DIG: Scientists in Alaska’s Scenery

January 1st, 2011 - June 30th, 2012 | PROJECT

The project DIG: Scientists in Alaska's Scenery will perform proof-of-concept on integrating a tourist's visit with place-based stories of meaningful science research in the Arctic. DIG (Digitally Integrated Guide) will widen the general public's interaction with the cultural and natural environment by allowing them to access Web sites and load their handheld mobile devices with engaging descriptions of research. Access can occur before, during, or after their visit - even if the visit takes them far from computers, electricity and the Internet. The creation of user-friendly access to technology and to scientists' stories will provide a new information tool for the public. For these tourists, or others interested in research in Alaska, opportunities to learn directly from the scientists themselves are almost non-existent. Moreover, tourists have no capability to link such research with places they visit. DIG's place-based outreach will be delivered using standard media (broadcast TV, publications) and social media (Web, facebook, twitter, etc.) and mobile devices. DIG demonstration project will join scientists, Alaska Native peoples, tourists, media makers, interpreters and technology experts in inquiry-based learning designed to maximize engagement by the general public. The radically different approach to Arctic-focused science documentary proposed here fosters the close collaboration of the scientist and media maker. Video podcasts (vodcasts) and supporting Web-based materials will be created for three current research projects in Alaska, with a focus on NSF-funded projects. Such projects include anthropology and cultural/linguistic study, paleontology, climate change research, biology, and other areas. Delivery and evaluation will emphasize tourists who visit, or are planning to visit, the National Parks of Alaska. These tourists are accessible to the research team, and they are motivated to seek out information about the places they are visiting. If successful, our approach to science education and outreach will augment their knowledge about research in Alaska, resulting in a deeper and more informed experience.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

DIG: Scientists in Alaska's Scenery - Frontier Scientists Summative Evaluation Report

Team Members

Gregory Newby, Principal Investigator, University of Alaska
Liz O'Connell, Co-Principal Investigator, WonderVisions
Deborah Perry, Evaluator, Selinda Research Associates, Inc.


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: Arctic Social Sciences
Award Number: 1058800
Funding Amount: 300000


Access and Inclusion: Low Socioeconomic Status | Rural
Audience: Adults | Families | General Public | Seniors | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Climate | Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Engineering | General STEM | Geoscience and geography | Life science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Media and Technology | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media