EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

OceanSenses 2022: Using Our Primary Senses to Connect with the Arctic Ocean  

Solmaz Mohadjer1, Giuliana Panieri2, Mathew Stiller-Reeve3, Vibeke Aune4, Monica Clerici5, Villads Dyrved Holm6, Katrin Losleben7, Filip Maric8, Vibeke Os9, Margherita Paola Poto10, Victor Poddevin11, and Heike Jane Zimmermann12
Solmaz Mohadjer et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Optics & Sensing Laboratory , Tübingen, Germany (
  • 2CAGE, Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, Department of Geosciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway (
  • 3Konsulent Stiller-Reeve, Valestrandsfossen, Norway (
  • 4Kongsbakken Secondary School, Tromsø, Norway (
  • 5Department of Psychology, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy (
  • 6Institutt for Geovitenskap, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway (
  • 7Centre for Women's and Gender Research, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway (
  • 8Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway (
  • 9Faculty of Science and Technology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway (
  • 10Faculty of Law, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway (
  • 11Lycée Sacré Coeur, Tourcoing, France (
  • 12Miu Creative: Illustration-based Design, Tromsø, Norway (

Understanding how warming temperatures will alter the Arctic region and how these changes impact other parts of the globe are both scientifically valid and societally relevant. However, many perceive the Arctic Ocean and related environmental issues as remote, disconnected, and irrelevant to their lives. This is partly because scientific research in the Arctic Ocean is often undertaken with little input from or communication with the public. In particular, school communities which act as important gateways to the public, have few opportunities to engage in and contribute to knowledge generation and sharing related to the Arctic Ocean.


To address this issue, the 2022 AKMA2 OceanSenses expedition (11-23 May) bridged researchers with other societal actors including schoolteachers and artists to integrate different kinds of knowledge and co-create educational materials that allow for a closer connection to the Arctic Ocean. Since our five senses (touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste) are the primary channels through which we experience the world, the educational materials developed during this expedition were based on these senses.


We created a series of lesson plans to engage learners of different ages (from kindergarten to secondary education) to explore different aspects of the Arctic Ocean. Lesson topics range from ocean acidification and seafloor methane seep environments to Arctic ecosystems and food webs. Each lesson takes a unique approach to introduce and explore the lesson topic. For example, the lesson based on “smell” is a boardgame that covers some of the chemicals found in the deep ocean. Players work collaboratively to identify chemical compounds (e.g., methane and sulfur) by smelling already prepared testers. The lesson based on “hearing” encourages students to make sounds of their own to re-create and discuss a selection of sounds recorded on board and in the ocean by the expedition participants. For the lesson based on “touch”, students use modelling clay to sculpt enlarged foraminifera (single cell organisms that live in the ocean), allowing them to feel and learn about these very small organisms that scientists use to learn about past environments. In the “sight” lesson, students learn how water filters out color in the sea and how organisms adapt to live in different light conditions. They do this by searching for marine organisms made from paper cutouts with different colors while wearing blue goggles in a dark room.


In this presentation, we share and discuss examples of our multisensory lesson plans. These lesson plans and accompanying materials will be available on the expedition website ( by April 2023.  


How to cite: Mohadjer, S., Panieri, G., Stiller-Reeve, M., Aune, V., Clerici, M., Holm, V. D., Losleben, K., Maric, F., Os, V., Poto, M. P., Poddevin, V., and Zimmermann, H. J.: OceanSenses 2022: Using Our Primary Senses to Connect with the Arctic Ocean  , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9377,, 2023.