GEAR UP 2007

Summer Institutes 2007

Lab #1: The science of global warming

JISAO co-sponsored a GEAR UP science workshop with the UW Applied Physics Lab (APL) in 2007. GEAR UP students learned about global warming and the melting of arctic sea-ice in the Bering Sea. JISAO/ APL scientist Ignatius Rigor talked about his recent research on arctic sea-ice and performed two experiments for the students to illustrate basic principles behind the science of global warming.

In order to prove that invisible greenhouse gases do exist, Dr. Rigor demonstrated the presence of carbon in a beaker by illustrating the effect of carbon on a lighted match. Next he asked students if they thought that melting sea-ice would raise the ocean level and most students said "yes." So in the second experiment Dr. Rigor heated ice in a beaker of water to prove that melting sea-ice will not raise the sea level. Instead, students learned that the ocean level will rise as the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt.

Finally GEAR UP students learned about the importance of sea-ice in the food chain. Algae grow on the sea-ice and are the bottom of the food chain for fish, birds, seals, polar bears and many other animals—including humans. As global warming increases and the sea-ice disappears many species of animals may become extinct and coastal communities will face the threat of rising water.

Lab #2: Hooked on fishery sciences

fish speciminJISAO hosted two science workshops for GEAR UP in summer 2007along with its NOAA and University of Washington partners. The Summer Learning Lab and Experience College Life Workshops were titled "Get Hooked on Fishery Sciences!" and the pictures tell the story of how much fun the students had learning.

GEAR UP students put on latex gloves and worked with frozen fish specimens to identify the differences between flatfish, rockfish, and salmon. In addition, students learned how to tell the six species of salmon found in Washington State apart by studying their different characteristics. They then conducted a mock fish population survey for the Puget Sound, California Current and Bering Sea

JISAO and NOAA fisheries biologists talked about their research in the Gulf of Alaska and UW graduate students shared stories about their research and the types of classes they take.

students in fish workshopTo round out the workshop, GEAR UP students toured the UW Fish Collection where they where shown several species of preserved fish including the deep-sea monster known as the anglerfish. Here's a picture of an anglerfish.

The science workshops—co-sponsored by JISAO and the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center in partnership with the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, the UW Fish Collection, and the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center—were attended by over sixty middle and high school students from around Washington State.