2023 Palmer School Outreach Programs Underway

It’s hard to believe the 2023 PAL field season is halfway over, and the main research cruise is already back at port. But that doesn’t mean our outreach work is done. Far from it, we’re just getting started!

The goal of the PAL outreach team is to bring Antarctic research to classrooms across the country, through live video teleconferences (VTCs), data-rich programs, ask-a-scientist events, and more. After several years of limited programs due to the pandemic, this year, we are back with two of our most popular programs, thanks to the help of PAL researchers on site in Antarctica.

Live Video Teleconferences (VTCs)

This year, eighteen schools from across the country, from New Jersey to Alaska, will participate in one of 6 live video conferences with scientists at Palmer Station. You could say we’re going from pole to pole!

The webinar series includes 3 different themes: seabirds and penguins, whales, and I.D. Antarctica. Students learn about Antarctic food web ecology and how scientists are conducting long-term experiments and observations to understand our changing climate.

To date, we’ve already hosted 3 out of the 6 calls. You can find the full list of participating schools and recordings of our past sessions on the Palmer LTER Videoconference Archive page.

Dr. Megan Cimino, and fellow birders Helena Dodge and Darren Roberts, answered questions about Sea Birds with students.
Andrew Corso off the coast of Antarctica.

I.D. Antarctica

Andrew Corso, a PhD candidate at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, is back this year with his popular series Investigate and Discover Antarctica 2023 (aka I.D. Antarctica)!

For the next few weeks, Andrew will share some of “mystery” creatures he runs across along the coast of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Students (or really anyone who is interested in a good mystery) can use the provided dichotomous keys to try to figure out the species of each mystery creature.

The first Challenge of 2023 features two mystery seabirds and a mystery zooplankton. Can you figure them all out?

For more fun, check out the full series of I.D. Antarctica Challenges.

If you’re interested in additional Palmer LTER educational resources, please visit the K-12 Education page.