From the Field

Shooting a Film in Chile on Women in Prison

Jenna van de Ruit '15, International Internship, Chile

While on a Dickey International Internship during Winter term 2014, Jenna van de Ruit ’15 filmed a documentary in Chile in collaboration with Fundación Mujer Levántate, an organization that provides halfway housing, job networking, and other services to inmates and ex-inmates.

Jenna originally planned to focus her documentary on the stories of three or four women living there. However, most of the women were working long hours during the week and Jenna was only allowed there during limited hours.

But Jenna managed to interview Raquel, an ex-inmate who had been out for five months but who also was the janitor of Fundación Mujer Levántate. Raquel poured out her story to Jenna, who recognized it was a compelling story that could stand on its own.

“I had never undertaken a project this challenging before,” says Jenna. “I was new at a language, in a foreign country, learning a technical skill while working with a topic of a difficult nature.”

Student Learns About Poverty Working on Microfinance in the Dominican Republic

by Elliot Sandborn ‘14, International Internship, Dominican Republic

I lived in the barrios of East Santo Domingo and worked at a Banco ADEMI, the largest private, for-profit microfinance bank in the Dominican Republic, and one of the largest and most successful microfinance banks in Latin America. I lived with a local Dominican friend, Sam, whom I had met in the summer of 2009 as a high school volunteer in rural community in San Juan, DR.

At ADEMI, I worked alongside loan officers, visiting clients and following up on loans. I did research on ADEMI's history, their model of microfinance, and tried to tap into what was it that made them so successful. Drawing on my experiences in the field with the loan officers, executive interviews and a 1997 World Bank case study on ADEMI, I compiled a 13,000-word report for the president of the bank that reflected on what I - and my informants - considered to be key aspects of the ADEMI model, including the continuity of leadership and vision the bank has experienced and the strong commitment to a "business-like approach" to service.

Kayaking Siberia's Lake Baikal to Evaluate the Effect of Climate Change

by Anna Gleizer ‘14, Stefansson Research Fellowship, Lake Baikal, Russia

During summer 2012, I became the youngest woman to kayak the circumference of Siberia’s Lake Baikal. The journey through Russia and into eastern Siberia took two weeks and the circumnavigation itself lasted 45 days, during which I collected hydrology data for an independent research project aimed at evaluating the effect of global climate change and localized anthropomorphic pollution on the quality of Baikal water.

Fieldwork in Denali National Park

by Sam Streeter '13, TH '14

Watch Sam's video about his work

During the spring-summer 2013 interim and continuing through the summer 2013 term, I performed research in the Dartmouth College Earth Sciences (EARS) Department as an engineering senior honors thesis student, Stefansson Research Fellow, and John Lindsley Fund grant recipient. The first portion of my experience involved fieldwork on the Kahiltna Glacier in the Alaska Range in Denali National Park, Alaska, and the second portion was laboratory-based in the Dartmouth EARS Department.

My research experience involved fieldwork with Professor Erich Osterberg and his team on the Kahiltna Glacier in Denali National Park. At the Kahiltna Glacier basecamp, I helped transport from the field all ice cores drilled on the slopes of nearby Mt. Hunter, helped setup a remote weather station on the Kahiltna Glacier, and helped organize, collapse, and transport research team supplies from the field.

Working with Grassroots Community Clinic in Rural Peru

by Sam Steeter '13, TH '14, International Internship, Peru, Sacred Valley Health

In addition to my academic interests in engineering, I have a long-term interest in global health and medicine in rural and under-resourced locations. In the spring of 2012, I undertook a Dickey Center internship in a small mountain community called Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, Peru, with a newly formed, non-governmental, non-profit organization called Sacred Valley Health.

SVH provided mobile medical clinics in a number of communities throughout the Sacred Valley free of charge and was in the early stages of implementing a collaborative, grassroots community health workers education program in isolated Quechua villages throughout the Sacred Valley. My work involved organizing and processing remote community baseline health data from mobile clinics, which was eventually used in the training, monitoring and evaluation of the SVH community health workers education program.

Expanding Education in Nepal

by Wouther Zwart '14, International Internship, VillageTech Solutions, Nepal

I spent four wonderful months in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, with a small NGO called VillageTech Solutions. Their education project is an audio-visual teaching aid, which is aimed to improve both the method of teaching as well as to augment the teaching material available to Nepalese public schools.

During my time in Nepal, I collaborated with Nepalese universities, local start-ups, open source groups and companies to finalize the development of the project and to build a community of students, engineers and entrepreneurs in order to expand education methods in public schools.

How Not to Get Eaten by Polar Bears

May 8, 2014

A two-day polar safety training sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Earth Sciences Department, and the Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center focused on staying safe and responding to emergencies, including encountering, or avoiding, polar bears.

Canadian bear expert Andy McMullen spent a day with two dozen Dartmouth graduate and undergraduate students and faculty who's research takes them into Greenland, Alaska, Canada and elsewhere.

Erich Osterberg, an assistant professor in Dartmouth’s Department of Earth Sciences, says global climate change is affecting the way research is conducted. “Not all of changing field conditions that scientists face make their job easier. In Greenland, some Dartmouth scientists now carry rifles and hire guards for polar bear protection in areas where the bears were rare until a few years ago.”

Student is Arctic Council Delegate in Russia

A Week as an Arctic Council Delegate in Arkhangelsk, Russia (reprinted from ARCUS)

by Ali Giese, PhD Candidate, Earth Sciences

During the last week of February 2014, I had the privilege of representing the United States and Dartmouth College at the 2014 Model Arctic Council, a role-playing program with the same goals as the better-known Model UN: to expose students to high-level policy negotiations through experience and participation. The Model Arctic Council was held at the Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU) in Arkhangelsk, Russia. Thirty graduate students from more than ten countries participated in simulated proceedings of the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of Arctic indigenous communities, on common Arctic issues.

Talking About Science (ARCUS)

Read the story in Dartmouth Now, October 28, 2013

Witness the Arctic, a publication of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., Oct 23, 2013

Lee McDavid, Arctic Program Manager, Dartmouth College, Dickey Center for International Understanding

A dozen teenagers from Greenland, Denmark, and the U.S. are twirling across the rolling tundra on the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet laughing, looking as though they're just fooling around. But Dartmouth graduate students Julia Bradley-Cook and Ruth Heindel are leading them in a "carbon cycle dance" as a way to understand photosynthesis and other biological processes important to global warming.

Science in Greenland: It's a Girl Thing

The IGERT Polar Environmental Change PhD Program at the Institute of Arctic Studies sends a number of young women into the field to do polar science and engineering. In fact a majority of the 24 IGERT fellows are women. 

After a recent field season in Greenland, they wanted to show their enthusiasm for science and field work by creating a video. Read about some of the reasons they created it and watch it for yourself on YouTube.

 

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