Joint Antarctic School Expedition

Through a grant to the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth, the National Science Foundation supports two opportunities for U.S. high school students to travel to the polar regions and participate in hands-on and inquiry-based science activities. The Joint Antarctic School Expedition takes students to Antarctica and the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP) takes students to Greenland. 

JASE Program Overview

Since 2014, U.S. students have participated in annual JASE expeditions in conjunction with the Chilean Antarctic Institute’s Expedición Antártica Escolar (EAE), a program that has been running for over 10 years to promote awareness and appreciation of Antarctica in young Chileans. Students participate in a number of activities, including tours of international science facilities, studies of animal behavior at Elefanteras beach and on the Ardley Peninsula, vegetation surveys at the margin of Collins Glacier, and a visit to Bellinghausen Dome for glaciological studies. The JASE/EAE program helps build relationships between future generations of scientists from both countries while developing the participants’ awareness of global scientific issues.

Travel, accommodations, and meals are provided to participants. Students must provide regular clothing, including a sturdy pair of hiking boots/shoes. Extreme cold weather outerwear is supplied by the program during travel to King George Island. Students must have fluency in the Spanish language because all instruction is in Spanish.

Read a Washington Post story about the JASE 2016 program and another story about a 2016 student from Texas.


The 3-week JSEP expedition typically begins in late June and runs into July. We are unable to give specific dates because the flight schedule to Greenland is not set until the spring.

The 2-week JASE expedition takes place during December, January, or February based on Antarctic logistic support on King George Island.

Requirements and Eligibility

Cost: Travel, accommodations, and meals are provided at no cost to participants. Students must have or be able to get a passport and provide regular clothing and a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Extreme Cold Weather Gear for use at Summit in Greenland and on King George Island is issued in the field by the program.

Grade level:

JSEP: We accept applications from high school students in their junior year (11th grade) at time of application, for participation during the summer between their junior and senior year.

JASE: Students are eligible to apply for JASE during their sophomore (10th grade) or junior (11th grade) year. Sophomore applicants would participate during the winter of their junior year, and junior applicants would participate during the winter of their senior year.

The application for both programs (see below) is open during the winter (approximately December through January) before each JSEP (following summer) and JASE (following winter) expedition. We will not make any exceptions for students who are not in 10th (JASE only) or 11th (JSEP and JASE) grade at the time of application.

Passport: All students must have or be able to obtain a U.S. passport before the expedition. Your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months after the date of the expedition.

Language: The JSEP program is run in English but the JASE program is in Spanish, so all JASE participants must be fluent in Spanish.

Health: Students are required to be in good physical health because of remote travel and hiking in rugged terrain. For JASE, you must complete the U.S. Antarctic Program’s Physical Qualification (PQ) Process. This is managed by the U.S. Antarctic Program and is a strict requirement. You will need to fill out forms with your medical history, visit your doctor and dentist, and have additional lab work and testing. Dartmouth will reimburse you for any costs not covered by your health and dental insurance.

Meals: Food choices in the polar regions are limited. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not always available, and certain dietary restrictions may be difficult or impossible to accommodate. For example, there may occasionally be vegetarian or gluten-free options available, but they are not guaranteed. Please carefully consider this information in making your decision about whether you can safely deploy to Greenland or Antarctica.

Outreach Project: Students who are selected for JSEP and JASE are among very few people in the world who have the opportunity to travel to these locations. As such, we expect that each participating student will share their experience with their school or community after they return from the expedition. We recommend that you discuss some ideas for this project with a teacher or mentor. As part of your application, you will be expected to describe a project that you would complete if you participate in JSEP or JASE.


The application for JSEP 2019 and JASE 2019-20 will be open until January 31, 2018.

IMPORTANT: Please check your eligibility and read the instructions below before opening the online application.

Apply for the program here.

A panel of distinguished STEM educators and scientists review all applications and select five students for the JSEP team and four students for the JASE team. Each applicant will be notified of their application selection status by the end of March 2019.

If you have questions about the application process or JSEP/JASE in general, please contact Dr. Lauren Culler or call (603) 646-8265.

The John Sloan Dickey Center