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What is Live from the Poles?

Our Mission

We tell the stories of science on ice. Our mission is to give you an inside look at five major scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. By inside look we mean you'll learn everything—not just the researchers' tools and findings, but also how they get to remote locations like the Greenland Ice Sheet, how they stay warm when the mercury drops to -30F, and even what they eat for lunch.

The Team

Our two-person media team—a photographer and science writer—will use a variety of methods to tell the stories. Every day during each of the five expeditions, we will craft daily dispatches and photo essays. At the end of each day, we will use a satellite phone to send the updates to our graphics team at WHOI, who will update the Polar Discovery Web site.

Live Calls

During the expeditions, we will also be making satellite phone calls to museum auditoriums across the United States, where audience members can converse with polar scientists in real time. Each presentation will feature a knowledgeable moderator – often a scientist – who will present a short summary about the research before the live question-and-answer sessions. Visit the Live Talk Schedule page under each expedition to learn where and when you can see a live talk near you!

Five expeditions have taken place at the North Pole (April 2007), the eastern Arctic Ocean (July-August 2007), Antarctica (November-December 2007), the glaciers of western Greenland (July-August 2008), and the ecosystems in the Bering Sea (April-May, 2009). The science projects focus on a range of topics from climate change and glaciers to Earth’s geology, underwater biology, and ocean chemistry, circulation, and technology at the Poles. These expeditions—some operating from icebreaking research ships, others based at polar ice camps, and another on a glacier—exemplify innovative science at work.

Live calls from the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica brought to you by the Birch Aquarium at Scripps:

UCSDA live museum talk by Donna Blackman about mid-ocean ridge systems.
Video (29:00) watch the video
UCSDA live discussion with penguin researchers in Antarctica.
Video (55:00) watch the video



Live from the Poles/Polar Discovery is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.