Students Conducting Climate Change Research In Canadian Arctic

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland high schoolers are working to have a global impact. As Mike Schuh reports, the Park School has been awarded a $156,000 grant from the Canadian government to document climate change in the arctic.

You’ll have to agree, it’s a pretty cool school trip if, on the last leg you’re dropped off by a chopper.

“Because of the wetlands, the only way to get there in the summer is by chopper,” says science teacher Julie Rogers.

They’re so far away, it takes three days to get there. Ten Park School students like Bunmi Osias, are doing actual scientific field research.

But don’t call this week in Canada a vacation.

“It’s a lot of work,” says Rogers.

The idea Rogers had 11 years ago was to bring her best students, who work on the project all year, to the arctic to do actual research.

“They learn more in two weeks on the tundra than they do in a whole semester or three-quarters of a semester in a biology class,” she says.

Sophomore Anna Connors hands-on gathering of climate change data has sunk in.

“It’s a lot more alarming to see those changes first hand than to just be told by a teacher,” says Connors.

Twice a year, 10 students at a time, take scientific measurements like depth sampling.

Students Bunmi and Lexi, have participated in four of the arctic research trips. They say it’s changed their perspectives.

“I’m focused on the research but I’m focused on the experiences I have in nature. Because it’s every day that you get up at 3 a.m. and say ‘whoa, look at the northern lights, they’re dancing,'” says Osias.

The next 10 students head north in August.

Right after WJZ was at the school, Rogers left to head to Canada to make plans for how to use that grant money.

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