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Media Advisory 12-023

Video Story: U.S. Students Experience Hands-on Science in Greenland

Joint Science Education Program brings high-school students to Arctic research sites

Photo of student Marisa LaRouche sampling water in a Greenland lake.

Marisa LaRouche, of Denver, Colo., helps sample lake water in Greenland for traces of methane.

August 21, 2012

View a video showing students visiting and participating in research in Greenland. Broadcasters: This video, including clean sound bites is available; please contact Dena Headlee,

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

While most of the U.S. was battling record July heat, some U.S. students were seeing world-class research up-close in one of the world's coldest and most scientifically significant places: the tundra and ice sheet in Greenland.

The students--from the states of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New York and Washington--were in Greenland as part of the Joint Science Education Program (JSEP), a cultural and scientific exchange between Denmark, Greenland and the United States, under the guidance of teachers from all three nations.

The three-week JSEP experience was divided into two parts: the Greenlandic-led Field School--which took place in and around Kangerlussuaq, Greenland--and Science Education Week, in which students visited Danish and U.S. research stations on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The National Science Foundation coordinates the Science Education Week experience.

In addition to being on the ground during a rare widespread melt of the ice sheet's surface, the students descended into a pit at NSF's Summit Camp to see how annual snows turn into layers of ice; used off-the-shelf scientific tools as part of an NSF-funded distance-learning pilot project with students in Idaho; worked with researchers measuring Arctic methane releases as groundwork for building a sensor for a possible future Mars probe; and visited the multi-year, Danish-led North Greenland Eemian (NEEM) Ice Drilling project, a paleoclimate research program, just as drilling came to an end.


Media Contacts
Dena Headlee, NSF, (703) 292-7739, email:
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:
Karen Hunt, University of Idaho, (208) 885-7251, email:
Amy Olson, Dartmouth College, (603) 646-3274, email:

Program Contacts
Peter West, NSF, (703) 292-7530, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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