One of the best ways to learn about a subject is to share it with others. Teachers ask us for material they can use in the classroom, artists request background information to accompany exhibitions, recent visitors to the polar regions want to know more about the research happening in these areas. In addition, IPY participants themselves need overview materials that provide the context into which they can expand on their own project, and students learning about the polar regions seek high-quality, accessible, and reliable resources and information. In short, there is a huge and international thirst for knowledge from a variety of people across the social spectrum. To meet this demand we have created the IPY Polar Ambassador programme.
The following schematics illustrate the Polar Ambassadors concept. Colours represent different IPY projects; shapes represent different format for the same material. A triangle is streaming video,- you just have to press "play" and it runs, narrated by an IPY researcher. A diamond represents the raw material,- such as a powerpoint presentation or pdf. This can be manipulated by the user to create a more personalised presentation. Circles are interviews with polar researchers in many languages: to show the people behind the science.
Download schematics as a PDF
Through this project, we hope to supply Polar Ambassadors with the necessary tools to (a) learn more about IPY and the polar regions, and (b) share it with others. This includes providing background material as well as short presentations about all aspects of IPY, as described by the project leaders. Each presentation is made available as a streaming video (triangles), for passive learning, and also as a powerpoint presentation (diamonds). This enables the viewer to use components of each presentation and develop their own material.
On this page, we are developing ideas and material for this programme. We appreciate feedback, contributions, and ideas from all IPY participants and educators.
Example Material. (developed as examples for participants)
IPY Brochure: a colourful hand-out about IPY for a general audience.
IPY Science Summary: Brief overview of IPY science and activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
IPY Chapter in EcoScience: Overview of IPY for students and teachers
IPY Scope of Science: an in-depth account of the breadth, variety, complexity and urgency of polar research at the start of IPY.
Polar image libraries: many free for public use, with clear copyright information.
A Request for Material from IPY Partners
We would like to make video recordings of IPY participants for historical, scientific education, and outreach, purposes. These short video clips will be made available on the IPY website for use by our global audience. The intended audience are not your peers but people who know little if anything about IPY, but are keen to find out about it. Students, teachers, and members of different communities may use video clips about you and about your IPY project as part of their research and use them for a presentation to their classmates/communities.
The IPY International Programme Office will develop introductory and overview material about IPY. The best people to present individual projects, however, are the project participants. This also helps to bring across the message that IPY is a large collective of international and interdisciplinary projects, the energy and motivation originating from the researchers themselves.
These interviews will take the following format.
1. Interview about you (In English plus any other languages you speak)
• very short
• 1-2 mins maximum
• same interview recorded once in English and once in your preferred language
• format of interview: your name, your home location, your area of polar research, why you’re enthusiastic about polar research,
• maybe one story or experience that inspired you, or might inspire others
• feel free to provide photos of your research that can be shown while you are talking
2. Interview about your IPY Project (in English plus other language(s))
• 2-5 mins
• Please use graphics and animations. Keep it short, sharp, and shiny.
• Prepare up to 6 slides that present a brief overview of your IPY project.
• Try to cover the basic questions: who, what, why, where, when, how… what you hope to achieve
Remember that the audience will know very little so will want to know basic information like why you are doing your research, and how you do it.
• Your audio recording (of you describing the project) will accompany these slides so use little or no text with your slides, but plenty of visuals!
• Keep your slides simple, clear and concise
• Develop slides on a simple background if possible,- we will edit for consistent format afterwards.
• On your first slide include the name your IPY project + your name
• On your last slide add the url of your project (or the IPY project page URL).
• If possible, also provide a rough transcript for each slide.
If you are unsure of material content, a possible structure could be:
Slide 1 – introduces your IPY project
Slide 2 – purpose of your IPY project
Slides 3-5 - describes your project, use animations and images
Slide 6 - how your IPY project contributes to the wider picture
Recording Your Voice
There are a number of ways to record your presentation depending on your available technology. The easiest is to do a direct recording to a digital file, often durect to your computer. There are also webtools such as slideshare that can help you put the complete presentation together.. Please contact
if you have difficulties at this point.
• If working with the IPO, we will record your narration as you click through the slides. Keep the language you use simple as the majority of the intended audience are not scientists.
• Your recorded narration along with the appropriate slides will then be edited to form a short introductory movie about your IPY project
Participants in Quebec City
The Joint Committee Meeting in Quebec is a fantastic opportunity to collect a wide range of material from a diverse number of projects and experts in polar science. We hope you will help us by setting a precedent for the rest of the IPY Community to join in and contribute not only to raising awareness about IPY now, but also ensuring a digital record of these activities remains for the future.
If possible, please prepare and upload your material before recording so that it can be checked and edited prior to the interview. All we all then need to do on-site is add the audio stream… and your project and interview will be available on-line within 24 hours!
To upload your material, please visit the following site or email it to
. If you include animations or video, please also provide these files separately, in their original format.
Website access: http://sunsite.ualberta.ca/Projects/IPY/
Access: Each participant must subscribe and then login. All the terms and conditions of use are there.
Contributing Media: There is a link in the right hand column for ‘contributing media’ which will open up a page with all the instructions for adding to the repository. It also has contribution instructions and contribution guidelines.
Project Number: IPY Ambassadors # is 1000. Alternatively, tag with your IPY project number and write ‘ambassador’ under keywords.
Keywords: Are really the most important element when it comes to making your submission searchable. There is a ‘browse’ function on the website so that ambassadors could browse the entire site for material that was subject specific.
If you have any difficulty with submitting material, please contact
You can alternatively email your material, or any queries, to
Thank you so much for helping out with this!
More About the IPY Polar Ambassador Programme:
The IPY International Programme Office (IPO) receives enquiries every day from new polar enthusiasts wanting to become more involved with this exciting programme. They learn about IPY from a range of sources including the internet, professional conferences, educational classes, tourist trips, documentaries, google-earth, films, printed press, word-of-mouth, and exhibitions. They include teachers, artists, students, polar visitors, explorers, young scientists, arctic residents, journalists, photographers, film-makers among others. This focus on the polar regions in research and education coincides with an increase in general press and consumer interest in the environment.
Vision for the Polar Ambassador Programme
To raise awareness of the polar regions and their importance both globally and locally
To demonstrate the process of science, and polar research, in an accessible way
To engage people in understanding, learning and sharing information
To create a ‘product’ of enduring scientific, educational, and artistic value, a legacy for the future
The essence of becoming an Ambassador is to Get Involved. To enable people to engage with the IPY we are developing an electronic library of Ambassador materials and projects.
A single generic presentation will not suit every presenter or audience. Our material will therefore include a basic set of ‘mix and match’ slides, along with transcripts, pre-recorded narration, and presenter videos for those who are relatively new to IPY. More experienced IPY partners will take components of the basic tools and be encouraged to expand the material, developing areas of their own expertise.
In order to represent the diversity of IPY, we will be asking projects and partners to contribute six-part modular presentations, describing the “who, what, where, when, how, and why” of their project. Since all endorsed projects are by definition international, we hope that each of these modules will be made available in English and at least one other language.
We are also strengthening partnerships with international organisations that have an interest in developing reliable polar information and materials for particular audiences. Examples include the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program, International Polar Foundation, United Nations Environment Programme, and National Geographic,
In conjunction with the Canadian IPY Secretariat, a visual objects library is being developed where the self-selected Ambassadors can share material, browse other presentations, and provide simple information about where and when the presentation occurred, as well as to, and by, whom. This will provide valuable metrics for evaluation of the project’s success.