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David Thesenga, a 7th and 8th grade science teacher at Timberline Pk-8, will be joining scientists as a member of their research team this fall through PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating). This is a huge honor as PolarTREC chose him from among hundreds of teacher applicants nationwide. PolarTREC's goal is to bring K-12 educators and polar researchers together to increase understanding of polar science and advance polar science education.
Mr. Thesenga's project is titled Flow and Fracture Dynamics in an Ice Shelf Lateral Margin: Observations and Modeling of the McMurdo Shear Zone. The objective of the project is to understand the behavior of the McMurdo Shear Zone in Antarctica. The study spans 4 years, although David will only physically be in Antarctica for 6 weeks. The team's research will include field observations, remote sensing by satellite, and numerical modeling. The McMurdo Shear Zone is important because a potential weakening of this area would contribute to sea level rise. The team was trained in Fairbanks, Alaska in February and leaves for Antarctica September 30. While in the field, Mr. Thesenga and his team of researchers will connect with Timberline students and the public through online journals, message boards, photo albums, podcasts, "PolarConnect" calls and presentations from the field, and online learning resources. David will also create instructional activities to transfer scientific data, methodologies, and technology back into his classroom after the field experience.
To follow the research team and their study, visit: https://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/ice-shelf-flow-and-fracture-dynamics