PENGUIN: Polar ENgagement through GUided INquiry

The frozen beauty of the polar regions captures the imagination. Although research is challenging in these remote and harsh environments, polar research has yielded major advances in our understanding of Earth. To put polar research into the hands of undergraduate students, we have developed educational modules that give undergraduate students the computational tools to analyze polar data in a variety of disciplines, allowing them to engage authentically with real-world data. The interdisciplinarity of polar research, and its strong links to climate research, make it applicable to a broad array of courses. Students are able to conduct inquiry on a wide variety of topics through Computational Guided Inquiry (CGI) modules that provide students with a framework for using powerful computational tools. Economics students compute the existence value of polar bears, computer scientists use edge detection on images of sea ice extent, and quantum mechanics students examine the greenhouse effect through the lens of rovibrational transitions.

These modules are developed for undergraduate courses in Economics, Computer Science, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Environment Science Tools and Methods, from intro-level to advanced. Modules are typically designed to be completed in two to three class periods (or one to two lab sessions) and include homework assignments. Through these CGI modules, we seek to give students the opportunity to learn about polar research and improve their climate and computational literacy skills while enhancing learning of existing course objectives.

Browse the PENGUIN Modules

PENGUIN Modules


Project Goals

Our goal is to provide instructors with an educational framework that enables them to guide students in conducting inquiry through analysis of polar data, while enhancing learning of existing educational goals, and to provide students with an opportunity for authentic engagement with real-world data, while improving computational and climate literacy.

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Polar Research And Data

In CGI modules, students retrieve, visualize, and analyze polar research or data. Students may read a journal article about the melting of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and the economic valuation of the Arctic, browse satellite images of sea ice and download their favorite, or download temperature profiles through permafrost, ice core data, sea ice extent and volume, or polar infrared radiance spectra.

Learn more about the polar data used in the modules»

About this Project

Learn more about the PENGUIN project. You can also explore our Publications and Presentations and meet the PENGUIN team.

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Project Support

PENGUIN is supported by funding from NSF Polar 1712354 and 1712282.


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