Faculty Story

Polar Opposites? The Science and Politics of Environmental Change in the Arctic and Antarctica

 

As polar ice on land and sea retreats from rapid global warming, the specter for international conflict over newly exposed natural resources may increase. Alumni heard about the challenges facing both poles from Ross Virginia, Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science and Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center, during the Back to Class Lecture Series on November 9 before the Dartmouth vs Cornell football game.

Virginia talked about how the environments at the ends of the Earth are changing and how international politics, through conflict or cooperation, will shape the future of the poles.

Listen to his entire Back to Class talk, " Polar Opposites? The Science and Politics of Environmental Change in the Arctic and Antarctica," on the Dartmouth YouTube channel.

GHI Director Helps Develop Rwanda's Medical Resources

Lisa Adams, MD, Director of the Dickey Center's Global Health initiative is one of approximately 50 physicians and nurses from the Geisel School of Medicine who have committed a year to working for the Ministry of Health in Rwanda as part of the Human Resources for Health Program (HRH). Dr. Adams taught and mentored medical students and residents, and made the rounds on the patient wards. The goal is to train skilled physicians and medical school faculty to serve a country that badly needs more of both.

Link to the Dartmouth Now post and read the full Dartmouth Medicine story.

 

Hands Across the Melting Ice (The New York Times)

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Dartmouth’s Ross Virginia and Kenneth Yalowitz and a third colleague write that an organization of Arctic states will face urgent issues at a meeting this week in Sweden.

The Arctic Council, an intergovernmental organization for the eight Arctic states (the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden), will face questions about shipping, governance, and the environment, the authors write.

Virginia is the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science and director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, and Yalowitz is a former director of the Dickey Center.

“Dangerous conflict in the region over valuable resources remains a remote possibility,” they write, “but the council must take constructive steps to ensure that the Arctic continues to develop as a venue for cooperation among Russia and the Arctic states of Europe and North America.”

Northern Forests Threatened by Southern Pine Beetle

The thought of global climate change conjures up images of coastal flooding and parched farmlands, but there is another sort of threat already upon us. As the environment warms, the destructive southern pine beetle has extended its range northward to include New Jersey’s prized Pinelands National Reserve.

Dartmouth Professor of Biology Matt Ayres, is an expert on the predatory pine beetle, and his work over the years has added to our understanding of its destructive spread into northern forests.

Read the entire story by Joseph Blumberg at Dartmouth Now.

 

Thinning Arctic Ice Allows Plankton Bloom

Donald Perovich, visiting professor of engineering at Thayer School, and a faculty member and advisor in the IGERT Program in Polar Environmental Change, was a member of a team of scientists who traveled to the Arctic on a NASA research cruise to study climate change last summer. During the trip, Perovich and his colleagues discovered a hidden world of microscopic plant life living under the Arctic ice.

An article published by Scientific Americannotes Perovich’s reaction to the discovery. “This is what you live for as a scientist,” Perovich said. “It’s unexpected. It’s pure discovery.”

Read the full story, published on 6/8/2012 by Scientific American.

Dartmouth Now, 6/13/12

 

Arctic Institute Wins NSF Grant

Program integrates science and policy in fight against climate change

The Dickey Center for International Understanding, through its Institute of Arctic Studies ,has been awarded nearly $3 million by the National Science Foundation through its Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program.

The five-year grant supports the development of an interdisciplinary doctoral program in the polar sciences and engineering with a focus on rapid environmental change. "This grant will provide Dartmouth faculty and students so many exciting opportunities. It will support the development of new interdisciplinary curriculum addressing one of the most critical scientific challenges to face the coming generations," said Dean of the Faculty, Carol Folt. "The partners in this program have created a tremendous tool for educating and nurturing the next generation of polar and climate change researchers."

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