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NH professor gets $2.6M federal grant to wean remote Greenland town off fossil fuels

Nov 19, 2019   |   NH Union Leader

"Mary Albert had been going to Greenland for years to study the ice sheet and gather data on the effects of global climate change when she was approached by Greenlanders to help get them off fossil fuels," writes NH Union Leader.

"'They came to me and said ‘everything we do is based on diesel fuel,’ Albert said.

"Albert, a professor at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, was recently awarded a $2.6 million National Science Foundation grant to help the people in Qaanaaq, a community with a population of less than 700 and one of the northernmost towns in the world.

"Albert’s ice sheet study has been funded by the National Science Foundation, which encourages its scientists and researchers to make contacts in the communities in which they study. Albert started giving talks to people in Greenland about what she learned about climate change through her work, and that’s when the people of Qaanaaq came to her.

"These Greenlanders live off the land and sea, she said, hunting and fishing in the remote town of about 600 people. They need diesel for their boats, as well as their snowmobiles and home generators. There is no national electric grid on Greenland, Albert said.

"'For them it’s really important because their future is at stake,' Albert said. 'They live off the land in a far northern area and they’ll lose their culture if they can’t stay there.'"

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