New video showcases UMaine-led expedition to Greenland
The University of Maine has released a video about a summer 2022 expedition by students and faculty to Greenland as part of a program funded by the National Science Foundation.
In June 2022, Jasmine Saros, associate director of the Climate Change Institute and professor of paleolimnology and lake ecology with the School of Biology and Ecology, led a trip to south Greenland for Arctic research and field training. Her group, which consisted of researchers from UMaine, the University of Maine School of Law and other institutions, studied different socio-environmental Arctic systems during their trip — with research focused on water monitoring, fresh water security, tidewater glaciers and agritourism.
The trip was part of the Systems Approaches to Understanding and Navigating the New Arctic (SAUNNA) program, which is supported by a nearly $3 million award from NSF.
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In June, a group of faculty and student scientists traveled to South Greenland for Arctic research and field training.
The 24 researchers were from the University of Maine, the University of Maine School of Law, and other universities, and included 15 undergraduate, graduate and law students. President Joan Ferrini-Mundy joined us for part of the trip.
Our work focused on studying different socio-environmental Arctic Systems — with research focused on water monitoring, freshwater security, tidewater glaciers and agritourism.
For the water monitoring and freshwater security studies, two research teams sampled lakes, streams and fjords, both on land and by boat.
Another team of scientists worked in a fjord and its tributaries to sample and analyze glacier-marine interactions.
The final team spoke with several sheep farmers around Qassiarsuk to learn how climate change in Greenland has affected them.
This trip is part of a program at UMaine to train graduate students to become the next generation of Arctic scientists.
That program, called Systems Approaches to Understanding and Navigating the New Arctic, or SAUNNA, is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Through it, we’re hoping to train nearly 60 master’s and Ph.D. students from various fields, as Arctic systems science is interdisciplinary.
The Arctic is the most rapidly changing environment in the world due to climate change.
Mean annual temperatures have spiked, ice cover has declined and ecosystems have been altered.
Part of this program’s goal is to reinforce the idea that all of those changes don’t happen in a vacuum. They’re interconnected, and they affect Maine and the Northern Hemisphere broadly.
Outside of conducting research, our team enjoyed hiking, touring icebergs and learning about Inuit and Nordic History at a nearby museum.
Many students were able to experience the Arctic for the first time, after focusing their research on this location for the past year or more.
Some built collaborations and memories that they will carry for the rest of their academic careers.
UMaine has been an internationally recognized leader in polar science for more than four decades. Our faculty are well equipped to prepare these students to address the socio-environmental challenges of tomorrow.
And I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.