Greenland is a hotspot for polar environmental change research due to rapidly changing physical and ecological conditions. Dartmouth has been training a new generation of scientists who understand the complex scientific and societal impacts of these changes.
The strong links between science and the social and political issues of rapid environmental change in Greenland have the potential to affect environmental policies worldwide and therefore are an essential part of the dialogue between scientists, policy makers, and other stakeholders. Using the interdisciplinary framework of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), initiated in 2008, the Institute of Arctic Studies developed a curriculum that combines the foundations of disciplinary training in ecology and evolutionary biology, earth sciences, and engineering with an interdisciplinary curriculum in polar environmental change. The culminating academic experience is a field-based course in Greenland to examine the scientific, cultural and political issues that span the circumpolar region.
We have also initiated an ongoing collaborative model of exchange and education with Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland), the Inuit Circumpolar Council and other partners in Greenland. Dartmouth intends to expand this collaboration to include more opportunities for faculty and student exchanges between the institutions.
As a result of this experience, many graduate students have developed independent research projects in Greenland. They are largely interdisciplinary and cover diverse topics including polar robotics, ice sheet and glacial dynamics, atmospheric science, climate impacts on physical and biological properties of ecosystems, and traditional use of plants and connections with the Greenlandic language.
Download a complete description of the diverse graduate students projects based in Greenland. Read about their experiences in the field on the IGERT Student Blog.
A number of faculty also conduct research based in Greenland, and links to their work, and other Arctic, Antarctic, and polar research based at Dartmouth, are available under the section Polar Environmental Change.