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Dartmouth Engineering Project is Finalist for the 2023 Arctic Academic Action Award

Jun 20, 2023   |   by Catha Mayor

Professor Mary Albert is lead researcher on a project selected by UArctic as one of four Frederik Paulsen Arctic Academic Action Award candidates that "show great potential for improving the ability to deal with specific major issues raised by climate change." The winner, to be announced at the Arctic Circle Assembly in October in Reykjavík, Iceland, will receive 100,000 Euro of unrestricted funds to facilitate project development and increase impact.

The Qaanaaq Field Team: (Front row, l to r) Toku Oshima and Mary Albert; (Back row, l to r) Tucker Oddleifson, Kim Petersen, Chris Polashenski, Simon Oster, Alyssa Pantaleo, Marion Cass, and Stephen Doig.

"We are truly honored to be finalists for this international award for climate adaptation in the Arctic!" says Professor Albert. "The prize would help us implement one of our research discoveries in Greenland."

The project, entitled "Community-Led Investments in Climate and Food Security: An inclusive model for Arctic energy transitions," focuses on developing solar-powered, portable fish-drying chambers for Arctic coastal communities to improve food security and increase income for local fishers.

The solar fish-drying chambers are part of a larger effort funded by NSF to partner with Qaanaaq—an Arctic community in northern Greenland—to facilitate the residents' transition to renewable energy and produce sustainable technological solutions that can also help areas in the mid-latitudes facing the effects of climate change.

Albert's team includes Qaanaaq hunter-fisher Toku Oshima, former Greenlandic Government official Lene Kielsen Holm (posthumous), fellow Dartmouth Engineering professors Christopher Polashenski and Weiyang (Fiona) Li, research scientist Hunter Snyder, and PhD student Alyssa Pantaleo.

Albert and team were nominated by Melody Brown Burkins, Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth. The nomination letter states, "Fish drying is a way of preserving fish practiced for centuries by coastal communities in the Arctic and around the world. Once the fish is fully dried, it can be stored for months or even years, making it a valuable source of community food security and a long-term commercial opportunity for sales throughout Greenland, Iceland, and beyond. ... This innovation answers the need to transition to low-carbon energy while preserving ways of living and working that other Arctic communities could easily adapt."

Learn more about the Qaanaaq project:

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