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 Your Quest

The polar regions were the last places on earth to be explored.  Many people confuse  the Arctic and the Antarctic regions.  The Arctic, is an ocean surrounded by landmasses. By contrast, the Antarctic, where the South Pole is found, is a continent surrounded by oceans.  As your team approaches each of the polar tasks, the primary purpose is to compare and contrast each of the polar regions, while considering both the local and global consequences should they become unprotected.

Task Preparation
The team member allocated to each task will need to complete the first 4 of the "Big 6" steps before the team can complete steps 5 and 6 together.  Remember totake notes as you gather your information, so each member of the team can read them and discuss what needs to be included in your final presentation.
The First 4
It is  very importantto read these first four steps carefully as you will find lots of help for your quest 
Notetaking help

Task 1
Polar Geography
Task 2
Polar History 
Task 3
Polar People
Task 4
Polar Animals
Task 5
Polar Conservation
Task 6
Polar Presentation

Task 1
Polar Geography
The earth's polar regions are ice-covered, beautiful yet hostile, and vitally important to the global climate.  The have no sunlight nearly all winter, and were the last regions on earth to be explored.  Located at the far south and north ends of the globe, there are significant similarities and differences between the two regions. The southern polar region is called Antarctica.  It is an ice covered continent larger than the United States, surrounded by ice and water.  The northern polar region is called the Arctic.  It is a huge ocean surrounded by land.

  Locate each polar region on a world map. What is the difference between the Arctic and the Arctic Circle?
  Compare the land size, land features and weather of the two regions
  What is a glacier?
  How many forms of ice can you discover, and how are they different?
  In what ways are the polar region unique?

Polar Regions
print out an outlineof the arctic circle
Facts about Antarctica

Facts about the Arctic Circle

Atlapedia Online contains full color physical and political maps as well as key facts and statistics 
on countries of the world. (CLICK ON WORLD MAPS)Physical and Polotical maps of the antarctic region. 
Not under countries because antarctica is not a country Why?
world map with polar regions to print and colour
The World Factbook 2001.  follow antarctica and arctic ocean
The Glacier Website
weather conditions

weather conditions

weather conditions

 sea ice
Panoramic Photo Tours of Alaska 
An outline of the Antarctic

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Task 2
History and Exploration
Research four Arctic and four Antarctic expeditions. 
  Compare  the purposes and achievements of each one. 
  Select one prominent Arctic and one Antarctic expeditioner and map the route of their journey. 
  What made these attempts at polar exploration successful or unsuccessful ? Use a venn or a double cell diagram to assist you with your comparison.
  Important international agreements have been signed and organisations created.  In what ways have they affected polar exploration?


What is a Double CellDiagram
lWhat is aVenn Diagram?

A polar template to print out

An online encyclopedia- Antarctica -click on  link to history of exploration  - 

An online encyclopedia - Arctic (click on  link to history of exploration ) 

Super map of antarctica with territorial claims 
an arctic map to print out

an antarctic outline and facts with option to print

famous explorers
Antarctic explorers
The Arctic Council 
Antarctic Protocols
The Antarctic Treaty 
The Treaty

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Task 3
Polar People
  Research the inhabitants of the polar regions and 
discover how  the inhabitants of the polar regions differ?

Compare life on each of the Australian stations located in Antarctica by studying housing, clothing and forms of transport used . 

How do the people living and working in the regions rely on the local animals and knowledge of the environment to survive? 

Can you notice any similarities between the plight of the indigenous people in the Arctic region and that of Australian Aboriginals ?

