vessels, with their meticulous recordings of weather, sea ice extent, and species range, can support climate reanalysis models and provide a biogeographic and historical atlas of the Arctic past. Since 2012, citizen scientists at Old Weather (oldweather.org) have transcribed more than 100,000 scanned logbook pages from historic Arctic ships. In order to make this data discoverable and accessible, we built and populated an information structure for Old Weather's data—weather observations, ship positions, daily narratives, and associated manuscripts—and designed a pilot interface for exploration and display. For the first time, both researchers and the public have access to logbook scans, data, transcriptions, links to related materials, and full documentation of sources. An excellent YouTube video describes this Capstone iSchool project.
New! Arctic Colorarium
A gallery of Arctic artwork for the young (and young at heart). If you know a imaginative young person who likes to draw and would like to contribute a work to the Arctic Colorarium please contact us. Visit the Colorarium.
How do historical measurement techniques compare to modern ones?
Working with their teachers and NOAA scientists, students from Commack High School in New York are evaluating the methods used to measure air temperature during the stay of the HMS Plover at Point Barrow, Alaska from 1852 to 1854. The students have designed a replica thermometer screen based on original descriptions provided by John Simpson, the ship's surgeon. With the help of NOAA's Global Monitoring Division and some volunteer technical support, the replica thermometer screen was equipped with a modern platinum resistance thermometer and installed at the Barrow Observatory, where parallel data have been collected since November 2011. The students will use this data to estimate the bias associated with the replica thermometer screen design and evaluate how historical and modern measurements may be compared.
Heavy sea ice once filled the western Bering Strait in the summer.
Collecting and analyzing historical sea ice observations is a leading objective of the Arctic Rediscovery Project. In 2011 University of Colorado undergraduate Vivian Underhill was awarded a JISAO summer internship to work with NOAA and JISAO scientists in Seattle. Her project was to conduct original research on historical patterns of variability associated with heavy summer sea ice in the Bering Strait and along the Chukchi coast that was observed in the past. Vivian presented her poster Variations in summertime sea-ice along the Chukchi coast at the Ocean Sciences 2012 meeting in Salt Lake City.
What did the Arctic Ocean look like 150 years ago?
University of Washington iSchool student (and Coast Guard reservist) Hallie Portz constructed a digital image library and on-line exhibit of photographs taken by the crews of US Revenue Marine and Coast Guard cutters in the Bering Sea - Arctic region beginning in the mid-19th century. In addition to showing what the environment looked like at specific times and places these pictures also reveal fascinating details of daily life on the cutters. The images will be used to support the Old Weather project, to augment web content at the US National Archives, and as a service for the volunteer-run Coast Guard Museum NW and the Coast Guard Historian's Office. The images are also available in our gallery. The original photographs are in the collection of the Coast Guard Museum NW in Seattle.