Enjoy the International Polar Weekend in NYC

American Museum of Natural History will celebrate International Polar Weekend Feb. 7–8.

This fun and informative family event is a New York celebration of highlights from the International Polar Year (IPY). The weekend will include activities for all ages, including performances; short lectures; film clips with commentary; and an interactive Polar Fair with scientists, explorers, artists, and performers from Greenland, Canada and the United States, as well as Norway. 

Dr. Olav Orheim. Photo by Susanne Moen Stephansen.

Dr. Olav Orheim. Photo by Susanne Moen Stephansen.

At the American Museum of Natural History you can also enjoy an interactive Polar Fair for kids and adults, showcasing scientists, artists, and educators who have worked at one or both poles. The fair is designed for family involvement—lots of hands-on activities, discussions with scientists, and opportunities to see equipment, polar gear, and expedition clothing.

Norwegians have seen real changes in their lands and the effect on their lives is a concern for the entire country.  At the museum you will meet Dr. Olav Orheim, who has been the senior advisor to the Research Council of Norway and head of the Norwegian International Polar Year Program. In the lecture “Personal Stories of the Impact on Norwegian Communities,” he will talk about how the change in climate impacted the people and wildlife in the Northern Communities.

Sara Marielle Gaup and Risten Anine Gaup

Sisters Sara Marielle Gaup and Risten Anine Gaup.

The Norwegian Sami Performers – Sara Marielle Gaup and Risten Anine Gaup will perform the traditional Sami joik. The sisters, who come from Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino), in the north of Norway, have both been practicing joik since early childhood. Taught by their father and other relatives, they have performed since they were about ten years old. They are now passing down the techniques of joik to the next generation by hosting workshops and joik classes. In New York Sara Marielle and Risten Anine will perform various types of traditional joik, and tell the story of joik and its important role in Sami society. They will also host a little quiz and showcase duodji artifacts, which are traditional and modern Sami handicrafts. The art of duodji was passed down from their mother. Risten Anine has been a duodji apprentice in northern Finland, while Sara Marielle is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in duodji.

Pål Brekke. Photo by Bård Gudim

Unlocking the Secrets of Aurora Borealis with Solar Physicist Pål Brekke. Photo by Bård Gudim

What could be more beautiful on a cold winter night than catching a glimpse of the northern lights dancing across the sky? This stunning phenomenon is embedded in the mythology of many cultures and has been characterized as everything from dancing spirits to God’s anger. There has been a hundreds of stories and theories to explain the Aurora (also known as the Northern or Southern lights). But no one suspected a connection with the Sun until a little over a century ago. Norwegian solar physicist Pål Brekke will deliver a spectacular multimedia presentation on the myths and modern science behind the northern lights.

New York City International Polar Weekend is sponsored by AMNH, Columbia University, Barnard College, the Explorers Club, and Wings WorldQuest, with special participation from the Norwegian Consulate, in partnership with Polar-Palooza and funding from the National Science Foundation.

For further information visit: American Museum of Natural History

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