This Winter, PhD student Adrianna Trusiak participated in the Science Communication Fellows Program called Portal to the Public at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. As part of the program, Adrianna designed her own activity that portrays the research she and her colleagues do in the Alaskan Arctic, where they are based at Toolik Field Station. Adrianna hopes to continue with Portal to the Public in the Fall.

Adrianna’s “Why does the Arctic matter” station focuses on teaching the audience about the permafrost and its importance in global carbon cycling. The audience has a chance to measure thaw depth the same way scientists would measure it in the Alaskan tundra, but in soil columns build by Adrianna. While the younger kids enjoy measuring the thaw depth, older audience members have a chance to learn more about the Arctic from pictures and conversation.