ARCUS travels to the Arctic Circle

Summer is a time for relaxation, swimming in refreshingly cool water on hot days and ignoring the dreaded AP summer homework. However, for a group of students and teachers, summer means going to frigid the arctic.

Every summer for the past seven years, ARCUS, the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, has gathered a small group of students and teachers from the United States, Greenland and Denmark to journey to the top of the Greenland ice sheet.

“I think this is a good opportunity for students because it provides a unique research opportunity for them that we don’t have at Heritage,” says Erica Brooks ’16.

This summer, five students will be chosen from the United States to travel to the Greenland ice shelf to learn more about polar science and experimentation Photo courtesy of ARCUS and Bo Christensen.
This summer, five students will be chosen from the United States to travel to the Greenland ice shelf to learn more about polar science and experimentation. Photo courtesy of ARCUS and Bo Christensen.

The project, named the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), will run this summer from June 29 to July 20. According to the ARCUS website, students and teachers will participate in and learn about polar science at field stations around Kangerlussuaq, Greenland alongside scientists and researchers. JSEP’s activities for the 2014 expedition included fossil and garnet collection, cataloging the biodiversity of the area and building a back-lit snow pit.

According the the ARCUS website, JSEP was created by a joint action of the American, Danish and Greenlandic governments to educate and encourage future polar scientists, construct networks of students and teachers among the three countries and advocate the practice of language and communication skills among students from the three countries as they work on the Greenland ice shelf.

“It is a great opportunity for students that are qualified. I think that it would be an amazing trip,” says Maddie Allen ’16.

ARCUS and JSEP provide a unique experience for students to learn about and explore the Arctic Circle. Students will live in dormitory housing and share responsibilities for both cleaning and cooking during the project. All airfare, food, lodging and other necessities will be provided by the project; it is entirely free for students and teachers to attend.

This completely free opportunity is only available to five students across the United States, however, and applicants must be in their junior year at the time of application. Those who have applied will be notified of their selection statuses by the end of March.

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