In 2012 the University of Guelph/Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology's Arctic Ecology course was fortunate to have 8 GigaPans to distribute amongst the students to help them experience, explore, understand and question this special sub-Arctic environment.
The Arctic has many species not found elsewhere and a warming climate is predicted to have a particularly dramatic impact on this unique biodiversity. Understanding Arctic biodiversity has become an important part of the research and teaching at UofG, from first year to senior field courses to graduate research.
Our goal is to expand the opportunities for experiential learning about Arctic biodiversity by students in two courses (Arctic Ecology BIOL*4610 and Discovering Biodiversity BIOL*1070) by using two wo cutting-edge technologies: DNA barcoding and GigaPan imaging. DNA barcoding is a novel genetic method for species identification and discovery that was pioneered at the University of Guelph. The GigaPan is a transformational piece of technology for creating, sharing and annotating high-resolution panoramic photographs.
The digital products of each technology are publicly accessible and sustainably maintained; both are annotated through time by a community of experts and non-experts alike; and both connect the digital and natural worlds.
Our course is based out of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC). Founded in 1976, the Churchill Northern Studies Centre is an independent, non-profit research and education facility located 23 km east of the town of Churchill, Manitoba. The CNSC provide accommodations, meals, equipment rentals, and logistical support to scientific researchers working on a diverse range of topics of interest to northern science. In addition to research, the Centre facilitates a wide range of educational programming ranging from general interest courses for the visiting public to university credit courses for students.
We gratefully acknowledge the support critical for the student GigaPans from the CREATE Lab Outreach Program at
Carnegie Mellon University, the Learning Enhancement Fund of the University of Guelph, the Fine Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
Jul 09, 2012
environmental, experimental, landscape, nature, social
arctic, churchill, fofs, guelph, ecology