EGU22-11581, updated on 10 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Exploring Antarctic research through ESRI StoryMap Collections

Laura Boyall, Bethan Davies, and Jen Thornton
Laura Boyall et al.
  • Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, United Kingdom (

Antarctica is a continent distant for many, yet its continuous presence on news broadcasts and social media means the general public often have questions about the latest science, its relevance to individuals, and its uncertainties. However, scientific literature surrounding these questions is often not appropriate for a wider audience beyond academia due to the inaccessibility of journal articles and the complex jargon used. These limitations can hinder the research impact of a particular study. Finding a method of summarising complex, yet important research which may be of interest to a non-scientist is often challenging, however ESRI StoryMap Collections provide an opportunity to share science in an interactive and engaging format.

The website was set up in 2012 to promote public understanding of glaciers and climate change. This website is used as an educational resource by teachers, students, and the public globally. However, we noticed that there was a gap in the up-to-date resources available about Antarctica aimed at UK KS3 (ages 11-14) students, despite the curriculum including Antarctica as part of a polar biome module.

The free AntarcticGlaciers StoryMap Series, funded by the Antarctic Science Bursary, is compiled of four StoryMap Collections which summarise the latest scientific research and concepts about Antarctica to a KS3 audience. These are divided into four themes: The Physical Geography of Antarctica, Wildlife of Antarctica, Climate Change and Antarctica and People and Antarctica. We used interactive GIS-based activities to contextualise aspects of the research and supplemented with a running commentary explaining what this research means in a plain language format. In addition to the GIS and written summaries of literature, we included other multimedia content, including talking head videos. This enables more complex research themes to be explored in more detail, without the user being overwhelmed with the written information.

Despite this project being aimed at a KS3 audience, the resources have been manufactured in a way which is accessible for any non-specialist with an interest in learning about up-to-date science of Antarctica.

How to cite: Boyall, L., Davies, B., and Thornton, J.: Exploring Antarctic research through ESRI StoryMap Collections, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11581,, 2022.


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