Shrinking sea ice, retreating glaciers, a tree line migrating farther north, and less snow that also melts earlier—what do these climate-related changes mean for the Arctic, and for all of us?
“The Arctic fever…lives only in the mind, filling its victim with a consuming urge to wander again, and forever, through these mighty spaces where the caribou herds flow like living rivers over the roll of the tundra,” wrote Canadian author Farley Mowat. But this captivating landscape may cease to exist—and this is your chance to both experience its wonders and help researchers understand how we might protect it.
You’ll measure evidence of global warming near Churchill, a small town on Hudson Bay that’s on the front line of climate change. Help researchers as they learn all they can about this fragile environment. If you join one of the summer or fall teams, you may don waist-high waders to take water samples and assess the abundance of the fish and frogs that make these northern wetlands their home; you’ll also help monitor the health of the tree line by examining tree cores, which allow researchers to reconstruct tree life histories (to date, the oldest living tree this team has found dates from 1643).
But to truly experience the power of the North, join a winter team that focuses on assessing snowpack and taking snow samples. You’ll travel between research sites on a sled pulled by a snowmobile and maybe get the chance to build and sleep in an igloo for one night.