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International Polar Day focussing on People

THIS WEEK IPY celebrates its sixth ‘International Polar Day' focusing on People in Polar Regions, especially on community and cultural well-being, health issues, and the role of the Arctic in the global economy. Community events will occur around the world.

On September 24th, 2008, the International Polar Year 2007-8 (IPY) will launch its sixth ‘International Polar Day' focusing on People in Polar Regions, especially on community and cultural well-being, health issues, and the role of the Arctic in the global economy.

This Polar Day occurs at the time when combined effects of modern climatic, environmental, economic, and social change challenge the resilience of many Arctic communities and when polar residents, IPY researchers, and public at large address the future of the polar regions from new societal, humanistic, and environmental perspectives.

During the week of September 24th, radio events streamed from the Arctic will connect researchers, communities, and classrooms from Canada and Greenland to Zambia, Brazil and Australia. The week’s events will also include global on-line discussions about communities, local classroom discussions and activities, and a global Polar Day virtual balloon launch.

More Information: A special webpage has been prepared with information for Press and Educators, details of current projects, radio events, profiles and contacts for researchers around the world, images, background information and useful links and resources.

Background: People have lived in the Earth polar regions—in the Arctic, but also across the sub-polar fringes of the Southern Ocean—for many millennia, developing skills, strategies, and community knowledge to survive polar conditions. They succeeded by learning to use local foods from land and sea, by learning to move safely across land, ice, and ocean, by circum-Arctic trade, and by passing their knowledge to the next generations through language, culture, arts, and worldviews. In recent centuries resource exploitation and political activities imposed from outside the polar regions have changed the livelihoods and well-being of polar residents in many ways. Today, rapid environmental change and renewed resource exploitation present urgent challenges to polar people. IPY researchers, many of them from Arctic communities, address these and other social/human issues through their IPY science projects, education and outreach activities.

Radio: The Native Communications Society of the Northwest Territories is a non-profit Society operating CKLB Radio - an independent aboriginal community radio station based in Yellowknife, NWT, Arctic Canada. For 24 hours CKLB Radio will be connecting people around the world through an Internet radio stream that can be found at

There will be three opportunities for the public to speak, live, with the radio show announcers and IPY experts. These occur at accessible times in Europe, the Americas, and Australasia. Classes in Zambia, Brazil, Australia, and Arctic Canada have already confirmed phone-in participation in these events. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions via the internet. An additional special programme scheduled on Canberra Community Radio’s weekly science program, Fuzzy Logic, will be broadcast on Sunday September 28th.

For more information, visit
Global and Local Discussions: During the week of September 24th, students from polar and non-polar communities around the world will compare their lives and the influences of local cultural and environmental factors. Discussion flyers are available in eighteen languages, having been translated by volunteer teachers around the world who are excited about participation in this event.

To enable a global discussion, Taking IT Global have developed a special webpage,, where classes internationally can share ideas, discussions, images, videos, and artwork around this theme. IPY Experts will also be on-line to answer questions from students.

For more information, visit
About IPY and International Polar Days
The International Polar Year 2007-8 is a large international and interdisciplinary coordinated research effort focused on the polar regions. It is planned and sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organizations (WMO). An estimated 50,000 participants from more than 60 countries are involved in research as diverse as anthropology and astronomy, health and history, and genomics and glaciology. This IPY was launched in March 2007, and will continue through early 2009. During this IPY, a regular sequence of International Polar Days will raise awareness and provide information about particular and timely aspects of the polar regions. These Polar Days include press releases, contacts to experts in several languages, activities for teachers, on-line community participation, web-conferencing events, and links to researchers in the Arctic and Antarctic. The complete schedule for future International Polar Days is listed below.
September 24th 2008: People - social sciences, human health
December 4th 2008: Above the Poles - astronomy, weather, atmospheric processes
March 2009: Oceans and Marine Life - marine biodiversity, polar & global ocean circulations
Contact: For more information regarding this event, please contact
Dr Rhian Salmon, IPY IPO Education and Outreach Coordinator, +447711181509
Dr David Carlson, IPY IPO Director,, +447715371759
Kristi Skebo: Communications Coordinator, Canadian IPY Secretariat, +1 780-492-0486
Dr Igor Krupnik, IPY Joint Committee,
Dr Grete Hovelsrud, IPY Joint Committee,, +47 95 80 60 46
William Greenland, CKLB Radio: +1 867 920-2277 x106/ +1 867 445-8361
Rod Taylor, Fuzzy Logic Science Show, Radio 2XX, 98.3 FM,
Michael Furdyk, TakingITGlobal, +1 416 301 5844

Rhian Salmon | ResearchSEA
Further information:

Further reports about: Arctic IPY International Polar Year Polar Day polar regions

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