As you may be aware, the International Council for Science (ICSU) awarded a small grant to APECS, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the IPY International Programme Office. The purpose of this grant was to conduct an inventory and begin planning for a general assessment, from an international viewpoint, of Education, Outreach and Communication (EOC) strategies, programmes, and networks active during IPY.
We are pleased to announce that we have hired Jennifer Provencher from Victoria, BC, Canada as our project assistant. Jennifer has formal training in education and assessment, has been a science teacher and curriculum developer, as well as an IPY researcher working on the impacts of climate change on Arctic birds. For more information on Jennifer, please see a short bio on her below.
The next steps for this project will be to select the international steering committee and begin the inventory of the amazing education and outreach accomplishments of IPY 2007-2009.
We are confident that the outcomes of the Education and Outreach Lessons from IPY - an inventory, preliminary assessment and plans for a more substantive assessment, as well as recommendations for future activities in polar science education and in science education generally, will prove immensely valuable to the ICSU community and science educators around the world.
- On behalf of SCAR, IASC, APECS, and the IPY International Programme Office
Jennifer Provencher - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
After Jennifer completed her BSc in marine biology at the University of British Columbia, she went on to do a BEd with a focus in junior sciences and biology. Ms. Provencher then joined the public education team at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre where she led hands-on field and classroom excursions, developed video-conferencing programs and created placed-based lesson plans. She also led a number of curriculum projects that were focused on creating teaching units that utilized current science to teach provincial and national curriculum. Alongside her public education duties she also worked as an on-call teacher for the local school district.
During the recent IPY Jennifer had the privilege of working on two very different, but complimentary projects. On the science side her MSc research at the University of Victoria focused on using two Arctic seabird species as indicators of change in marine ecosystems, specifically how marine plastic debris has increased, and how prey species utilized by seabirds in the eastern Canadian Arctic is changing as summer sea ice decreases. This research was an extension of an Environment Canada long term seabird monitoring program with historical data collected in the 1970s and 80s compared with recent collections in 2007/08/09 in the low, mid and high Arctic zones.
On the education side of IPY 2008-2009 she has been involved in the development of the Sea Ice Education package, a teacher’s guide for middle and high school aged students examining sea ice and its importance to northern communities and ecosystems. One of the goals of Sea Ice Education package is to take data and science that has been produced during the recent IPY and create active science lessons plans based on current and relevant science for northern communities. Her research group’s seabird work in the eastern Canadian Arctic forms the basis of the sea ice and marine bird section, with data collected during the recent IPY the focus of several activities investigating sea ice and its importance to marine birds.
Jennifer looks forward to bringing her skills and knowledge of science, education, curriculum development and assessment to the IPY Education and Outreach Lessons Learned assessment team.