Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Kickstarter Campaign Strives to Protect the Arctic Ecosystem

Climate
Kickstarter Campaign Strives to Protect the Arctic Ecosystem

Last month Arctic sea ice declined to the fourth lowest summer ice extent in the satellite record, continuing the trend in ice loss. To help bring home the impacts of Arctic ice loss, as an Arctic scientist and environmental educator I teamed up with Real-World Impact Games Lab Director Joey Lee to create EcoChains: Arctic Crisis.

EcoChains: Arctic Crisis is a fun and easy-to-learn card game for ages 10 and up that challenges players to strategically manage the Arctic marine ecosystem as climate changes. Through EcoChains: Arctic Crisis, players learn about the reliance of some species on sea ice, and the potential impacts of future changes on the ecosystem.

Players connect species cards to build food chains. Events occur that can disrupt or destroy food webs, such as through the melting of sea ice. But players can protect species in their food web by playing action cards, like ”Protect a Species” or "Alternative energy," which support resiliency for a diverse ecosystem.

We have played the game with hundreds of people—and it works with families, schools (it is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards) and game night with friends.

Here are comments from two recent players:

“I was amazed by how interconnected the entire system of Arctic species are, and realized how much would be affected by just a few minor changes.”

“I certainly felt an adrenaline rush as I kept the possibility of a major disaster impacting my web at the forefront of my mind to strategize the best possible food web combination.”

EcoChains: Arctic Crisis is a project of the PoLAR Partnership. As part of its mission to advance innovative approaches to climate change education, the PoLAR Partnership conducted an experimental study on the learning benefits of EcoChains. Research that we’ll be presenting at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in December shows that new information is “stickier” when gained through game play than through traditional approaches.

Players try out a round of EcoChains: Arctic Crisis, a strategy game that focuses on the effects of climate change on the ecology of the High Arctic.

At EcoChainsGame.com, you can learn more about this great project and even contribute to its early development now through Oct. 30. Through our Kickstarter campaign, we’re raising support for a larger print run that will decrease production costs and therefore make the game more accessible to wider audience, including schools and teachers. All Kickstarter proceeds go towards production and development. Early supporters will be among the first to receive a copy of this innovative new educational resource.

Stephanie Pfirman is the Hirschorn professor and co-chair of the Environmental Science department at Barnard College, a member of the Columbia Earth Institute faculty, and an adjunct senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She leads the Polar Learning and Responding to Climate Change Education Partnership.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Remarkable Team of Scientists Run/Bike From North and South Poles to Paris Demanding Climate Action

4 Astounding Photos of Hurricane Patricia From Space

Why Bill Gates’ Position on Divesting From Fossil Fuels Is Wrong

MIT Students: We’re Sitting-In at President Reif’s Door Until He Divests From Fossil Fuels

Pexels

By Jessica Corbett

A new study is shedding light on just how much ice could be lost around Antarctica if the international community fails to urgently rein in planet-heating emissions, bolstering arguments for bolder climate policies.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that over a third of the area of all Antarctic ice shelves — including 67% of area on the Antarctic Peninsula — could be at risk of collapsing if global temperatures soar to 4°C above pre-industrial levels.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Valley of the Gods in the heart of Bears Ears National Monument. Mint Images / Getty Images

By Sharon Buccino

This week, Secretary Haaland chose a visit to Bears Ears National Monument as her first trip as Interior Secretary. She is spending three days in Bluff, Utah, a small town just outside the monument, listening to representatives of the five tribes who first proposed its designation to President Obama in 2015. This is the same town where former Secretary Sally Jewell spent several hours at a public hearing in July 2016 before recommending the monument's designation to President Obama.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Pexels

By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello

The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.

Read More Show Less
"Secrets of the Whales" is a new series that will start streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. Disney+

In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.

Read More Show Less
Spring is an excellent time to begin bird watching in earnest. Eugenio Marongiu / Cultura / Getty Images

The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.

Read More Show Less