What is WCCY ?

WCCY = What is climate change to you ?

It is a simple, personal question - and its the question that drives a Pan-Arctic-American network of youth and teachers partnered with GoNorth! and our Cool Scientists to do science and explore climate change across what is characterized as 'Strums Snow Classes' : that means areas where there is snow pack, that are located in regions of tundra, taiga, prairies, maritime and mountains!

Mille Porsild doing WCCY in Russia  
Excited youth with GoNorth! expedition leader Mille Porsild in Lorino, Chukotka (Russia) Spring of 2007
Since 2007, on every GoNorth! adventure learning expedition, our team of explorers on the trail have been connecting with students in classrooms of schools along the expedition route - inviting youth and their communities to become part of the WCCY network.

Each community team is given a "kit" with computer, camera, and all the tools needed to do the science in the field along with a guide explaining the different steps - then while Team GoNorth! is in the community, they work together with students and teachers on the different procedures to get the data the scientists are looking for!

Once Team GoNorth! load the sleds back up and hitch the Polar Huskies to head back out on the trail the community team is left with their tools and a community website for them to continuously upload their monthly and annual data and field findings. This is in turned accessed and shared with scientists around the world!

The data that the WCCY community teams provide is exceptionally valuable because it is rare longitudinal climate related data and observations - that means, it is data that continues over time and this mostly from areas where little or no such data and knowledge is available.

What the WCCY youth is doing for science (and all of us) :

I. Make Climate Change photo-stories: Document a snapshot of their community experience of climate change in the form of their own climate stories in words and images.

II. On a monthly basis they document local environmental observations within online Community Climate Diaries

III. During months of snow cover they collect snow depth and SWE measurements, snow crystal observations and generate correlating temperature and humidity sets.

How We Stay Connected

We all stay connected through return-visits by Mille Porsild, GoNorth!'s expedition leader, outing like this years A'wila Tribal Journey 2010, and web casts to discuss and share the adventures of field research, findings and experiences with scientists and youth-to-youth. By 2011 forty schools in Alaska, Far-east Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Canada, US Midwest and US North- and Southeast will be part of the WCCY network.


To inspire youth to examine how climate change affects their own lives and the lives of those around them

To involve youth in doing the science of snow and climate

To connect youth with each other and the wider world through science and study of climate change


“Climate change” is all around us, in the media as well as outside our doors.

A search on Google News for stories in October of 2007 on the topic of climate change produced 37,854 results! The headlines and tidbits many-fold: coral reefs bleach, permafrost thaws, ice shelves collapse, wildfires increase, flowers gets bigger, exotic species invade, cloud forest dry, spring is early, fall is late…

But how are the reported often large-scale and frightening changes relevant to daily life today – and tomorrow?

What does climate change mean to each one of us in relation to our geographic location, our connection to the land, and our sense of place?

Does the meaning of climate change differ between the Arctic and lower latitudes? Between urban and rural areas? 


With WCCY youth have the opportunity to not only do science and learn through inquiry, but actually work hand in hand with scientist on the most significant issue of our times: climate change!

Doing WCCY science, students don't ask “why are we doing this” because they know they are making real contributions in the efforts to further our understanding on climate and regional change - and that while they with a strong voice educate a large audience through our outreach events around the world as well as right here at PolarHusky.com!