Polar Day(s) 2022

Polar Day 2022Friday April 15th

12:00 p.m.
Ikaaġavik Sikukun – Ice Bridges

By Alex Whiting, Donna Hauser, Ph.D, and the Native Village of Kotzebue Elders
Ikaaġvik Sikukun  —Iñupiaq for ice bridges— is a research effort in Kotzebue, Alaska that connects the community with scientists to understand sea ice change in Kotzebue Sound. Under guidance from an advisory council of Elders, the project uses state-of-the-art observing techniques including unmanned aerial systems —commonly known as drones— to answer questions related to sea ice, ocean physics and marine mammal biology. Several aspects of Ikaaġvik Sikukun set it apart from other scientific research. Most importantly, the advisory council was established from the beginning to define the research questions. This ensures that the science pursued by Ikaaġvik Sikukun is led through Indigenous knowledge and responds to local community concerns related to rapid sea ice and snow cover changes in Kotzebue Sound.

Join Alex Whiting, Environmental director at Native Village of Kotzebue, Donna Hauser, Research scientist at University of Alaska Fairbanks, focusing on marine mammal ecology, and Elders from the Native Village of Kotzebue for a presentation and open conversation on bridging the scientific and Indigenous communities' knowledge of sea ice change in the Alaskan Arctic.
The Zoom link to the event can be accessed here, password: polarday.

Polar Day(s) 2021

Kim Stanley RobinsonFriday April 16th

11:05 a.m.
The Worst Journey In the World Revisited

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer. He is the author of about twenty books, including the internationally bestselling Mars trilogy, and more recently Shaman, Green Earth, and 2312. He was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers’ Program in 1995, and returned in their Antarctic media program in 2016. In 2008 he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine. He works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. His work has been translated into 25 languages, and won a dozen awards in five countries, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. In 2016 asteroid 72432 was named “Kimrobinson.” His most recent novel is The Ministry for the Future. Recording of talk can be viewed HERE

Friday April 30th

Michelle Fournet

11:05 a.m.
Conservation With Your Eyes Closed: Using Sound to Understand Our Changing Polar Oceans

by Michelle Fournet, Ph.D

Michelle Fournet is a postdoctoral researcher with the Cornell Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) and recently completed her doctorate in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University (OSU).
She is the director of the Sound Science Research Collective (SoS), a small conservation non-profit. Michelle's research is based in acoustic ecology, which mean using sound to investigate questions of ecological importance. This includes investigating how marine organisms use acoustic space (vocalizations, percussive sounds, variable sound production) as well as investigating the potential impact of noise on marine species, and how sound can be used as an indicator of ecosystem health. Michelle is particularly interested in using bioacoustics as a tool to further conservation and to assess species resilience to a rapidly changing ocean. Recording of talks can be viewed HERE

The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame A Life of Louise Arner Boyd

11:55 a.m.
The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame A Life of Louise Arner Boyd

by Joanna Kafarowski, Ph.D

After inheriting a staggering family fortune in her thirties, California-born Louise Arner Boyd (1887-1972) achieved international notoriety as a rugged and audacious polar explorer while maintaining her flamboyant lifestyle as a leading philanthropist and society woman. Yet, despite organizing, financing and directing seven daring Arctic expeditions to Greenland, Franz Josef Land, Jan Mayen Land and Svalbard between 1926 and 1955, she is virtually unknown today.

Joanna Kafarowski is an independent scholar and geographer. She is the author of “The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame” (Dundurn Press, 2017) as well as the upcoming “Antarctic Pioneer A Life of Jackie Ronne.” She received her doctorate in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies focusing on gender and natural resources in the Arctic. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Member of the Society of Woman Geographers. Recording of talks can be viewed HERE

Mini Symposium

Tuesday, November 19, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
in the UC Davis Global Affairs Conference Room 3119. 


Please note the adjusted new schedule (earlier start)We are thrilled that we received an overwhelming response from grad students and post docs willing to give a short presentation - which resulted in extending the program and adjusting the times. Additionally you may find Zoom information below for the conversation with NSF between 1:00 - 2:00 pm. We ask that you register here in order for us to assess the lunch quantity. 


The mini symposium hosted by the Polar Forum is on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in the UC Davis Global Affairs Conference Room 3119. 


8:30 - 8:50 a.m. Coffee and Tea


8:50 - 9:00 a.m. Welcome


9:00 - 10:00 a.m. UC Davis Graduate student/Postdoc in polar research presentations. Student presentations of 10 minutes. These presentations may be of work already completed and presented and/or published, or work in progress. This will be an informal session for graduate students to gain scientific communication experience.


10:00 - 10:15 a.m. Coffee and Tea Break


10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Continued - UC Davis Graduate student/Postdoc in polar research presentations. Scroll down for names, times and titles of presentations.


11:15 – 12:00 p.m. Light Lunch – Complimentary for all registered participants


12:00 – 12:55 p.m. Dr. Marc Macias-Fauria, Associate Professor of Physical Geography at Oxford University. Tundra vegetation responses to climate and herbivory in the Yamal Peninsula, NW Siberia

Dr. Marc Macias-Fauria's research focuses on the effect of Arctic sea ice loss on terrestrial tundra vegetation, coupling the interaction of physical and biologic processes.  


