MERLIN is an educational prototype under the larger pedagogic topic called Active-Learning Curriculum.
The goal of MERLIN is to prepare the next generation
with critical-thinking and
dynamic-decision-making skills needed to understand a changing environmental world.
This specific prototype leverages extreme conditions experienced during polar field work. For effectiveness, we choose one of the most rapidly changing large-scale surface areas on the Earth, namely, the Arctic sea ice.
Scaling the topic down to a curriculum level, this project focuses on
the need for increased accuracy of sea ice thickness so that decision making can move from the debate of “the climate is changing?” to adaptation in a changing world.
To keep the topic manageable,
students learn how easy it is to detect sea ice loss, and
then subsequently, how difficult it is to quantify the changes and
more importantly the impacts to human infrastructure and sustainability.
Because access to sea ice is so limited, especially for students, we confine our studies to the seemingly simple problem of quantifying the relationship between
swath observations, and
gridded imagery analysis (the so-called up-scaling problem).
MERLIN’s research efforts integrate information between ground-truth support and underwater, airborne, and spaceborne platforms engaged in sea ice monitoring.
First field tests are scheduled for first half of March (4-7 prep, 8-16 thickness survey) in Barrow, Alaska to test the overall concept and feasibility of the program.
(alphabetical order by institution directly contributing to field support):
Arctic Collaborating Environment (ACE): Gina Wade
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL): Jacqueline Richter-Menge Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE-UD): James Kolodzey, Chandra Kambhamettu Geography, CEOE: Tracy DeLiberty, Colleen Leithren
International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP), University of Washington (UW): Ignatius Rigor
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL): Son Ngheim
National Ice Center (NIC): Pablo Clemente-Colón, Sean Helfrich, and Bethany McDonald
Naval Academy (USNA): John Woods and Gina Henderson
Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Stanford University: Todd Valentic
NAICEX Logo - Brendan Beers, Graphic Artist, MSC Graphics Technology Lab, USNA
MERLIN Webmaster - Colleen Leithren, Masters of Ed Tech, UD
Background photo - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center --http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/