Project Description

Poles Together is a collaboration of Prof. Stephanie Pfirman, Dr. Robin Bell, the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL), and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). The project focuses on the use of GIS for the teaching and learning of scientific thinking through the study of early polar exploration.

Course Description

Undergraduate students at Barnard College experience the Arctic and Antarctic from the perspective of the early polar explorers: Nansen, Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen. They study the effect of extreme environmental conditions on expedition planning and implementation and consider the relative importance of luck and skill in ultimate outcomes. Reading include classic works and journal accounts, including Nansen's "Farthest North" and Lansing's "Endurance." Students explore the dynamics of expeditions and the role of varying environmental conditions through role play and the use of a web-based GIS exploration tool to follow varying polar conditions during the expeditions and discuss emerging issues.

Link to Courseworks: (for registered students)

Development Credits

Faculty Producer
Stephanie Pfirman
Robin Bell

Executive Producers
Frank Moretti, CCNMTL
Maurice Matiz, CCNMTL

Project Manager
Ryan Kelsey, CCNMTL

MapViewer Development
Mark Becker, CIESIN

Interface Development
Zarina Mustapha, CCNMTL

Content Research
Rachel Ganiere

Contributor or Ice Tracks, Temperature and Sea Ice Data
Chuck Fowler, CCAR