Project Ice Peer-Led Training

After the conclusion of the online and in-person components of the course, participants are required to submit a plan for and/or conduct peer training sessions that utilize the concepts and materials learned during their Project Ice experience. These peer-led training sessions can be offered virtually or in-person through a variety of locations/venues (such as local school district professional development events, state or national science teachers' meetings, etc.); participants are free to decide how/where to give these training sessions.

The following is a listing of paleoclimate, polar science, and ice core-related topics that may be the focus of a peer-led training session, each one involving classroom tested, hands-on activities (including guides provided at no charge to all participating teachers).

Ice Core Analysis and Paleoclimatology

Begins with an example cut plan for ice cores showing that ice core scientists investigate specific physical and chemical properties of the core, including the air bubbles trapped within, to understand past climate. This module helps educators understand the importance of Milankovitch Cycles and how Earth’s climate has changed over time, including what it was like before human impacts. It also examines the direct and proxy paleoclimate measurements we can make using ice cores, with a focus on measuring gas concentrations and performing isotope analysis, as well as looking at dust and volcanic ash present in the ice. The module concludes with questions that help educators form a clearer picture of the motivations behind COLDEX scientific goals.

Ice Core Science and Engineering

Focuses on the value of ice cores as a paleoclimate record and the technical challenges of ice core drilling and transport in Antarctica. The module describes the work of COLDEX scientists and others in related Antarctic programs in terms of how scientists and engineers get to Antarctica; the decision making process about where to drill with examination of bedrock elevation, ice sheet thickness, and local topographical features; how ice cores are drilled; and how they are then transported a great distance to be preserved long term and made available for scientific analysis.

Land Ice, Sea Ice, Grounded Ice, and Impacts on Sea Level Rise

Investigates different types of ice and the potential impact of breakup and melting on sea level rise. This module provides examples of changes in the cryosphere, trends in sea level change in the U.S. and worldwide, and the two major factors in rising sea levels. Features of Thwaites glacier, including the grounding line, in West Antarctica are then explored. The module concludes with a look at Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) emission scenarios from climate models with respect to sea-level rise.

Understanding Polar Regions

Explores geography of the polar regions and key features of Earth’s hydrosphere and cryosphere, including definitions of glacier, ice sheets, ice shelves, and sea ice. The module continues with an introductory overview of many key topics in polar science, such as the ice albedo feedback mechanism, descriptions of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets, sea ice trends in the Arctic and Antarctic, and proxy climate data focusing on ice cores.

Modules for Project Ice course alumni