LCJH teacher to weather the Arctic
Susan Harsh, science teacher at Little Cypress Junior High, has just received word that she was awarded an “Earthwatch Live From the Field Fellowship!” Harsh, the LCJH Teacher of the Year for 2002 – 2003, was named to Team 4 of “Climate Change at the Arctic’s Edge.” From Sept. 5 through 15, this group will be stationed at Churchill, Manitoba, Canada where global warming is most dramatically visible at the edge of the Arctic. Team members will communicate with their schools, live from the field using a satellite and web technology.
Research will involve studying climate change at sites ranging from the tundra into the forest using ground-penetrating radar, microclimate dataloggers, and soil coring to measure the permafrost’s organic carbon levels. Participants will also live-trap small mammals, evaluate growth rings in trees and shrubs through sampling, and monitor plant development.
According to the organization’s website, “Researchers will travel by gamutik (sled) towed by snowmobiles, classify ice crystals, and measure snowpack thickness, density, and temperature. They will learn how to build an igloo and sleep in it comfortably, even when the temperature outside is minus 30 or 40 degrees Celsius.” Additional information on this project is available at the website, http://www.earthwatch.org/exped/kershaw_Churchill.html.
Susan has availed herself of research opportunities and been recognized for her effective work as an educator. During the fall semester this year she received a grant from the LCM Education Foundation, Inc. to develop an area next to LCJH as an outdoor learning environment where the students can conduct scientific studies that are not reproducible indoors.
Keith Lindsey, LCJH Principal, says of Ms. Harsh, “As a principal, I am so excited about this opportunity Susan has earned to learn more about the field she so loves. She is always seeking out ways to grow as an educator so she can come back and share with her students and fellow science teachers. I am truly blessed, as are our students, to have her teach at Little Cypress Junior High.”