About the Trip
Fast facts about the 2020 journey
- Students from all majors are encouraged to apply
- Class registration is per permission of instructor
- Application will be available in July 2019
- The trip is one of the most affordable study abroad options
- The trip occurs between February 29 and March 14, 2020
- Be a part of the traditional sea ice Hawaiian-themed class photo
- All arctic gear is provided
- All equipment will be shipped to the laboratory by the university
- Researchers may have an opportunity to present at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Ca.
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, which begins the seventh week of the fall 2019 semester. They will study the arctic and decide on a research question they want to answer.
Accepted students are also required to take PHYS 325 at the start of the spring 2020 semester in which they will design and build experimental sensor equipment to test while in Utqiagvik.
- View the Geophysical Field Research Application requirements and instructions [PDF]
- Application Deadline: September 27, 2019
What kind of research is involved?
The 2020 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. All students will use microcontrollers, usually an Arduino, and numerous sensors to answer their research questions.
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, with many of the 23,000+ attendees being from NASA and NOAA.