NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ:—Rutgers marine scientist Oscar Schofield has been on the front lines of documenting and understanding climate change in the fastest winter-warming place on Earth – the Western Antarctic Peninsula. He and a team of educators and scientists from Rutgers and the California University at Monterey Bay received a National Science Foundation grant to help share with the public the important environmental research he and others have been conducting in the Polar regions.

           Schofield will be the “Expert” participating in a live taping of the radio show, You’re the Expert, on Nov. 9 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. A podcast and public radio program aired on 90.0 FM WBUR Boston, the NPR show uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting.

            The taping begins at 7 p.m. is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for audience members, who may request a ticket at polar-ice.org/blog.

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           Through games, sketches, interview segments and hilariously misguided guesses, host Chris Duffy and comedians Jo Firestone, Aparna Nancherla and Josh Sharp will help us take a virtual tour of the Antarctica to communicate the science of Schofield’s polar research. 

           “Bringing this important knowledge to the public is integral to citizens understanding of our global systems and to developing solutions to combat climate change,” says Schofield, a long-time researcher working in the region. Schofield also chairs the Rutgers Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

           Climate changes in the polar region appear to be accelerating and the scientific community is trying to understand both the patterns and resulting impacts. Specific regions of the Arctic and Antarctic are exhibiting greater changes than others, creating “hot spots” or areas of interest for polar research. Identifying these hot spots of change provide an understanding of how shifts in the physical environment including ocean currents is impacting everything from the whales that migrate through Antarctica to the smallest plankton. 

            “This is a critical time to broaden the reach of polar science to as many audiences outside of academia as possible to bring these climate changes and consequences to the attention of the community,” adds Schofield. Rutgers is thrilled to work with the show’s production company, Pretty Good Friends Inc., to explore how to use comedy to informally help citizens understand academic research in a fun and engaging way.