Team Tuttu (Reindeer)
Angu: Before I went to Kangerlussuaq, I expected to learn about global warming. I got more than what I expected, I learned what could happen to the plants and animals if the temperature rises just few degrees. Besides global warming I got to learn how the landscape was made and learned to determine some rocks.
Caroline: When I first heard about JSEP I was super excited. I didn’t know what it was about, but just that it sounded like an amazing opportunity to go to Greenland and meet new people. In the time between getting accepted and actually leaving for Greenland, I was really nervous! I knew nothing about geoscience, I never been the best at speaking English and I always been really shy. Still I was super excited!
Halbe: I was very excited to be part of the JSEP program. I left Alaska headed to Kangerlussuaq for the Field School and then onto Summit Station for Science education Week, where we would be learning about Polar Science from the scientists themselves. I knew that it was going to be a quality experience, but it more than exceeded my expectations. I was surprised by the vast amount of scientific fields we covered in such a short period of time, how much fun we had performing the experiments, and the number of amazing people that I met along this journey.
Caroline: When I first arrived at Kangerlussuaq I was a both shocked and
impressed. As we stepped out of the plane the mosquitos was everywhere! Well, they probably still are, but the number of them have been decreased and I barely notice them anymore. The short ride from the airport to the camp felt like an hour even though it only lasted for five minutes. I was so nervous! Would people like me? Would I fit in? Was I smart enough? I had no idea!
Halbe: Before the trip, I was unsure of our exact schedule, but I knew that I was going to be learning about Polar Science. I also wondered what Greenland was going to be like compared to Alaska. I was excited to learn about Polar Science and at the same time found out that all of the scientists, support staff, and ambassadors were really friendly and fun to hang around.
Angu: I enjoyed to learn about geology and make some experiments with the
Halbe: One of my favorite parts of the JSEP program was probably working
with my group and a Dartmouth graduate on a research project. The students were given freedom in what specific topic they wanted to study. We were fortunate to work with graduate students who were there to guide us and teach us about what we were studying. With their knowledge and guidance, we learned a tremendous amount. I was part of the Lakes group and our team decided they wanted to study biodiversity in saline vs freshwater lakes. We decided what we wanted to compare and how we
conducted the experiment. The whole experience was a lot of fun and we conducted quality science. We saw a noticeable difference in phytoplankton, zooplankton, and
vegetation in saline and freshwater lakes.
Angu: I’ve learned a lot about how the global warming can affect Greenland
and the world. I’ve got to know how fast the glacier is melting at Point 660 and how it affects the Watson River at Kangerlussuaq. And glaciers in general, how fast they are
moving, how they created the landscape. In 2012 the bridge at Watson River collapsed because of the rise of the river, the weather was very hot. I’ve got to know how the global warming will affect the wildlife and ecosystems. And I’ve got to know some rocks and minerals, how they were created. I’ve made good friendships with my fellow students, got to learn their culture. I’ve got my life experience in Summit, it is so awesome I feel lucky to have an opportunity to come to Summit.
Halbe: What I learned from the experience surprised me. I first noticed the major similarities to my hometown in Alaska. While Greenland was naturally lacking spruce trees (though we were shown some that were planted in the 1970’s), it was full of glacially sculpted mountains, dwarf birch, willow, and labrador plants. This made me feel right at home, even across the arctic. JSEP introduced me to many fields of science, most of which I had given little thought to before. I now have a newfound love in biology, geology, and glaciology because of such great field work experience. I loved looking at dykes on mountain sides, identifying zooplankton, and looking at the
direction and size of chattermarks. All of this left a lasting impression on me and while I was fairly sure I would end up connected to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field, I can now confidently say that I will become a scientist. Another highlight of the experience was meeting other students, researchers and teachers from different cultures than mine. I enjoyed learning about their cultures as well as sharing about the United States. I am very grateful for everyone’s time and investment in us as students and ambassadors.