Education and Outreach

The Mission of LTER Education is to use the uniqueness of the LTER Network to promote learning about long-term ecological processes and the earth's ecosystems. MCM actively engages school groups and the public regularly and through a variety of ways.

The Lost Seal


As part of the LTER children’s book series, The Lost Seal was written by MCM Scientist Diane McKnight. This true story tells of one seal's travels in the Antarctic desert and provides an engaging framework for conveying how different Antarctica and the Dry Valleys are from the environments with which children are familiar. It contains original artwork from children in grades 2-4 from 19 different elementary schools throughout the world. The Lost Seal website contains over 400 pieces of original artwork, photos of the dry valleys, and real-life video of the lost seal.



Click here to download The Lost Seal Teacher's Guide


2013/14 Outreach Activities

Alex Mass met with a number of classrooms grade 4-8 in the Denver regional area before departing for Antarctica this November. Now in the field, her skype calls have been able to reach classrooms from Colorado to Australia and her field blog, The Last Degrees has been featured on Rocky Mountain PBS. Alex will continue her interaction with schools throughout the next year and devise a learning assessment to analyze how following a single researcher throughout a fieldseason affects the accessibility younger students feel towards STEM careers. Alex has collaborated with the University of Colorado Office of University Outreach and has been awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in STEM Education for these outreach activities.

Adrian Howkins has been expanding the success of the LTER Schoolyard Book Series children's book about scientists in the Dry Valleys, "The Lost Seal", with activities in South American schools. Artwork contributed by students during Adrian's visits to Argentina and Chile will be included in the upcoming Spanish language and bilingual edition of "The Lost Seal". In addition, this season Adrian is in the Dry Valleys, retracing the steps of early explorers in the Taylor Valley in order to communicate this historical experience to students in the United States.

Current Field Blogs

Personal Sites - Read MCM field team members' stories about their life and research activities in Antarctica as they blog from the field. Yes, we have wireless Internet in Antarctica!

Past Outreach Activities

Oregon Public Broadcasting,Think Out Loud (Radio). Glacier change. March 2012.

Landscape changes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Harbingers of things to come? May 2012. Antarctic Seminar Series, Portland State University.

History of glacier exploration and the role of small glaciers in Sea Level Rise. March 2012. Climate Trust, Portland OR.

The Priscu Lab has continued to provide opportunities for training and development in microbiology to high school students over the past year.

Field Blogs

Personal Sites - Read MCM field team members' stories about their life and research activities in Antarctica as they blog from the field. Yes, we have wireless Internet in Antarctica!

2017-2018 Season Blogs

Past Season Blogs

Note, some may be not active, even dissapeared from the blogosphere.

77 Degrees South - The Stream Team's online educational journal about research and life in Antarctica. Partnered with Global SchoolNet, this site contains journals, photos, information about the dry valleys, and a glossary of terms.


Interactive Educational CD

A set of interactive CDs has been developed to illustrate the research and ecology of the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica. The interactive CD for learners is designed for grades 8-10 and the accompanying teacher guide CD has supplemental information and videos.


View MCM Team Members' Outreach Activities

MCM members frequently present their research at a variety of schools, community groups and public forums. These numerous outreach events highlight not only MCM activities, but also the importance of long-term ecological data and the multidisciplinary approach taken by the LTER. We keep a database of these events, which can be viewed here.