Week 3: Eyes on the Ice

Polar Bears, Photo courtesy of Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Global climate change is a hot topic in the news, in the lab, and in the classroom. Whether influenced by natural cycles, human activities, or a combination of both, global climate change is a reality. The causes and effects of these changes have profound implications for the environment, the economy, and world politics.

Among the issues related to global climate change are the effects of the thickness and extent of polar sea ice as a habitat for animals in polar regions, as well as the implications to people living in or near these regions.

Last week, your focus was on making measurements in ImageJ. This week, you will learn more about image stacks. You will use an image stack to visualize and analyze data collected at regular time intervals - a time series - that shows changes in the extent of Arctic sea ice from 1978 to 2007.

Weekly Goals

  • Use ImageJ stacks to explore and analyze time series data.
  • Understand how satellite data can help us monitor environmental issues such as change in the extent of Arctic sea ice.
  • Generate ideas for using time series data and image stacks in your classroom.
  • Provide feedback on what you are learning and the process of learning it

This Week's Tasks

  1. Create and manipulate image stacks in ImageJ.
  2. Find out how Dr. Claire Parkinson uses satellite data to study the connection between polar sea ice and climate.
  3. Download a time series of arctic sea ice concentration images and use ImageJ to measure average sea ice coverage. Then graph and interpet your results.
  4. Contribute to an online discussion about how you might use image stacks to teach change-related concepts or other processes to your students.
  5. Answer the Week 3 Feedback questions.

A Look at the Week Page by Page

ImageJ Stacks

This page introduces image stacks, multiple images in a single window. Create a time-series stack, flip through it slice by slice, and animate it to explore changes in Albedo. After creating your own stack, make a montage or save it as an animated gif. This is the image that you'll post to your discussion section.

This weekly activity is required and is due on Thursday, May 17, 2012.

Eyes on Dr. Claire Parkinson

This page provides background information about Dr. Claire Parkinson, a NASA researcher who studies climate and polar ice.

If you are pressed for time, read the background information and save the exploration of the resources for later.

Analyze Sea Ice

Use an image stack to analyze the extent of sea ice coverage over time. Then export your measurements, graph them, and interpret the results.

If you are pressed for time, use thresholding to measure the sea ice extent and save the graphing for later. We recommend you watch all the movies.

Share and Discuss Assignment

Create a new discussion thread and post either a montage of a stack that you explored or an animated gif, along with a brief description of it. Then share one or more ideas about how you might use image stacks to teach change-related concepts or other processes to your students. Use the reply function to "talk" to others in your section about their ideas.

This weekly activity is required and occurs from Thursday, May 17, through Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Week 3 Feedback

This page gives you the opportunity to provide us feedback about the week's activities.

Feedback is optional and anonymous. However, if you have time to provide feedback, you can help us better meet your needs.

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