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To understand how Earth’s climate system has changed over time, scientists need to find, develop and use natural recorders of temperature and precipitation. One natural thermometer comes in the form of alkenones: trans-fats produced by certain algae. Meet Dr. Ethan Brodsky from the U. of Wisconsin, who advised a group of undergraduate students in the design and build of an electric snowmobile. Video produced by Ice Stories correspondent Zoe Courville. For two days Summit Camp, Greenland experienced strong winds and blowing snow, making work, and even walking around camp, difficult. In this zany competition teachers have ten minutes to create a science activity from a special secret ingredient. This week: hair care products! The Mars Phoenix Lander will have been collecting data and sending it back to earth for a month! Exploratorium Senior Scientist Paul Doherty will examine the data and tell us what new information we've gained about Mars. We'll also get an update on our old friends, the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity!
Dr. Bart Kempenaers, a behavioral ecologist from the Max Planck Institiute of Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, and his team fashion fake Sandpiper eggs, swap them for the real ones in the nest and incubate them in their lab at BASC’s (Barrow Arctic Science Consortium) new research facility. Once the hatchlings emerge, they take samples from them to determine factors such as paternity. The chicks are then returned to the nest, without the mother batting a feather. What does a ringed seal’s breathing hole look like and how do you find one on a vast sheet of sea ice? Dr. Brendan Kelly uses the canine skills of Cooper, a Black Labrador he trained to chase the scent of ringed seals and point to their holes. Passionate about wildlife and climate change, Melanie Duchin has loaned her dog to work with Brendan for the past 5 years. Alaska's coastal range is covered in literally thousands of thaw lakes. Ken Hinkel, Yongwei Sheng and John Lenters are embarking on a project to reveal the subtle energy dynamics that take place within these lake systems. Join us as we celebrate the beginning of summer in the Arctic and the long, cold winter in Antarctica. We'll connect live to two polar field sites: Summit Camp atop Greenland's vast ice sheet, where the sun will be shining 24 hours a day, and the South Pole Research Station, now in the middle of 6 months of darkness.
Dr. Jewel Bennett, an endangered species biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Fairbanks field office, is in Barrow leading a survey team tracking the endangered Steller's and Spectacled Eiders' populations.