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Multinational scientific expedition kicks off International Polar Year 2007-2008

An international team of scientists and teachers has sailed from Punta Arenas, Chile for a two-week, U.S. National Science Foundation-sponsored research cruise aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden, in one of the first collaborative activities of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008. IPY is a global campaign of research in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Oden left Punta Arenas, historically a gateway city for Antarctic research, on Dec. 12, 2006. On its way south, the ship will transit the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica, and then follow the Antarctic Peninsula and the coastline of the southernmost continent before entering the Ross Sea.

Along the way, scientists from the U.S., Sweden and Chile will conduct a variety of observations, while two classroom educators selected by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and a Swedish teacher selected by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat will work alongside a Chilean colleague and the scientists. The teachers also will interact with students at home, using shipboard telecommunications to file journals and conduct teleconferences, bringing the excitement of polar research to life for the next generation.

Through the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS), teachers aboard the Oden will be taking part in a series of Web seminars for their colleagues in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. The next one-hour "webinar" is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. EST.

The webinar interface, HorizonWimba, allows presentation of PowerPoint slides over the Internet during a conference call and includes online chat and polling features. To take full advantage of the webinar, users need telephone and Internet access. Those without Internet access can join the conference call. Each webinar will be archived online after the completion of the live session. Instructions on how to view an archived event will be posted on the ARCUS PolarTREC w
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Contact: Peter West
pwest@nsf.gov
703-292-7761
National Science Foundation
19-Dec-2006


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