The Joint Science Education Project was established in 2007 during International Polar Year by the Joint Committee, a high-level forum involving the Greenlandic, Danish and American governments. JSEP is jointly supported by the government of Greenland and the National Science Foundation's Division of Polar Programs.
JSEP is a collaborative diplomatic effort that was established to:
- Educate and inspire the next generation of polar scientists;
- Build strong networks of students and teachers among the three countries; and
- Provide an opportunity to practice language and communication skills by taking students to the ice sheet in Greenland to observe polar science in action.
Since JSEP's inception in 2007, 100 students, 25 teachers and numerous scientists and field researchers have been involved.
In 2016, five US students from Alabama, Alaska California, New Jersey, and New York traveled to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, aboard an LC-130 from Scotia Air National Guard Base near Albany, New York. Once in Greenland, the Americans joined students and teachers from Denmark and Greenland to participate in a variety of activities such as measuring discharge at the nearby Watson River, collecting fossils and garnets, cataloging plants and conducting a biodiversity survey, sampling insects from different types of habitats, and measuring ablation (mass loss) on the ice sheet. In addition, high school students developed independent research projects under the mentorship of Dartmouth graduate students.
The highlight experience of Science Education Week 2016 was a four-day stay at Summit Station, the US research facility located at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet. While at Summit, the students and teachers explored a back-lit snow pit, and completed projects about albedo and cold-weather engineering with he leadership of Dartmouth graduate students. Science Education Week activities in Kangerlussuaq included camping near the Greenland Ice Sheet, landscape mapping using GPS, and characterizing the Kangerlussuq forest.
The US contribution to JSEP is supported each year by the National Science Foundation's Division of Polar Programs.
Past JSEP expeditions
Beginning in 2015, the JSEP students created a blog where they could reflect on their experiences, sometimes in three languages (English, Danish, Greenlandic)!
- JSEP 2015
- JSEP 2016 (coming soon)
The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) and the program PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) successfully ran JSEP summer programs from 2008-2014. Read about previous JSEP groups and the work they did in Greenland.