Program Details: Open to the public

A Year in the Ice: Bringing the MOSAiC Arctic research expedition into classrooms

MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) is a 13-month international research expedition in the Arctic that will involve our 500 scientists and 19 nations. The expedition, which will take place between September 2019 and October 2020, is led by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) with key support from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a partnership of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The expedition is also supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

The purpose of this research expedition is to collect unprecedented data from the Arctic to better understand the biological, physical, and chemical processes that couple the Arctic atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and ecosystems. Ultimately, measurements and analyses from this global mission will help scientists improve models and forecasts of local, regional, and global weather and climate.

Education and outreach efforts for the MOSAiC expedition are being led by CIRES and conducted by many of the organizations involved in the expedition. During the course of the expedition, CIRES is publishing a weekly newsletter (MOSAIC Monday) for K-12+ educators to share short classroom engagements, videos, and other resources educators can use to connect their students with the expedition. We will also maintain a website that includes a collection of polar-related lessons and activities (many of which were developed by our expedition partners), videos, blogs, and more. We will eventually be creating a MOSAiC-specific curriculum complete with units that highlight various aspects of the expedition and Arctic science. All of the educational materials on the CIRES MOSAiC website will be freely available to anyone.

Even though the MOSAiC expedition will end in the Fall of 2020, CIRES will maintain the freely available MOSAiC and Arctic-related curriculum and resources after the expedition is over.

This is a public program. For more information, please visit the program website.


On Campus

  • CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences)

Program Partners

Supporting This Program

  • Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • United States Department of Energy (DOE)

Sponsoring Units

Research Institutes & Centers

  • Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Program Contact

Lynne Harden
CIRES Curriculum Developer

Program Categories


  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Climate Change
  • Data Analysis
  • Education (Adult)
  • Education (K-12)
  • Engineering

Program Types:

  • Lesson Plans/Teaching Resources
  • Online Resources


  • Adult Learners
  • Children & Youth (outside school)
  • Families
  • General Public
  • International
  • Rural Communities
  • Students - Elementary School
  • Students - High School
  • Students - Homeschooled
  • Students - Middle School
  • Teachers - Elementary School
  • Teachers - High School
  • Teachers - Middle School

We do our best to accurately represent CU Boulder’s outreach programs and services, but they are subject to change and may no longer be active in a community. Please contact the program directly for current information.