Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will proclaim Tuesday, Feb. 19, as Polar Education and Research Day, citing the University of Kansas’ involvement in educating students and the public about the importance of polar regions in global climate and sea-level change.
Sebelius is making the proclamation in recognition of the International Polar Year, a research effort organized by the International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization. The “year” runs from March 1, 2007, to March 1, 2009, which gives researchers two summer cycles to conduct research in both polar regions, where winters, which last for six months, are shrouded in darkness and cold. The effort involves more than 200 projects with scientists from more than 60 countries.
Led by KU, the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, commonly known as CReSIS, is a partnership of six universities that draws heavily upon the engineering expertise at KU. CReSIS designs and deploys state-of-the-art technology such as radar and unmanned aircraft to study ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. The results, combined with computer models, help researchers understand how melting ice caps affect Earth’s sea-level changes. The center works closely with several Kansas school districts to promote and encourage education in climate change. More information and educational resources can be found on the CReSIS Web site.
This is the fourth International Polar Year; the first was in 1882-83. The governor lauded KU’s involvement in research into polar matters both past and present.
“Kansans, since Lewis Lindsey Dyche in the late 1800s, have participated in that scientific exploration, a rich tradition that extends to today’s Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, headquartered at the University of Kansas,” the proclamation reads.
Lewis Lindsay Dyche was a professor of natural history at KU in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A well-known taxidermist, he led research expeditions to locations such as Alaska and presented a panorama of preserved North American mammals at the World’s Fair in 1893 in Chicago. Dyche Hall, which houses KU’s Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, is named for him.
Contact: Vicky Lytle, Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, (785) 864-7797.