Welcome to Frontier Scientists, where new discoveries in the Far North unfold before your eyes.

From the Alaskan Arctic comes a fascinating series of short videos to entertain as well as inspire.  Learn how ancient humans hunted whales with poison spears.  Watch wildlife encounters in places where bears outnumber people.  See how birds benefit from abundant bug life to feed their babies in one of the world’s great wildlife nurseries.

This is field science in one of the last great frontiers.

Frontier Scientists puts you in the front row to observe breaking scientific news from leading Arctic scientists in Archaeology, Geology, Anthropology, the Humanities, Biology, Marine Biology, Ecology, Chemistry and more.

You’ll be along when the scientists themselves are startled by the unexpected.  Their Living Research Laboratories are so remote that our researchers are often the first modern visitors to set foot in these pristine locations.

You’ll also see field reports on amazing natural phenomena, buried archaeological artifacts, grizzly bears, active volcanoes, and ancient Native artistry.

Frontier Scientists is for travelers, teachers, students, aspiring scientists, and anyone interested in scientific discovery in one of the last great unexplored regions–the Alaskan arctic.

View the first video now!

Connect with us, share your own Alaskan and Arctic experiences on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and let us know what interests you.

The goal of the Frontier Scientist web site and of the materials created for distribution here, web-wide and for TV broadcast, is to excite the  general public about ongoing science in Alaska and the Arctic.  Science understanding for all includes research in many different studies including: Humanities, Geology, Biology, Marine Biology, Archaeology, Ecology, Chemistry and more.


The scientists of Frontier Scientist are guiding the educators, who are helping to translate the information for you.

Here are the Educators:


Dr. Robert McCoy, Director Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dr. Robert McCoy was appointed as Director of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in October of 2011. He received his A.B. in Physics from Cornell University in 1974, his M.S. in Physics from Texas A&M in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Astro-Geophysics from the University of Colorado in 1981. Dr. McCoy is the author of more than 70 publications in scientific and technical journals. He has more than 15 years of research administrative experience at the Office of Naval Research and previously served as the Technical Director for the Operationally Responsive Space Office and the Team Leader for the Space Science Team for the Office of Naval Research. Throughout his career, Dr. McCoy has overseen multimillion-dollar operating budgets and managed interdisciplinary teams of scientists, engineers, contractors and students. In 2013 Dr. McCoy was appointed as an American Meteorological Society Fellow. He has received a variety of awards, including the Rotary International Stellar Award in 2010, the NRL 75th Anniversary Innovator Award in 1998, the Alan Berman Publication Award in 1994 and 2001, as well as, earned the NRL Group Achievement Award in 1983 and the NASA Group Achievement Award in 2004.


Liz O’Connell, Project Director


Elizabeth O’Connell is Frontier Scientists’ project director. She has over 30 years experience in broadcast media, with an avid interest in new media. The company WonderVisions spearheading this concept has primarily worked in the arctic and with scientists or naturalists.

Hobbies include: birding, telephone pictionary, running downhill and in water, exploring the trails

Academic interests include: a curiosity about everything


Laura Nielsen, Editor

Laura Nielsen is a recent college graduate, newly returned from study and travel in China. She is an activist who hopes to promote lifelong learning and see positive change implemented through non-profit organizations and other forms of societal education. She looks forward to bringing a layman’s perspective to Frontier Scientists’ projects while using technology to improve communication and distribution of information.

Hobbies include: reading, swimming, photography, travel, and storytelling


Andrew Clark, Student & APP developAndrew Clark


After ten years teaching English and traveling in Asia, Andrew Clark moved to Alaska to study computer science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His interests include iOS programming and cybersecurity.




Aaron Andrews, student and APP developer

Aaron Andrews is a computer science student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Research Project Assistant at Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, within the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. Aaron writes software programs for Frontier Scientists’ mobile and website applications.




Deborah Perry, Selinda Research Associates

Deborah Perry is director of Selinda Research Associates, located in Chicago

and will provide evaluation, research, and consultation services for Frontier Scientists. Deborah will build on her background and experience in informal science settings by reporting findings so that they can be applied to the ongoing development of the project. She has a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology.

Hobbies include:  international folk dancing, backpacking, and dog agility

Academic interests include: exploring the role of intrinsic motivation in informal learning, focusing on the question “What makes learning fun?”


Merry Ann Moore, online community manager

Merry Ann Moore is principal of Moore Creative, a strategic communications firm.  She has 25 years’ experience helping corporations, government, small businesses and non-profits communicate in ways that motivate, educate and

inspire their audiences.

Hobbies include: horses, hiking, camping, cycling, the Sunday crossword and walking the dogs

Interests include: environmental conservation, education reform, English Premier League and international soccer


Kent Miller, Photojournalist, Professor

Kent Miller is an assistant professor of photojournalism and new media in the Department of Journalism at Central Michigan University. Miller’s photography has been published in international, national and regional online and print publications. He has won numerous awards including honorable mention.

Miller has been a photojournalist since 1988. He worked as a staff photographer for the Flint Journal for eight years, a staff photographer for The Bloomington Herald-Times for two years, and a photo editor for the Bay City Times for eight years. Miller travels to Alaska yearly to make photographs for the National Park Service. He has arranged agreements for photo/new media interns to work in Denali National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park. The agreements enable his students to get hands on experience working with the media specialist at each park.

Miller holds a master’s degree in communication and multimedia from Saginaw Valley State University. His web site is: http://www.kentmiller.com.


Tim Martin

Tim Martin has contributed videos from his Polar TREC  expedition to Lake El’gygytgyn. Although he grew up in several locations around the country, Tim Martin has always felt most at home in the natural world. His persistent curiosity led to his undergraduate study of the natural sciences and art at Goshen College and recently he completed his M.S. in teaching geosciences through Mississippi State University. Whether using recent data for weather forecasting, seismograms for mapping plate tectonics, or making real-time observations with an Internet accessible radio telescope, Mr. Martin has a passion for bringing real time science into his Earth Science classroom at Greensboro Day School. In his free time, he may be found “up close and personal” with earth science while rock climbing with his family. Mr. Martin is excited to be a Polar TREC teacher as he sees Lake El’gygytgyn as an important crossroads for geology, climatology, and planetary science. For more information about Mr. Martin, his class, and his previous earth Science adventures, visit Tim’s Adventure Earth Science web site.


Deborah Mercy

Deborah Mercy has been a commercial fisherman, an Anchorage television reporter, and for the last 25 years a video producer for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.  She has been writing, directing, editing and producing marine educational videos in Alaska for over 25 years.  Her subjects include marine debris, the CDQ program, marine safety and survival, and climate change, for which she has used her unique footage from rural Alaska communities and on board at-sea fishing vessels.

Mercy’s work has been used by trainers to save lives at sea, by fishermen trying to maintain their businesses during hard economic times, and by community residents planning for environmental change.  Her work has been shown throughout Alaska on 360 North, the History Channel, and other national outlets.