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Ice Fest Meltdown and Runoff

The dust has settled from the Ice Fest held at the University of Colorado-Boulder in early March to celebrate the start of IPY.  Presentations and other resources from some of the participants are now available online, including slideshows about “Tales from Tiski,” the Ice Trek expedition in 2007 to chase an ice berg off the Antarctic Peninsula, an update on the state and fate of Arctic sea ice from two of the world’s leading authorities, and an overview of what we can do to make a difference about climate change by the author of “A Rough Guide to Climate Change” are all available through the Ice Fest website. 

Sponsored by CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, Ice Fest had some competing and complicating challenges, including the popular Frozen Dead Guys Days held in nearby Nederland, Colorado with its own cryo theme.  The weather wasn’t completely cooperative: after a near-record breaking snowfall through the winter, most of the snow was gone during Ice Fest, and rain dampened the Saturday “Family Day”.....and then Sunday was sunny and warm for the first time in months, making it difficult for any sane person to want to spend the day inside a classroom discussing how to make a difference about climate change in our personal lives and communities.

But, on balance, the event was successful at raising awareness about the International Polar Year, highlighting some local and international scientists, artists and astronaut Don Pettit and their IPY-related work.  One of the highlights was a live video conference with the NOAA station in Barrow Alaska, which gave audience members a chance to ask questions of the scientists stations in the northern-most point in the United States.

For anyone contemplating their own IPY film fest or events in the future, we’d be happy to share our “lessons learned” about what worked and what didn’t.  Contact Mark McCaffrey at if you have any questions or comments.

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