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Exploring the Past to Predict the Future

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
78 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 01, at 12:00 AM EST
Project Owners

Another quick update and thank you

November 12, 2017

As many of my donating supporters know, fall is academic conference season. I was lucky enough to receive funding to present some of my research at the Geologic Society of America (GSA) National Conference in Seattle, Washington. This was my first professional presentation to a conference of peers and it was an incredibly rewarding (and nerve-wracking) experience. In the past few months, I have been able to use the chemical composition of a number of the samples collected from Ellesmere Island to infer the temperature that those trees grew in. While the calculations need some adjustments, we are really excited about the story that the temperatures present and I am beginning to write a paper outlining the results and their significance.


I am again unable to express how thankful for the support that you have provided to me, my work would not be possible without that help.







Short update and thank you

April 04, 2017

Hello again!

Today, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support of our expedition, “Exploring the Past to Predict the Future”. Because of the incredible outpouring of support from everyone, I was able to successfully collect ample material to work towards a PhD here at OSU and am working diligently to analyze that material.

The picture below is an excellent example of why this site is so exciting, finding a tree of this size in a region where the tallest plants are about 6 inches tall is an ecologic conundrum that keeps me excited about coming to work every single day.

Thank you all again for your support, I cannot explain how much it means.


Thank you!

August 11, 2016

Hello everyone!

Last week I arrived safely back from Ellesmere Island to Ottawa and then back to the Ohio State University. The trip itself was incredible. I was able to collect the samples that I will need for the analysis that I aim to complete during my graduate career! Oddly enough, the entire trip we had amazing weather (very odd for the Arctic) and we consistently had on time and even early transportation from field site to field site. What now? I will be working hard to analyze the samples that I brought back to paint a picture of the ecosystem that existed during the Pliocene. And that is all thanks to you! Soon I will have information for publication that helps to explain that picture!

Until then, here is a picture of the beautiful view from our camp near the field site.

Thank you again for all of the help that you have generously given to our field campaign!


June 13, 2016

Hello everyone!

George here. I am just writing fill everyone in on some of the new developments from our upcoming expedition. First, plane tickets have been purchased. I am beyond excited (27 days, 17 hours and 38 minutes, but who's counting?)! I will not be able to share anything while in the great North, but once back there will be plenty to share. Be on the lookout for more updates, talks to hear, and papers to read!

While eagerly awaiting my departure date, we have not been sitting idly. Since the closure of the crowdfunding campaign I have received two more substantial grants! First, the Columbus Rock and Mineral Society generously presented me with a scholarship and second, the Geologic Society of America funded a grant that I proposed. I would like to thank the members of the Columbus Rock and Mineral Society Scholarship Committee (Craig Kramer, Dan Hall, Dale Gnivodec, Ellie Smith, and Janet Warton) for identifying me for their scholarship, along with the Geologic Society of America for funding my proposal. I would also like to thank Dr. Barker for his tireless work in helping to shape my Geologic Society of America grant proposal. Finally I would like to thank all of you that are reading this email right now. I have been humbled by the outpouring of support since the beginning of this project and I cannot wait to share my findings!


Best regards,


When the clock strikes twelve...

February 29, 2016

Hi Folks-  There are less than 5 hours left in our crowdfunding campaign.  Thank you very much to those who have donated funds towards the effort of getting George to the Arctic.  If you'd thought about making a contribution, please do that.  This crowdfunding campaign closes when the clock strikes 12 on the east coast.  Thank you for your consideration and your support.



We are so close!

February 27, 2016

With just a few days left, we have made it 80% of the way to our final goal! We deeply appreciate all of the support that we have received so far, but hope that we can continue to receive your support throughout the remainder of the campaign and the project itself. With the finish line in sight, might I ask for this support from you? We know it is a lot to ask, but through our experience, sharing with family, friends and co-workers has been the best way to spread word of our work and the our campaign to raise the money for the Arctic expedition in July.

So, as we get into the final run of fundraising, lets reach our goal! We are so close and could not have made it anywhere near this far without your generous support. We have been deeply humbled and thank you with everything that we have for that.

