Special Projects ~ International Polar Year
Imagine the International Polar Year as a large think tank of experts from around the world who gather together every 50 years or so to compare notes and study the evolutionary changes at the top and bottom of the world. With the effects of global warming and dwindling fish supplies looming over ever-growing populations, the results from this two-year conference are more important than ever.
This IPY – organized through the International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization – is actually the fourth time around, following 1882-1883, 1932-1933 and 1957-1958. The March 2007 to March 2009 event involves more than 200 projects, with thousands of scientists from over 60 nations. Topics range from climate change, economy and politics of the north, health initiatives to northern communities’ response to all this information. The IPY also offers an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow and use cutting-edge science in real-time via the Internet.
Needless-to-say, the land that is Alaska and the people who survive on it serve equally as researchers and test subjects. That’s why nearly 60 scientists and researchers –University of Alaska professors and students – are involved in IPY projects.
One of the forum’s major goals is to make sure all the information gathered is conveyed to the folks who can learn and use it to help themselves – and the planet – evolve.
That’s where the Rural Development Project comes in. The RDP staff will peruse the IPY research, projects, workshops, conferences and other events from around the world and then present information and results relevant to Southeast Alaska, the Upper/Lower Kuskokwim rivers area and the Copper River Valley.
Website addresses to remember:
- The US International Polar Year Official Site
- The International IPY Site
- The IPY at UAF
- UAF Cooperative Extension Service
International Polar Year Resources (PDFs)