BFA Science Teacher Tom Lane Returns from the Tundra

Target 2. Leadership in a Student-Centered Learning Environment – FWSU will foster development of teacher & student leaders who provide innovative opportunities for local and global student-centered learning.

Action Step – Ensure students and staff take an active role shaping their learning using rich, authentic questions, problems they identify, & diverse resources.

tom headshot

Tom Lane, High School Science Teacher
BFA Fairfax

High School Science Teacher Tom Lane, who was selected as a 2013 PolarTREC teacher, recently returned from his expedition at the University of Florida research site outside of Healy, Alaska. Mr. Lane was working with graduate student Elizabeth Webb, field technician John Krapek, and site manager Kirsten K. Coe.

Field Tech. John Krapek,  BFA Science Teacher Mr. Lane and Researcher Elizabeth Webb collect data using a LI-COR CO2 Gas Analyzer at the University of Florida Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Research site near Healy, Alaska

Field Tech. John Krapek, BFA Science Teacher Mr. Lane and Researcher Elizabeth Webb collect data using a LI-COR CO2 Gas Analyzer at the University of Florida Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Research site near Healy, Alaska

They were examining carbon flux on warmed tundra. The experiment called Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) has been ongoing for the past 5 years. The data from this series of experiments (chamber-off, chamber-plot, Eddy Method, Forced Diffusion, Sodalime) indicates that when tundra is warmed it becomes a carbon source rather than a carbon sink. This information shows with real data what scientists have long suspected, thawing permafrost presents a positive-feedback loop to increase CO2 levels in the earth’s atmosphere.

winter respiration

For more information on this PolarTREC Expedition click here to access Mr. Lane’s archived journals, resources and webinar. Mr. Lane plans on visiting the research site again in early August to observe and participate in summer data collection.

You can also read our earlier post about how Mr. Lane’s work with PolarTREC has helped students make connections.

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