I draw to learn the way life perpetuates itself, moves, and holds itself in space.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Arctic Circle

How Climate Change Affects Prey of Major Commercial Fish
The Arctic Circle 2010

In October I am conducting a study in the Arctic Ocean on plankton that dwell at the ocean’s surface. Gathering more data on these poorly understood creatures is important because zooplankton serve as a key link between primary producers and top predators. An understanding of the effects a change in ice cover might be having on the habitat of surface dwellers in the Arctic might indicate the overall global effects of climate change on the major United States commercial fisheries.

I will conduct my study as a scientific participant in The Arctic Circle, an annual expeditionary residency program open to international artists, architects, innovators, scientists, and educators who seek out areas of collaborative exploration. The 2010 Arctic Circle program will explore the international territory of Svalbard, a mountainous Arctic archipelago just 10 degrees from the North Pole, aboard a scientific research sailing vessel that is specially outfitted to accommodate program-specific needs.

I am seeking funding to support my expedition. Funding will go toward expedition and equipment costs. Each day aboard I plan to conduct a plankton net collection, sampling more gelatinous fragile surface dwellers with jars. I will visually analyze samples durin expedition, identifying species using a microscope that funding will help provide. Post-expedition I plan to continue sample analysis at the lab of Russ Hopcroft, PhD, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Your support could help me generate a data set to contribute to an ongoing project to understand how climate change will affect the Arctic food chain.

The Arctic Circle Education Program will provide an opportunity for me to engage students in my project from approximately 45 high schools internationally. Outfitted with state-of-the-art satellite communications, The Arctic Circle 2010 vessel will become an extension of the classroom through participatory text and video hosted on the interactive Blog. I am interested in pursuing opportunities to engage students upon my return in informal, innovative educational settings. I will also have the opportunity to exhibit my findings upon return, as The Arctic Circle partners with a number of presenters, including art centers, museums and established galleries in the United States and abroad. These exhibits provide the opportunity for the public to experience thought-provoking work developed at a crossroads of disciplines.

For more information or to lend your support, please contact me: Perrin Roosevelt Ireland, Perrin.Ireland@gmail.com, 203.273.2823

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