GEOS/MSL 695: Field techniques in interdisciplinary sea-ice research (2 CR)

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Duration and location: 8-18 May 2013 at UIC-NARL in Barrow, Alaska (student contact hours based on 8 hours of lectures and 56 hours of lab plus additional reading and writing assignments. meets requirements for two credits of intensive, summer-session course).

Recommended for GEOS section: GEOS 615 Sea Ice or equivalent
Recommended for MSL section: MSL 650 biological oceanography

Open to UAF graduate students (in earth, environmental, marine and biological sciences and engineering); open to outside students on an unsubsidized, space-available basis; max. number of spaces: 20

Course fee & tuition: Participation in the course will require a course fee of $400 in addition to costs for 2 full UAF credits ($383 per credit). The course fee and tuition cover all the logistics expenses while in the field, accommodation and a substantial portion of the food consumed while in Barrow. Students are responsible for travel to and from Barrow. There may be an opportunity to apply for supplemental travel support (if interested, please contact one of the instructors).

Brief course description and rationale
            This is a course for graduate-level students that offers a practical introduction to the principal field techniques employed in sea-ice studies of an interdisciplinary (geophysical-biogeochemical) nature. The course focuses on sea ice as an instructive example of the close intertwining between ocean, ice and biosphere processes in the polar regions and the transdisciplinary importance of the ice cover in the climate system.
            The course is organized in such a way as to encourage interdisciplinary approaches to the problems posed, addressing in particular the themes of temporal and spatial variability of geophysical and biogeochemical variables at different scales. An effort will be made to entrain students from Ilisagvik College in the course activities and include a Native Alaskan ice-knowledge component.

Student Learning Outcomes:
The goal of this course is to introduce graduate students to the methodological approaches for interdisciplinary sea ice research.  These approaches will include biology, ecology, sea ice physics and chemistry, oceanography, remote sensing and statistics. Discussions and lectures during the field course will broaden the scope into understanding of the complete scope of sea ice services to the ecosystem and humans in ice-covered waters. This course will enhance the awareness of challenges related to conduct research in the Arctic and the implications of Arctic warming in Alaskan waters. Students taking this course will receive training in applying modern state-of-the art tools in the Arctic and will also improve their writing and oral skills based on assignments given during the class.

Registration: Prior to registration at the UAF summer sessions website (, students are asked to send their CV and a 1-page statement indicating how this field course will fit into their research and career plans to The instructors will evaluate these documents to decide about participation if the course is oversubscribed. Deadline for submission of these documents is Friday, March 15, 2013. Students will then be notified by April 1 at the latest about their inclusion in the course.

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