We also have a new video available, a final word from Dr. Barker about the importance of the timing and destination of this expedition. Check it out on the campaign homepage!

Let's keep it going!

February 22, 2016

Last week, we announced that I had been awarded a grant for $3,000 from the Ohio State University Office of International Affairs. This week we are excited that the combination of the Office of International Affairs grant and generous pool of money from the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (a donation that I am ecstatic and honored to have bestowed upon my project) have put us passed the $7000 mark! These two funds have helped to propel us towards our goal and, with 8 days left, put the finish line in sight!

While we continue to search for more funding sources, we greatly appreciate all of the continued help that you are showing us, thank you so much!

Check out video number 4 on the homepage! Were are so close to the finish line, let's reach this goal!

We're working hard to secure funding

February 20, 2016

While we appreciate all of the generous contributions that people have made to this crowdfunding campaign over the last 3 weeks, we are not sitting idly by on the sidelines.  We continue to seek funding from other sources to enable George to carry out his field plan this summer in the Canadian Arctic.  We're happy to report that George has received a $3000 grant from the Office of International Affairs here at OSU that takes us past the half way point of our funding target!  We could not have gotten to this point without all of you, so thank you very much!  We'll continue to search high and low for funding sources, and of course we'd appreciate any contribution that you'd be willing to make. 

New Video Update

February 16, 2016

We cannot believe the amount of support that you have poured out to us. This expedition is within sight for me (George). I am unmeasurably excited about the opportunity presented to me here. Both to have the opportunity to uncover (literally and figuratively in this case) an important part of the history of the planet that we call home while also going to a place that has always been that place that only the great explorers get to experience are things that I would have never believed that I would be doing just a few years ago.

As you read in the previous update from Joel, we are living in the midst of the planet undergoing great changes and we continue to see record breaking changes year after year, most recently in the extent of Arctic sea ice (

I can not thank you all enough for the support that we have received! So as promised, although it is later than I promised, a new video explaining some more about the trip and what I will be doing has been posted on the front page of the crowdfunding page. Video number two, "Mummified Wood" will be available here from now on.

Don't forget that your donation is 100% tax deductible and 100% of proceeds go towards my participation in the expedition!

Thank you all again!


February 11, 2016

You're enabling us to make great strides towards accomplishing our funding goal and enabling George to pursue his passion.  The Arctic is experiencing dramatic changes.  The National Snow & Ice Data Center just reported the lowest January sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean since they began satellite monitoring, coincident with abnormally warm air temperatures (  

We're seeing the beginning of the warming trend in the Arctic now, and George's project focuses on examining relicts from the last time that the Arctic experienced the warmth that is anticipated for the next century.  Conditions in the Arctic are trending towards those last experienced millions of years ago and so we can get an idea of what to expect by the end of the century by becoming better informed on what conditions were like long ago.

We're humbled by the generosity of our donors.  We have 18 days left for this fundraising campaign.  100% of every contribution goes directly towards this project so every donation makes a real impact.  Thank you very much!    

Video Update

February 04, 2016

Hey everyone! We wanted to update the video on the front home page of the campaign, so the first video will be available here from now on. Video 2 will explain some more aspects of the project. Through the month we will be debuting a total of 5 videos explaining the project, what George will be doing in the Arctic, why this location so important and the magnitude of the impacts of this project.

Also, we wanted to reiterate the THANK YOU for the incredible support during the beginning of the campaign! We hope to continue the success as the campaign continues through the month!

Lastly, check out some of the "behind the scenes" from making the video series.


February 03, 2016

2 days in and we've raised 10% of our goal!  Thank you to all those who have made a donation.  We appreciate your generosity and show of support.  

Choose a giving level


Sample Collector

Will help purchase sample collection bags.


House Provider

Will contribute to tent rental for use while on site.


Bringing Home the (tofu) Bacon

Food in the Arctic, just like everything else, is very expensive. This level will help provide George a meal while in the field.


Bring it all home

Will help to bring samples back from our remote site to facilities where they will be analyzed.


Bringing George home

This level will help provide return flights back from the Arctic.

Our Crowdfunding Groups