About the Trip
Fast facts about the 2022 journey
- Students from all majors are encouraged to apply
- First-time researchers are encouraged to apply - no previous experience is necessary
- Applications are now open and must be emailed to Dr. Rhett Herman by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 2, 2021.
- The trip is one of the most affordable study abroad options
- Class registration is per permission of instructor
- Travel will be either the week before, or the week of the 2022 spring break.
- Students may borrow polar clothing depending on fit and quantities
- Be a part of the traditional sea ice Hawaiian-themed class photo
- Potential scholarship funding is available
What to know and do before you go to Alaska
Accepted students are required to take the one-credit-hour PHYS 324 fall preporatory course. They will concieve of and plan their own arctic research project throughout the fall of 2021.
Accepted students are also required to take PHYS 325 at the start of the spring 2022 semester to finish their projects and prepare for deployment in the field.
What kind of research is involved?
The 2022 trip is an ambitious, student-centered adventure that will build upon past research collected since 2006. Students can choose from a list of questions previous trips left for research, or investigate their own. Most of these are based on microcontrollers, and collect data from the numerous environmental and other sensors that may be attached to these.
Past investigations include research on the thermal balance and properties of the artic sea ice, combined with theory that Dr. Herman knows from teaching resistivity in geophysics. The results from using the students’ equipment will also help guide plans for future expeditions.
The Naval Arctic Research Laboratory was given by the Navy to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the 1980s. The NSF administers it specifically for research operations. Radford University researchers are joining researchers from all over the world who come to this polar research field site, which is remotely located with no connecting roads.
The student researchers may be venturing further out onto the ice than they have ever done before for more individualized data collection using the sensors and research plan they developed during the fall seminar and spring couse.
By collaborating with the Governor’s School, a magnet high school, a wide range of ages and backgrounds are able to contribute to the research. The two Governor’s School students are dual-enrolled in this class, and will work alongside Radford University students. The Governor’s School’s students must complete a rigorous and competitive review process before being invited to join the team of undergraduate researchers.
As always following a trip to the Arctic, Radford University researchers will present their work at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Ca. which is the world’s largest meeting of earth and space scientists. Some students will go with Dr. Herman to this prestigious meeting of roughly 24,000 attendees.
Students will boost their resumes while presenting their findings on equal footing next to researchers from NASA and NOAA, and universities and research centers around the world.