The Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth leads a project funded by the National Science Foundation called Experiential and international polar science education for U.S. students in Greenland (JSEP) and Antarctica (JASE). This project supports fully-funded opportunities for U.S. high school students and Dartmouth graduate students to  participate in hands-on and inquiry-based polar science activities.

IAS works closely with colleagues at Naalakkersuisut (the Government of Greenland) and Ilisimatusarfik (the University of Greenland) to lead JSEP, the Joint Science Education Project. JSEP is an international collaboration between Greenland, the United States, and Denmark to educate and inspire the next generation of polar and STEM professionals. Since its initiation during the International Polar Year in 2007, high school and university students and teachers from the three countries work together to study polar environments and the human dimensions of rapid Arctic change. Students practice scientific and engineering methods in cross-cultural classrooms with mentoring from international teachers and scientists.

U.S. students are eligible to participate in field and remote versions of JSEP. For the most up-to-date information about JSEP, future expeditions, and how to apply, please visit the JSEP Program Website.


Each summer, high school students from the U.S., Greenland, and Denmark spend 3 weeks in Greenland for a two-part JSEP experience. First, they spend two weeks in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland for the Greenland-led Kangerlussuaq Science Field School. During the third week, students travel to Summit Camp, an American research base that sits at 10,000 feet atop the Greenland Ice Sheet, for the Dartmouth-led Science Education Week.

Travel, accommodations, and meals are provided at no cost to participants. Extreme cold weather outerwear is supplied by the program during travel to Summit Station.

JSEP is made possible through collaborations with and additional funding from Naalakkersuisut  (the Government of Greenland).

Science Education Week

Dartmouth faculty and graduate students with extensive experience in field science in polar regions lead inquiry-based education modules during Science Education Week. Dartmouth educators have a strong working knowledge of science and logistics in Greenland, and they have been deeply engaged in polar research there for many years, including in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, glaciology, and climate science. Their depth of knowledge and innovative teaching experience makes for a fun and informative week.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice body in the world after Antarctica. Because of its remoteness, travel to Summit Station on the Greenland Ice Sheet is primarily restricted to scholarly researchers. Because all fuel and supplies are flown in by large cargo planes equipped to land on ice, the Summit community works together to conserve resources.

The JSEP Science Education Week is a rare opportunity for non-researchers to learn first-hand about this unique environment that covers 80% of Greenland and is three times the size of Texas.


Reaching beyond the field classroom to communicate with a wider community about the important issues of climate change and polar science is one of the goals of JSEP and JASE. Students learn to articulate their knowledge, classroom teachers develop educational modules, online resources are made available to anyone, and knowledge is shared with the research community.

Greenland Outreach

Greenland is one of the places most affected by global climate change. While in Greenland, JSEP students not only learn about climate change and polar science, they share what they have learned with the local Greenland community. Students work together—finding creative ways to overcome the challenge of communicating in three languages (Greenlandic, Danish and English)—to develop presentations and exhibits on polar science. Each year JSEP students set up exhibits in the busy Kangerlussuaq Airport where community members and international travelers can glimpse the JSEP program and the cutting-edge polar science occurring in Greenland. In addition, students explain, in their own words, the independent polar science projects they develop with the help of the JSEP graduate fellows.

K-12 Educator Workshop

Dartmouth hosts regional polar science workshops for K-12 STEM educators who partner with JSEP graduate fellows to develop polar science lessons for high school classrooms. Teachers and fellows work together to adapt field-based work into classroom lessons in soil biology, lake ecology, and more.

National Outreach

The outcomes and products from the JSEP and JASE programs—student projects, graduate training, and lessons developed during the polar science educator workshop—are shared at national and international meetings.

Past JSEP expeditions

The Joint Science Education Project (JSEP) was established in 2007 during the International Polar Year by the Joint Committee, a high-level forum involving the Greenlandic, Danish and American governments. From 2015-2017, the students created a JSEP blog where they could reflect on their experiences, sometimes in three languages (English, Danish, Greenlandic).

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.