Faculty Story

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin Testifies on U.S.-Syria Strategy

On September 29th Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin provided testimony to the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. The topic of the hearing was: "U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts in Syria: A Winning Strategy?" In testimony he submitted, Benjamin wrote: 

In Syria today, there is no shortage of reasons to be dispirited. But I am persuaded that what we require above all is strategic patience and perseverance. We learned all too painfully in Iraq the costs of haste. I strongly believe that we have the time and tools to reduce the danger of terrorist attack, and that we will benefit from a strategy that is careful, deliberate and cognizant of all the technologies and political trends that will help us.

The full text of his statement can be read here. And the video of the hearing can be viewed here.

Arctic Mosquitoes Thriving Under Climate Change

Dartmouth Media contact: John Cramer | [email protected] | 603-646-9130

HANOVER, N.H. – Sept. 15, 2015 – Warming temperatures are causing Arctic mosquitoes to grow faster and emerge earlier, significantly boosting their population and threatening the caribou they feast on, a Dartmouth College study finds.

The study predicts the mosquitoes’ probability of surviving and emerging as adults will increase by more than 50 percent if Arctic temperatures rise 2 °C. The findings are important because changes in the timing and intensity of their emergence affect their role as pests of people and wildlife, as pollinators of tundra plants and as food for other species, including Arctic and migratory birds.

The researchers say the climate-population model they developed for Arctic mosquitoes and their predators can be generalized to any ecosystem where survival depends on sensitivities to changing temperatures.

Diplomacy at the Top of the World

August 26, 2015

On August 31, in Anchorage, Alaska, the U.S. will convene foreign ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic states to discuss climate change and other topics concerning the region. According to an opinion piece in Project Syndicate, co-authored by Ross Virginia, Director of the Institute of Artic Studies, it is important that disagreements such as Iran's nuclear program and the conflict in Ukraine not derail discussions about the Arctic, where cooperation between Russia and the West has been the norm.

Steven Simon Talks about Islamic State Brides

August 8, 2015  |  Dartmouth Now

Dickey Center Visiting Fellow Steven Simon talked to the PBS Newshour about the alienation that motivates young women to leave their homes in the West and seek out ISIS. The report follows a New York Times story about three teenage girls who left their homes in Great Britain to join the terrorist group. 

"I don’t think it’s a huge mystery," said Simon. "In the case of these young women, I think what we just heard was quite right, namely, that what is pulling these young women to Syria is the same thing that pulls young men."

Simon, who is also a lecturer in the government department, will be on campus to teach three classes this year. 

Listen to his entire interview on the PBS Newshour.

Dartmouth and Greenland Lead International Teens to the Arctic

August 13, 2015

Dartmouth Now reports on Dartmouth's contribution to the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), a program jointly funded and led by the Government of Greenland and the US, that takes teens from the US, Greenland, and Denmark to Greenland to learn about science and undertake independent research projects. 

Lauren Culler, postdoctoral fellow and science outreach coordinator for the Institute of Arctic Studies, co-leads the program with the Institute's Director, Ross Virgina. “The overall goal was getting the students to learn to ask testable scientific questions and work with the graduate students to design and complete a project,” says Culler.

Read the entire story at Dartmouth Now.

 

Climate Change and Mosquitoes: Desperate and Hungry

“They’re aggressive because they’re desperate,” Lauren Culler, a postdoctoral fellow and outreach coordinator for the Institute of Arctic Studies, tells a journalist from Motherboard website about the mosquitoes swarming Greenland. “My research here has found that only 12-15 percent of mosquitoes ever get a blood meal." 

Culler has been studying the shallow ponds in Western Greenland where mosquitoes spend much of their lives to determine how the rapidly warming climate affects mosquitoes and caribou, as well as people.

Fulbright Arctic Scholars Collaborate for One Arctic

July 16, 2015

In May 2015, as Secretary of State John Kerry was marking the beginning of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, 17 junior scholars and established experts from the eight Arctic countries, including Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, gathered in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada for their first official meeting as participants of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

Institute of Arctic Studies Director and environmental studies professor Ross Virginia leads the Fulbright Arctic Initiative with Mike Sfraga, Vice Chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For 18 months, the Fulbright Arctic Scholars will be  working with governments, NGOs, businesses, and Arctic communities to research innovative solutions to impacts of climate change in the Arctic, particularly on the issues of water, energy, health, and infrastructure.

 

Also:

Arctic Issues Are Global Issues

May 28, 2015

From May 17-21, 2015, Fulbright Canada hosted the inaugural meeting of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Dartmouth environmental studies professor Ross Virginia, Co-lead for the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, and Melody Brown Burkins, Associate Director for Student Programs and Research at the Dickey Center, took part in the meetings. 

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative, launched in April in Ottawa, aims to stimulate international collaboration on Arctic issues by bringing together 17 scholars from the eight Arctic Council countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US). The researchers are meeting in Iqaluit to share their research and work on plans for future collaboration. 

Read the press release from Fulbright Canada and a story in The Arctic Journal.

Potentially Vast Microbial Habitat Discovered in Antarctica

April 30, 2015  |  Dartmouth Now

Using a novel, helicopter-borne sensor to penetrate the surface of large swathes of terrain, a team of researchers, including Ross Virginia, Director of Dartmouth's Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center and Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has gathered compelling evidence that beneath Antarctica's ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys lies a salty aquifer that may support previously unknown microbial ecosystems and retain evidence of ancient climate change, stated a press release from NSF.

The Division of Polar Programs in NSF's Geoscience's Directorate supported the AEM sensor project through a collaborative award to Mikucki, Tulaczyk and Virginia. 

Dartmouth Mobilizes Resources for Nepal Aid

April 27, 2015  

In an article for Dartmouth Now, Kenneth Bauer, program manager of human development initiatives at the Dickey Center, stressed the importance of working with established humanitarian organizations with a presence in Nepal as a way to help Nepal following a devastating earthquake and ongoing aftershocks. Bauer and others are concerned that relief efforts reach the remote villages cut off from Kathmandu.

“Traveling in Nepal for 26 years now, there has always been this dichotomy between Kathmandu, the capital, and the rest of Nepal,” Bauer says to Dartmouth Now. “One of the things we’re very concerned about and trying to think strategically about is how it’s helpful to get to villages and rural communities, and what does their future look like in terms of rebuilding.”

The community is invited to a 6 p.m. meeting in Silsby Hall, room 317, to continue discussion of how the College community can help with relief efforts in Nepal.

Read the entire Dartmouth Now story. 

 

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