Student Story

How Climate Warming Alters Soil Carbon Content

Julia Bradley-Cook, Ph.D. Student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Julia Bradley-Cook is studying how climate warming is altering the biological processes that control carbon flow through natural ecosystems. She investigates microbial decomposition in tundra soils where permafrost and cold soil temperatures have allowed for the buildup of large stores of carbon.

In 2011 and 2012, Julia collected samples from soil pits to measure soil carbon content across two spatial scales:  the local area near Kangerlussuaq and the regional area of western Greenland (Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut, and Nuuk). She used a combination of field experiments and laboratory studies to measure how decomposition rates vary with moisture and temperature.

Soil organic carbon storage varies substantially at local and regional scales and she will soon be able to describe how the “quality” of carbon varies as well. This determines the biological availability of the carbon and how sensitive it is to warming.

Helping Orphans in Korea

Kathleen Herring ’14, Holt International Children's Services

Kathleen did a Dickey Center internship at Holt International Children’s Services in South Korea. Holt helps orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children to thrive by finding them loving families.

The Republic of Korea Special Adoption Act, which went into effect in August of 2012, reduced the number of international adoptions and prioritized domestic adoption. All inter-country adoptions now require the approval of Korean’s Family Court. As a result, it is now harder for Holt to find families for the orphans.

Kathleen was based in Ilsan Town Center, which housed 270 residents. She provided schooling and therapy for the residents, which included many children with a disability. 

Kathleen is not sure how long it will take for domestic adoption in Korea to increase or for international adoption to be accepted so that more children can be placed with families. She believes change will only occur when society prioritizes the needs of the children over cultural differences and disparities in intellectual and physical capacity.

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.

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.”

War & Peace Fellow Wins Truman Award

April 18, 2014

Read the entire story by Kelly Sundberg Seaman in Dartmouth Now.

Shoshana Silverstein ’15, a Dickey Center War and Peace Fellow, has been chosen as a 2014 Harry S. Truman Scholar. She is one of 59 college students, mostly juniors, awarded scholarships of up to $30,000 to pursue graduate studies in public service fields.

The Dickey Center's War and Peace Studies Fellows Programbrings students together from across the disciplines – the sciences, social sciences and humanities – to engage in an ongoing discussion of the social, political, moral and technological dimensions of international conflict and cooperation.

War & Peace Fellow Wins Carnegie Fellowship

April 7, 2014

Dartmouth Now

Ala’ Alrababa’h ’14, who is from Amman, Jordan, and a Dickey Center War and Peace Fellow, has been named a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for the academic year 2014-15. The endowment selects 10 to 12 fellows each year—from among graduating seniors nominated by almost 400 colleges—to assist with research conducted by the international think tank’s senior associates.

Read the complete story in Dartmouth Now online.

 

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