Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

MOSAiC: A Year on Ice

From September 2019 to October 2020, the German icebreaker Polarstern was embedded within the Arctic sea ice and drifted for 12 months. Hundreds of scientists from around the world spent months aboard, in shifts, studying the complete Arctic climate “system” including the ocean below, sea ice, and the atmosphere above. 

Polar bears disrupted their work, wandering through small scientific “cities” on the ice and forcing people to scramble back to the ship. An arctic fox chewed through cables. And storms swirled through, breaking up the sea ice underfoot (and under instruments). 

CU Boulder scientists played leading roles in the mission, dubbed MOSAiC for Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate. Today, as part of Research & Innovation Week, you’ll hear from expedition co-coordinator and lead atmospheric scientist Matthew Shupe; two educators who worked with dozens of MOSAiC scientists to bring their insights to students; and a videography team who captured mission moments in 360° degrees, creating planetarium shows that will be viewed around the world. 

Panelists will take live questions from the audience. There will be plenty of time for engagement.

This Zoom event was recorded, and can be watched here

Links provided in the chat: 

For more information about CU Boulder involvement in this epic Arctic research expedition, please explore this website. There, you can sign up for weekly education updates; read news from the expedition; explore 360-degree experiences; take a video course; and much more. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020
3:30 pm




  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public