Team Tuttu- Laila Magnussen (GL), Miki Jørgen Rosing (GL), Mia Gehrt Jepsen (DK), Jared Mason (USA)

 

Mia Jepsen (DK)

Som en del af JSEP-programmet, har 20 gymnasieelever haft muligheden for at arbejde selvstændigt med et interessant emne sammen med en specialestuderende fra Dartmouth.  Jeg er en af de elever, så jeg har i de sidste to uger arbejdet med biodiversiteten i Kangerlussuaq, Grønland sammen med tre andre elever som har haft de samme videnskabelige interesser som mig. Jeg er kommet til at kende Melissa, som i måneder har studeret insekter i forskellige vegetationer som en del af hendes Ph.d.  

I research-grupperne ville vi finde ud af, hvordan dyrene ændrer landskabet. Min gruppe var interesseret i dette emne, fordi vi fandt ud af, at over 75% af dyrelivet i verden er insekter. Også selvom mange mennesker tror, at de større pattedyr forandrer landskabet mest, kan små dyr nogle gange gøre en kæmpe forskel. Vi ville finde ud af, hvordan udbruddet af den blågrå jordugle larve for fem år siden har påvirket vegetationen. For at finde svaret, fandt vi seksten områder, hvori vi identificerede de forskellige plantearter og deres udbredelse. Derudover samlede vi insekterne i det område og identificerede dem. Vi kom frem til, at der er en højere diversitet i de områder, som for fem år siden blev ryddet for vegetation; ikke fordi der er flere arter af planter, men fordi udbredelsen af de forskellige planter var næsten det samme. Vi sluttede emnet af med en film og en præsentation for de specialestuderende, samt et outreach i den lokale lufthavn.

Det her projekt givet mig en enorm viden om praktisk indsamling af data samt analyse og teamwork. Selvom jeg er vant til praktisk undervisning i geovidenskabs-faget på Esbjerg gymnasium, har den her tur været særdeles fjern fra noget jeg nogensinde har prøvet før. Jeg har lært så utroligt mange ting, fagligt som kulturelt, og jeg ved at jeg ikke ville have fået den samme viden hvis jeg ikke have været en del af JSEP 2016.

 

Jared Mason (USA)

As a part of the JSEP program, all 20 students had an amazing opportunity to do independent research with a graduate student from Dartmouth. There were many options on what to study further such as wind and water erosion. I chose to study arthropods because I have always been interested in observing how different animals interact with their environments. I was also curious on how arthropods would adapt to a change in an environment due to an increase in temperature. With these questions in my mind, I worked with my team of 5 to answer them as best as I could. We came up with a question on how accumulation and biodiversity of arthropods changed as you went from a grass terrain to a shrub terrain. It was interesting to analyze the different pitfall traps after we left them out in the different terrains. My excitement when looking at all of the arthropods at the first site is indescribable. I felt like a real scientist at that point. To be surrounded by intelligent people helping you go through a question with just as much enthusiasm as you is such a cool feeling. There were some hard times during the analyzation of the data (I was happy when I pointed out a mistake the incredibly smart Dr. Culler made on the graphs). We got through all of the tough times and it brought our tight knit group even closer together. In the end, our results were nothing like we predicted. The accumulation and diversity of the arthropods were very close to each other and we thought there would be a bigger difference. Being surprised by our results just adds to the wonder of science: you never know what will come out of your experiments.

Visiting Kangerlussuaq and being able to work with amazing teachers and students has been the best experience of my life. Lauren Culler was able to show me what she likes to study for a living and I am forever grateful for that. The bond that I have grown between my fellow students who I am now glad to call my friends is irreplaceable (I cried when Miki had to leave our team early). I have gained so much knowledge over the past weeks studying arthropods among other topics that I will be able to bring back to my small hometown. This program has been amazing and I wish I didn’t have to leave.