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.mSpecial session for the Polar Forum research community: Virtual presentation and Q and A with National Science Foundation representatives Colleen Strawhacker, Kendra McLauchlan, and Greg Anderson on Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) - one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. A facilitated dialogue for Polar Forum affiliates and NSF with a focus on interdisciplinary research.


2:00 - 3:00 p.mWelcome to stay and socialize.


If you would like to meet individually with Marc during that week, please email Eric Post Marc is a physical geographer and ecologist:


This session is now FULL If a student/postdoc in your group wishes to participate, please have them contact Pernille Sporon Boving,, or Erika Ebel,, before November 6th. 



The session with NSF will be recorded and available upon request after the meeting.


Topic: UC Davis Polar Forum Navigating The New Arctic

Time: Nov 19, 2019 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)


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Meeting ID: 762 422 418


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Presentations in details:


9:00-9:10 AM      Sydney Salley  Nitrogen cycling dynamics in perennially ice-covered lakes in Antarctica

9:10-9:20 AM      Christian John     Spatial disparity in drivers of landscape phenology regulates regional green-up dynamics

9:20-9:30 AM      Tammy Buonasera   Animal fats as food and fuel in the ancient North American Arctic: contextualized analysis of lipids in archaeological ceramics, sediments, and hearth features

9:30-9:40 AM      Megan Dillon     Microbial Ecology at the Poles

9:40-9:50 AM      Drew Friedrichs.  The Arctic's Last Epishelf Lake

9:50-10:00 AM    Jasmin McInerney  Tracking coldwater plumes from the Nansen Ice Shelf (Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica)


10:20-10:30 AM  Fernanda Bononi    Modeling the Absorption Spectra of Phenolic Molecules at the Ice-Air Interface

10:30-10:40 AM  Peiqi Zhang        Population history of the Tibetan Plateau: insights from archaeology and genetics

10:40-10:50 AM  Christy Grettenberger  Aurora, a puzzle piece in the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the rise of oxygen on Earth

10:50-11:00 AM  Adam Kersch      Alaskan Fish, Whiteness, and Climate Change

11:00-11:10 AM  Mikaela Provost  How age structured populations respond to changing environmental spectra

11:10-11:15 AM  Ruth Gustafson  Shields Library Polar Research Resources



Supported by a UC Davis Global Affairs Seed Grant for International Activities



Does The Law Protect Climate Change Researchers?

Tuesday October 15th 12:10pm – 1:45pm

Registration Here

Three presentations followed by a panel discussion with time for Q and A. Our presenters are Lauren Kurtz, Executive Director of The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund; Claudia Polsky, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director Environmental Law Clinic, UC Berkeley Law; and Eric Post, Professor of Climate Change Ecology, and Director of the Polar Forum UC Davis.

UC Davis School of Law, 1301 King Hall in the Wilkins Moot Courtroom.
The event is free and open to all but registration is required. Find registration link on EventBrite by typing in the event name in the search panel. Inquiries

Does The Law Protect Climate Change Researchers?


#polarday2019     Registration Here


Friday, April 5, 2019 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Polar Day is the annual public outreach event for the Polar Forum. We strieve to engage our community; the general public, faculty, students and staff in a unique event where we highlight the natural, societal, and cultural features of the Polar Regions. We welcome you to attend all day or a selct presentation aligning with your time and interest.

12:00 p.m.


12:10 p.m

Arctic Nation. Hester Blum

Hester Blum is Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, author of The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives, and editor of Turns of Event: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies in Motion and Horrors of Slavery: Or, the American Tars in Tripoli.

12:55 p.m.

Toward Antarctica. Elizabeth Bradfield

Writer/naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of the poetry collections Once Removed, Approaching Ice, Interpretive Work and the forthcoming mixed-genre Toward Antarctica. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, West Branch, Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, Orion and elsewhere. For the past twenty years, she has worked as a naturalist and guide on ships both at home and in some of the globe’s most remote places.

1:40 p.m.

Refreshments and Break.

2:00 p.m.

Painting Beneath the Ice: Art and Science in Antarctica.  Lily Simonson

Lily Simonson works in tandem with researchers in situ to create larger-than-life paintings of extraordinary organisms and extreme environments--from the deep sea to Antarctica. Enveloping viewers in dramatic, atmospheric scenes, her work evokes the immersive experience of exploration.
As the NSF Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Awardee, Simonson spent three months scuba diving beneath the sea ice and camping in Antarctica. She has embedded as an artist-in-residence aboard six deep sea oceanographic expeditions. Her current solo exhibition Lily Simonson: Painting the Deep will be on view at the Harvard Museum of Natural History until June 30, 2019. Simonson's paintings have been exhibited throughout the US and Europe

2:45 p.m.

The Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition 2018. Felicity Aston

British polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE is an author, speaker, expedition leader and former Antarctic scientist. In 2012 she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1744km that took 59 days to complete and which gave her a place in the book of Guinness World Records.

3:45 p.m.

Polar Ignite - 3 minute presentations by Polar Forum researchers.

4:15 p.m.

Book signing and sale by Felicity Aston of Alone in Antarctica.

-   Research poster session throughout the afternoon.  -

Polar Day 2018 - Poster