From the Field

Polar Passion

February 2016

The Dartmouth Engineering Magazine this month has a story about Thayer PhD graduate student Alden Adolph, who accompanied fifteen high school students to Greenland last summer with the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), funded by the National Science Foundation. JSEP is run jointly by the Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center for International Understanding and the Government of Greenland. The students are from the US, Greenland and Denmark.

Adolph was accompanied by Thayer PhD candidate Amber Whelsky and Lauren Culler, Co-PI of JSEP and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Arctic Studies. Adolph and Culler were students in the Polar Environmental Change IGERT. 

#JASE16 in Antarctica

The Joint Antarctic Science Expedition has landed after traveling from Miami to Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile,...to Antarctica.

Follow their continuing adventures!

Peace by Design

by Hilary Johnson '15 and Gurkaran Singh '15

Educated and empowered women are fundamental to sustainable peace and thriving communities. In Ghana, especially in the slums, women are not seen as valuable financial contributors, which results in domestic violence, child marriages, and unequal access to education.

With support from Davis Projects for Peace, we worked with Tech Needs Girls, a Ghanaian mentorship program for girls ages 10 to 18, led Regina Agyare, an incredible female role model for her students. Tech Needs Girls helps girls to be innovators and leaders by teaching them technical skills while encouraging them to pursue tech careers. Through skill development and internship opportunities, young women are able to command respect and shape their own destinies. Families no longer see their daughters as liabilities to be married away at a young age, but rather as capable contributors who deserve investment.

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.

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.

 

On Shaky Ground: Working to Rebuild Nepal

The following is a report from Human Development Fellow Kripa Dongol '16 who had been on the Geography Foreign Study Program (FSP) in Prague before returning to her home country of Nepal to help with disaster relief following the April 25th earthquake. Kripa sent this update on May 14th.  

For more on Kripa's and other Dartmouth students' work in Nepal see this recent Dartmouth Now article.
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I've been in Kathmandu the last few days. I was on the Geography FSP in Prague when the first quake hit and came home a week after to help in any way I could.

In my first week here I went to the headquarters of Dhading and Sindhupalchowk Districts to deliver medical supplies to the District Health Office along with One Heart Worldwide - an organization that Prof. Craig has worked with and I interned with last winter.

Reflections on Living and Working in Rwanda

by Kelly Everhart MS, MIV, Geisel School of Medicine 

Rwandan Ministry of Health

We landed in Kigali around 10 pm, 30 hours after leaving Boston Logan. The first thing I noticed about Rwanda’s capital city were the lights — on approach to the airport, instead of the haphazard array of neon and LED lights I associate with US or European cities, we flew over thousands of yellow sodium and low-wattage fluorescent street lights. Few, very few, lights fell outside of the linear arrangement lining (some of) Kigali’s streets — I later learned that the homes which do have access to electricity conserve it tightly, since electricity is an expensive commodity here.

The second thing I noticed blew in through the aircraft’s open doors once we were parked on the tarmac — smoke, the smell of a whole city’s cooking fires. But, coupled with the many military and policemen carrying semi-automatics patrolling the airport and the history of the 1994 Genocide I had finished on the plane, the smoke elicited apprehensive thoughts in my mind, so incongruent with the friendly hospitality I now associate with the same smell.

Little Devices Lab Creates Tech to Improve Global Healthcare

by Kaira Lujan '16, Little Devices Lab, MIT

Winter term 2015 I was working at Little Devices Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The lab is a part of the International Design Center, a collaboration between the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and MIT. The main focus of the lab is to create accessible healthcare tech to improve global healthcare. One of the ways the lab does this is by solving problems using innovative ways to hack existing resources. Some examples of what they have done in the past include creating a solar autoclave (the solarclave) for sterilization in locations off the grid, and designing a foot pump nebulizer for medicine administration (in areas without consistent utility connections).

Improving Water, Improving Health in Ecuador

by Alex Lopez '15

In Winter 2015, Doug Phipps ’17 spent eight weeks teaching health education at primary and secondary schools in Muisne, Ecuador. Apart from teaching, Doug worked with the organization Water Ecuador to design and carry out a survey on water consumption and perception. Situated on the island of Muisne, Doug had the unique opportunity to immerse himself in a completely new environment and community with the Water Ecuador team, while building upon his existing Spanish language skills and making new friends with the members of his host organization and local community.

"Living in a rural Ecuadorean town without English speaking companions not only made me improve my Spanish,” says Doug, “it enabled me to hear locals' stories and to learn more about myself." 

Water Ecuador aims to improve health in Ecuador through research, water purification kiosks, and education. The organization runs water purification centers in three towns on the coast of Ecuador, where the locals that run the Center purify water, fill 20-liter jugs, and sell them for one dollar.

Global Health Case Competition Engaged Contrasting Viewpoints

Six Dartmouth students were selected to compete at the International Emory Global Health Case Competition in Atlanta, GA, in 2015. These are their reflections on the competition and on their experience working with diverse opinions to come up with solutions to difficult problems.

by Cecelia Shao '16

Since each of us was chosen individually, before our first team meeting, we didn’t know who we were going to be competing alongside. It turned out to be an incredibly diverse team of six including two undergrads (Anna and myself), a MD/PhD candidate (Christiaan R.) two Geisel students (Vanessa S. and Tolu K.), as well as a Tuck student (Andrei C.). Luckily, our program directors and advisors (Jessica, Jonathan, and Suzie) came up with the idea to try out a practice case–one that allowed us to get feedback from a diverse panel of faculty and staff from campus (and even a former competition team member) to help us learn about areas where we could improve and areas of expertise.

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