You may like to use a graphic organiser to help 
Why do scientists study in Antarctica
indigenous health concerns   - follow the link "looking back in history"
"...A long history of colonialism and social inequity in the Arctic has left northern indigenous peoples highly vulnerable to environmental damage..." 
Our Earth, Our Future
"...We, the Inuit people of the Arctic, are a marine and land- based people. We still rely upon many animal species to support our age-old hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering economy. But many Inuit now use computers and invest in stocks and bonds over the internet. We welcome sustainable development of the Arcticís resources. But we maintain our reverence for Nature and a commitment to treat it with respect..." 
Aqqaluk Lynge of Greenland. President, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, 1997
The Inuit cultural identity 
Traditional inuit clothing. shelter and lifestyle
arctic contaminants threat
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 
View from inside an igloo
How to build an igloo
Why Do Science in Antarctica? click on any station for information on life at the bases, scientific field studied, country and webcams
station duties
survival clothing
expeditioners clothing- off station
DRESS A SCIENTIST  How would you dress this scientist up to survive Antarctica's frigid temperatures

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Task 4
Animal Habitation
While the Arctic is cold, the Antarctic is even colder—only 2 percent of it is not covered by ice. Temperatures there have been recorded as low as -128.6 º F, (-89.22 º C)! It is so cold that there are only two species of flowering plants that can survive. But many animals live in both regions.

Read descriptions of at least six Polar animals. How do the animals use their habitat to survive (or live in) the cold and icy regions? Several species of animals are unique to the Arctic.  Earlier this century Blue Whales, Southern Right Whales and Humpbacks were nearly hunted to extinction.  Why are they now gradually recovering ?

  complete a matrix of endangered polar animals

  What differences and similarities do you notice between the arctic and antarctic food webs?

Which animals are unique to the Arctic region?

How would you define an indicator species?

Why were huskies banned from the Antarctic region ?

What is a Matrix?
An antarctic food web
An arctic food web
Comparing a food web and a food chain 
endangered animals 
17 species of penguin 
Indicator species :

petrels - Long-lived birds—the oldest on record survived 50 years
adelie penguins 
Why are krill so important to the Antarctic Ecosystem?
Sea otters are a keystone species 
The Threat of Climate Change to Arctic Wildlife

An interesting experiment -Investigate the insulating properties of air and fat. 
Hunting Whales
banning huskies 
Arctic animals and adaptations for survival
Animal Templates to print out - follow links to arctic and antarctic animals. 

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Task 5
The environment
Polar regions used to be protected by their remoteness and inaccessibility.  Technological advances have enabled increasing numbers of visitors to invade their solitude.  Some come as members of scientific expeditions, some as tourists wishing to visit an area unique both in its scenery and wildlife.

  What strategies have been employed to conserve the polar environment with respect to tourists ?

  The specific role of the Antarctic in monitoring global changes, as well as the region's fragility, called for a comprehensive regime to protect the antarctic environment and associated ecosystems.  How is waste disposal organised? 

  What efforts have been made to protect the polar environments, and what are the major threats ?

  How is waste management monitored and organised at the research stations ?

  What is the purpose of the "Madrid Protocol"?

New challenges to regions
A visitor's introduction to Antarctica and its environment
Reprinted with kind permission of Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research by NEW ZEALAND ANTARCTIC PROGRAMME, A Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
The environmental policy situation in the Antarctic is unique in two ways: Policy overview - Antarctic 
Arctic Co operation
United States Environmental Protection Agency Site
the role of a scientist
greenhouse gases
disastrous effects
environmental stewardship 

follow the games link and take a quiz 

a greenhouse diagram
A powerpoint presentation on pollution in the Arctic -threats to the native population
food contamination
Effects of global warming on animals
economic pressures
Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
caring for eco systems - guidelines for travellers
exploitation of mineral resources
Life at the Research Stations
sorting wastes
station waste management system 
separation of wastes
Read about POPs in the Poles-  GEO 2000
The Madrid Protocol
Arctic Cooperation
National Science Foundation's largest-ever Arctic science program

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Polar Presentation
Now it is time to plan your team presentation.  The team needs to sit down together and share their discoveries and notes. Now  go to Step 5 of the big 6.  After the team has completed step 5 read the Powerpoint Rubric to see how your team can earn high points.


Step 5
Powerpoint Rubric

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