My work for the Polaris Project centered around explorations of how to use visual media – photography and video – to communicate Arctic science to the general public. The end result was thousands of photographs and video clips that I used to create two multimedia pieces and to accompany various other Polaris related presentations.
The Polaris Project is, first and foremost, a scientific endeavor. The students, scientists and professors who make the trek to the Cherskiy are contributing fundamental baseline data that will advance the filed of Arctic science.
Giving students the opportunity to gain professional and research experience is a key part of the Polaris Project. But the experience is much more than the boost it will give our resumes (though that is nice too). Travelling most of the way around the world to do work I love in a place as incredible as the Siberian Arctic is something that will shape the rest of my life.
Even after returning to the states, Polaris participants’ work is not finished. In the months following our return from Russia, I used the photographs, videos and interviews I collected to create multimedia projects. I also gave two presentations at my university and one at the American Geophysical Union’s 2011 Fall Meeting in San Francisco. And as long as we continue to spread the word about Arctic science, our Polaris experience will never really end.