"Dartmouth's northern activities are... intimately tied to our traditions, location and unique resources." John Sloan Dickey (1953)
Located in rural northern New England, Dartmouth has a strong sense of place that encourages lasting bonds between people and the natural environment, and promotes responsible stewardship of the land.
Our long tradition of northern studies traces back to the noted Arctic explorer, scholar, and founder of Dartmouth's Northern and Polar Studies Program, Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962), shown in the middle at right, along with Bill Mattox '52 and noted geologist William Herbert Hobbs (1864-1952).
Our Stefansson Special Collection on Polar Exploration is one of the premier library collections in the world on the history of the Arctic regions and Antarctica.
Dartmouth attracts intellectual adventurers and environmental pioneers, creating a remarkable body of faculty and alumni leaders in northern research and polar environmental issues. Dartmouth's link to the north is made stronger by an institutional commitment to Native American students through its Native American Studies Program. Approximately 150 Native students study at Dartmouth, including students from northern communities in Alaska and Canada, plus visiting students, scholars and leaders from Greenland.
A unique and important resource for students is Dartmouth's close proximity to one of nation's leading research facility dedicated to understanding the basic science and engineering of cold environments, the U. S. Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL). Together, Dartmouth and CRREL form an important center of expertise for northern and polar research.
The newest addition to polar scholarship at Dartmouth is a National Science Foundation-funded IGERT PhD program in Polar Environmental Change awarded to the Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center. The Dartmouth IGERT addresses the scientific as well as the human dimensions of climate change, merging the sciences, engineering, and the social sciences to form an integrated center of scholarship on polar climate change.
Click here to download a PDF about Vilhjalmur Stefansson and the Stefansson Collection.