Project Ice Details

Project Ice Details

Pre-residence online work: May 28-June 22, 2024
On-site residence experience: June 23-29, 2024
Post-residence online work: none for 2024

Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon


PLEASE NOTE: We closely monitor potential health and safety impacts on the planned residence component of this course. A decision regarding the residence component also going virtual will be made BEFORE invitations to participate are sent.


Project Ice is an online and in-residence teacher professional development course with a one-week residence experience offered by the American Meteorological Society's Education Program in partnership with COLDEX and Pennsylvania Western University (PennWest). This course is specifically designed for K-12 teachers who desire to include climate content in their curriculum.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain an understanding of paleoclimatology, ice core science, and climate change with focus on Antarctica and the activities and discoveries made through the Center for Oldest Ice Exploration (COLDEX)
  • Help promote polar science and climate education by peer training fellow teachers in their community
  • Gain access to scientifically accurate and pedagogically sound instructional resource materials designed for teachers
  • Earn three graduate credits from Pennsylvania Western University upon completion of program requirements

Cost and Resources:

Upon acceptance, each participant from the US should be prepared to pay an academic fee of $150 to the AMS Education Program. This fee is non-refundable.

After successful completion of course activities, participants will:

  • Demonstrate updated knowledge concerning the polar regions, with focus on Antarctica, Earth's Climatological history, principal drivers of climate change, and paleoclimate data sources
  • Show evidence of being able to apply the basic principles and applications of paleoclimatology, analyze climate data extracted from ice cores, and examine climate and climate changes that occurred prior to the period of instrumental records
  • Exhibit understanding of the current state of knowledge about Earth's paleoclimate history, specifically the activities and discoveries made through COLDEX
  • Indicate how they intend to promote polar science and climate education in their home areas by peer training fellow teachers, especially those who teach students who are members of groups underrepresented in the sciences


To be eligible for Project Ice, teachers and supervisors of science at the K-12 level should:

  • Have enough background knowledge or practice/experience with content to benefit from the course
  • Teach or supervise the instruction of paleoclimate science or relevant subject area
  • Demonstrate interest in teaching, curriculum development, and/or the training of fellow teachers
  • Demonstrate willingness to promote the teaching of paleoclimate science in their home regions through a minimum of one training session for colleagues upon completion of the summer course

Participants will be selected to provide a national geographic distribution and a cross-section of school environments. Teachers interested in promoting participation by those traditionally underserved in STEM are strongly encouraged to apply.


There are three main components to Project Ice: the residence experience, online activities, and post course peer training.  Successful completion of all aspects of these components is required to earn the graduate credits for the course.

Residence Experience: The Project Ice on-site portion will be held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. The on-site, in-person portion of the course includes lectures, tutorials, seminars, hands-on laboratory exercises, and field trips. Faculty and staff from Oregon State University, as well as other scientists and science educators, will present course topics. Presentations will be articulated with science content and climate science education presentations led by course faculty. Participants will have an active role in the course and will be placed in breakout groups at times to collaborate with other colleagues on how materials can be integrated into their classrooms.

Online Activities: Prior to arrival at Oregon State University, teacher-participants will be enrolled in the PennWest Global Online program and course management system, D2L. Teacher-participants will be required to complete multiple, asynchronous online learning modules related to the climate and related sciences. This preparatory work will enable teacher-participants to engage at a similar level of competency prior to arrival at Oregon State University. Participants will also have online modules/activities to complete after the conclusion of the in-person component of the course.

Post Course Peer Training: After the on-site and online components conclude, participants are required to submit a plan for and/or lead a peer training for other K-12 teachers in their schools, districts, or communities that utilizes the concepts and materials learned during their Project Ice experience.  More information about this component can be found on the page linked here (although in-depth details are shared with participants during the residence experience).

The course will include the following topics (online or on-site):

  • Understanding the polar regions, with focus on Antarctica
  • Land ice, sea ice, grounded ice, and sea level rise
  • How ice core drilling is accomplished
  • Ice core analysis and extraction of paleoclimate information
  • Antarctic ice sheets, subglacial lakes, and glacier dynamics
  • Comparing information gained from ice cores, sediment cores, and other proxy climate records
  • Paleoclimate history of the Earth
  • Implications for current and future climate change

On-site activities typically extend from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM PDT each day, with the possibility of later afternoon and/or evening activities.

Equipment Requirements

You will need a computer and high-speed Internet connection. If you are reading this on-screen with your own equipment and you can print it out, you are essentially ready for the online portion of Project Ice. Course registration with Pennsylvania Western University will provide you with your own PennWest student email address and other resources and benefits available to all students at the University. Technical requirements for course engagement can be found here:

Participant Support

  • Housing for six nights, arranged by AMS
  • Meals
  • Stipend to help cover round-trip air or land travel from US home to Corvallis, Oregon (arrangements made by participants with certain guidelines about arrival and departure)
  • Instructional and laboratory supplies
  • Tuition


Project Ice will be held in Corvallis, OR with research activities being conducted in and around the area. The in-residence portion of the course will include one or more field trips.


Participants will be expected to stay in housing accommodations arranged by the AMS, as the course will be intensive and involve several evening meetings. Informal interaction among participants during meals and evenings will be an integral component of the course.

Participants should attend without families as their presence is likely to detract from full participation. No support will be provided for dependents.

Academic Credit

Participants who complete all course requirements, including the submission of a follow-up report on their peer-training session, will earn three semester hours of graduate credit in ATMS 5016: Selected Topics in Paleoclimatic Studies through Pennsylvania Western University.

Credit will be awarded upon successful course completion and may be applied to a university post-baccalaureate certificate.

Project Ice Staff

  • Beth Mills, M.S., Associate Director, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC
  • Chad M. Kauffman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biology, Earth, & Environmental Sciences, Pennsylvania Western University, Curriculum Development Coordinator & DataStreme Lead, AMS Education Program
  • Erin Smoak, M.S., Content Specialist, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC
  • Abigail Stimach, K-12 Program Administrator, Education Program, American Meteorological Society, Washington, DC
  • Kristen Rahilly, Ph.D., COLDEX Director of Education, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
  • Gideon Alegado, M.S., Public Outreach Manager, American Meteorological Society

Application Procedures

The 2025 application process will open in mid/late Fall.

Click here to learn how to apply to Project Ice.

The application deadline will be posted in mid/late Fall, at the same time as the instructions to apply.

In selecting individuals for participation and otherwise in the administration of this course, the AMS will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, and status as a Vietnam Era or disabled veteran.


Questions regarding Project Ice 2024 should be directed to [email protected].