Libertyville High School science teacher Mark Buesing will travel to Greenland in April to participate in NASA's Operation IceBridge.
Operation IceBridge is a six-year mission to map polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system.
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Operation IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in the sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets.
In addition, IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of the earth's polar ice to climate change and resulting sea level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) missions.
Buesing applied to be part of the research team through PolarTREC, which pairs teachers with polar researchers. Their mission is education outreach and polar science education.
"PolarTREC and I share many of the same goals, chief among them is to get students interested in science, technology, math, and science careers," Buesing said.
He was alerted to the program by a former student who is now an oceanographer with the U.S. Antarctic Program. Buesing is one of only 15 teachers chosen from an applicant pool of about 300 to participate in polar projects around the globe.
Much of Buesing's day will be spent in a P-3B Orion, flying over Greenland's ice sheet and glaciers mapping the ice with laser altimeters, ice-penetrating radar, magnetometers, and gravimeters, to mention a few. The rest of his day will be spent blogging, video journaling, updating social media sites, and connecting with his classroom.