Grant: $122,250 - National Science Foundation - Aug. 4, 2009
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Award Description: This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). The past ice extent and deglaciation history of the Weddell Sea embayment of Antarctica is the single largest uncertainty in relating Antarctic ice volume changes to global sea level change since the Last Glacial Maximum. This project seeks to address this uncertainty by finding and dating geologic evidence of the past ice extent and deglaciation from the Pensacola Mountains, which borders the Foundation Ice Stream at the head of the Weddell Sea Embayment. As a REU site, this project seeks to engage undergraduate students in all stages of the proposed research, including: i) collection and interpretation of remote sensing data in preparation for model development and sampling for surface-exposure-age analysis, ii) adaptation and application of an existing ice-flow model, iii) field collection of samples for surface-exposure-age analysis, iv) glacial geologic mapping, v) data interpretation using the ice-flow model, and vi) presentation and publications of results. One primary goal of this project is to offer a complete research experience to students interested in pursuing scientific research after earning their undergraduate degree. The application process will select students with scientific preparation through their coursework, in order to ensure successful execution of the project. PLU will not require participants to have previous research experience; rather we hope to engage students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in a research project.
Project Description: This project will provide direct geologic evidence of LGM-to-Holocene ice volume change in a region of Antarctica where no such evidence now exists. This evidence is needed to: i) constrain Antarctic ice volume reconstructions used as input to models of LGM-to-present sea level change, and ii) initialize and evaluate Antarctic ice sheet models that seek to simulate the last few thousand years of ice sheet change and predict future changes. Our secondary focus on better understanding the glaciological context of exposure-dating sites will potentially resolve important ambiguities in the interpretation of existing and future exposure-dating results as records of Holocene ice sheet changes, thus resulting in more precise such reconstructions. This project will help to develop and maintain the human and intellectual resources necessary for continued excellence in polar research and global change education, by linking experienced Antarctic researchers with early career scientists who seek to develop their expertise in both research and education. It provides resources for one of these early career scientists to maintain her involvement in Antarctic research as she develops her undergraduate teaching career, as well as to directly incorporate that research into her teaching through: i) student involvement in the research, and ii) a program to bring leading global change researchers to her campus. This, in turn, will enhance geoscience and global change education for her undergraduate students, as well as contributing to public outreach programs. In the first quarter, potential student researchers were interviewed, and existing remote sensing data were assembled for analysis.
Jobs Summary: 00 (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Aug. 4, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.