Observing ice is an important component in making new discoveries about the many curious and fascinating aspects of frozen water and its role the environment and people’s lives. One of the goals of the Fresh Eyes on Ice project is to provide data products to support broader understanding of the Arctic system. Addressing questions about how river and lake ice interacts with other Earth systems starts with providing comprehensive data sets to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of freshwater ecosystems! These links are some examples of what scientists have learned about ice so far, including research projects that explore freshwater ice in the Arctic.
Safe ice is fun to play on! Playing on ice leads to learning and discovery. Fresh Eyes on Ice aims to spark interest in science through an ice and snow observation network where youth contribute to large scale, cutting edge climate change research, conduct their own investigations, and learn about physics, weather and climate, and the environment. We work with teachers, parents, and community members to create age-appropriate ice learning activities and lesson plans. Use the resources below to integrate Fresh Eyes on Ice into your classroom or youth group and learn more about our research on citizen science learning and engagement.
Activities, Media, and Lesson Plans for Learning about Ice
One of the goals of the Fresh Eyes on Ice project is to provide data products and analysis to support broader understanding of the Arctic system. Just as permafrost-, sea-, and glacier-ice are well known, dynamics, and interacting elements of our changing planet, so is freshwater ice. Addressing questions about how river and lake ice interacts with the hydrologic cycle, energy balance, carbon emissions, and biological communities, as well as human society, starts by providing comprehensive data sets to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of freshwater ecosystems in the cryosphere. Below are examples of research projects and results that explore Freshwater Ice in the Arctic System.
Fresh Eyes on Ice aims to provide data to help in making decisions about safe winter travel and recreation on Alaska rivers and lakes. Our estimates of ice thickness and overflow conditions can be used to make decisions about general ice conditions. However, extra precaution is always advised in using these data because ice conditions can vary greatly from place to place, particularly on rivers. Early and late winter conditions can be especially unpredictable. Always use extra precautions such as traveling with personal flotation devices, ropes, and ice picks.
The following links provide more detailed information for evaluating safe ice conditions and preparing for ice emergencies.
Many people in northern regions naturally build great knowledge about ice on rivers and lakes. A Native Elder who grew up hunting, fishing, and traveling in the Arctic. A hard core ice fisherperson who religiously tracks ice thickness and overflow conditions. A North Slope oilfield worker with many years of experience pumping water from lakes to build an ice road. Often times it is year-round residents living by a lake or river who pay close attention when ice first forms in the fall and goes out in the spring. Knowledge from all of these examples and more can be considered sources of local ice knowledge. As part of the Fresh Eyes on Ice observation network, we are working to bring this extremely useful knowledge to inform ice datasets, science, and safety.
Below we provide some sources of local ice knowledge that we are working to synthesize and very much welcome contributions or introductions to new people with fresh or ancient eyes on ice!