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A Spot on the Ice Floe

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August 2, 1999 -- Join the National Public Radio/National Geographic Society Radio Expeditions trek to the North Pole.

In part one, listen as NPR's Elizabeth Arnold joins scientists from the U.S. space agency's Goddard Space Flight Center to do a little groundtruthing -- verifying data on sea ice thickness and the ozone layer collected from remote satellites and other sensing devices. They also make a live Internet connection with students around the globe. But such undertakings are not so easy when you've also got to check out hardware, software and yourself in the unrelenting conditions of the North Pole.

As the expedition unfolds, it becomes clear that neither parka zippers nor laptops function quite the same in the Arctic.

Listen to part two as Elizabeth Arnold explores what draws people to the North Pole. Visitors to this spot on the shifting ice floes in the frozen Arctic include everyone from the veteran adventurer on a repeat visit to a 69-year-old retiree on his first venture. Elizabeth makes her trip by plane with a team of NASA scientists, but plenty of others take the hard way -- a sled dog trip across pressure ridges and ice floes to 90 degrees north, the Pole itself.

In part three, listen to a conversation between Elizabeth Arnold and Morning Edition host Bob Edwards, broadcast April 28, 1999, during her Radio Expedition to the North Pole.

Find out more about the NASA expedition to the North Pole at the Earth Observatory Web site.

NPR's Elizabeth Arnold at the North Pole NPR's Elizabeth Arnold at the North Pole

NPR recording Engineer Bill McQuay in Eureka NPR recording Engineer Bill McQuay in Eureka

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