ALA Science Teacher Blomberg travels to the Arctic for research

ALA Ironwood Science Teacher Sarah Blomberg Submitted photos

Sarah Blomberg, an American Leadership Academy Ironwood eighth grade science teacher, was amongst nine teachers in the country selected to travel to the Arctic.

As part of a teacher’s group for the Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental charity, Mrs. Blomberg assisted in on-going climate change research June 25 – July 5 at the Churchill Northern Science Centre in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, according to a press release.

To join the Earthwatch group, Mrs. Blomberg had to complete an application with an essay and summary of what she would like to teach her students from this experience.

“Traveling to the arctic was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Mrs. Blomberg in a prepared statement. “I learned more than I imagined I could and can’t wait to bring real-life experiences to my students.”

Mrs. Blomberg studied the Arctic including such things as frogs and wetlands. She spent her days in waterproof boots trudging through the wetlands, marking frog locations and collecting invertebrate samples to show the unique biodiversity in these locations.

Mrs. Blomberg, Principal Investigator Dr. LeeAnn Fishback, and two other graduate students studied unique frogs in the tundra wetlands to see their levels of water retention. They also studied the mercury levels in the water, and how these levels are changing and affecting the biodiversity in the environment.

After her trip to the Arctic, she said her view of the world has changed.
“As we were walking through the cold wetlands, it didn’t appear that there was much life,” Mrs. Blomberg said.

“However, after collecting samples and looking more closely, we are able to find frogs, tadpoles and innumerable invertebrates. It was an absolutely incredible experience!”

Mrs. Blomberg said they got to see a caribou, fox, some snowy owls and her favorite, the beluga whale. After her Arctic experience, she said she wants to bring a continued love for science to her classroom.

“I want to instill a love for our Earth and an inquiry-based classroom that inspires the students to ask questions and create discoveries and experiments of their own,” Mrs. Blomberg said.

She looks forward to inviting Dr. Fishback, and the other graduate students to Skype or visit with her students to explain how research works out in the field.

“I explored so many exciting opportunities for science,” Mrs. Blomberg said. “I want to relay to my students that science is not limited to only a few college degrees, but that there are other fields worth exploring.”

To read more about her 10 days in the arctic, her group created a blog at http://teacheartharctic.weebly.com.

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