Student Journalist Going to Greenland on a Paid Internship!
By Eve Lamborn
The team proposed building a vehicle that
carries a radar system across the ice, with a snowmobile-like vehicle
flanking it and carrying an antenna to catch the radar signal. This
fully autonomous system will collect information about ice thickness,
internal layers and the presence of water at the base of the ice
sheets. Experts in robotics, intelligent systems and remote sensing
are collaborating on the project.
They also proposed a strong public outreach
phase, to generate interest in and educate people about Polar Regions.
This involves a Web site that will allow students to follow the
vehicles via satellite, as well as my internship, designed to give
a journalism student a chance to experience science reporting.
The project is just now beginning to gather
momentum, and they wont be testing any equipment on the ice
for a couple of years. But other KU scientists, also affiliated
with the University of Kansas Information and Telecommunications
Technology Center, will be doing field work in Greenland this summer
for similar ongoing projects. As the resident science reporter,
I was invited along.
One such project
is the work of Pannirselvam Kanagartnam, who received a doctoral
degree from KU this spring. As part of a NASA-funded fellowship,
he developed an airborne radar that maps internal ice layers so
that scientists can see how quickly snow is accumulating on the
ice and how that rate of accumulation has changed over the years.
This summer, he will make flights over the ice with the radar, and
Ill be able to take in some flights with him. Waleed Abdalati,
manager of the polar program at NASA headquarters in Washington,
D.C., said the information collected would go straight into the
models scientists used to understand ice changes.
My short and unremarkable career as a journalist,
highlighted by a one-semester stint as a staff reporter at the school
paper, is about to take a big leap forward. Im excited to
see Greenland, but Im also thrilled about the opportunity
to be a professional journalist. I had not seriously considered
science reporting before this, but if on-location assignments always
come with the job, then I just might.