Changes seen in the Arctic climate have a direct impact on the frequency and intensity of hurricanes experienced in eastern North Carolina.

That is why Dan Dickerson, an East Carolina University science education professor and STEM CoRE coordinator, recently traveled to Utqiagvik – the northernmost city in Alaska – to help researchers collect data and test the Smart Stick, a snow sensor prototype developed by engineering students at ECU.

Dickerson traveled to the Arctic March 30 through April 6 with a small team of researchers from other universities and agencies. They braved temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit to deploy multiple types of data collection sensors that are used to measure everything from melting snow to the conditions in the atmosphere in an effort to better understand the changing climate.

He said the most rewarding part of the trip to the Arctic was when the snow sensor’s little light came on and data started rolling in after it was deployed. Engineering students who work with Dr. Zhen Zhu in the College of Engineering and Technology took the idea Dickerson had for a sensor and made it into a product.

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Orighinally published Apr. 26, 2019.