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Dartmouth Co-Leads International Teens in Arctic Research

Aug 16, 2015   |   by Joseph Blumberg   |   Dartmouth Now

Arctic postdoctoral fellow Lauren Culler recently returned to Hanover from doing fieldwork in Greenland, where Dartmouth had just taken the helm of the U.S. contribution to the Joint Science Education Program (JSEP), a program jointly led and funded with the government of Greenland. “It was absolutely fantastic,” says Culler, outreach coordinator for the Institute of Arctic Studies at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding. “It was so much fun and really inspiring, spending three weeks in Greenland with 15 high school students.”

Arctic postdoctoral fellow Lauren Culler in Greenland
Arctic postdoctoral fellow Lauren Culler demonstrates the use of a “D-net” for collecting aquatic invertebrates from lakes in Greenland. (Photo by Erica Willstrom)

Newly funded by a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Dartmouth-led field experience involved high school students and their teachers from Denmark, Greenland, and the United States, as well as graduate students from Dartmouth—the JSEP fellows.

In June, six JSEP fellows went to Greenland to work with the high school students, teaching and mentoring them on independent research projects. Two of the fellows were from Thayer School of Engineering, one was from the Department of Earth Sciences, and three came from the Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Arctic Institute Director Ross Virginia is the principal investigator on the NSF JSEP grant, and Culler is a co-PI, along with Professor of Engineering Mary Albert and Professor of Biological Sciences Matthew Ayres. “Mary and Matt have been working on campus, helping the graduate students get organized around their research and outreach programs,” says Culler. “Ross and I went to Greenland with the JSEP group, oversaw the whole program, and did some teaching and mentoring as well."

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