Dartmouth leads 2nd Joint Antarctic School Expedition

Four American students and two Dartmouth educators joined a team of Chilean students and educators for an expedition to King George Island.

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  1. In December 2016, Dartmouth educators Lauren Culler and Erica Wallstrom traveled to Antarctica with four American high school students- Cristopher Alvarado from North Carolina, Lucia Hruby from Texas, Audrey Reyes from New York, and Annika Salmi from California. These students were selected from among many applicants for a coveted spot on the NSF-funded Joint Antarctic School Expedition (JASE).
  2. After meeting in Dallas and traveling as a group to Punta Arena, Chile, they boarded a C-130 for the two hour flight to King George Island. With them were 7 students and 4 teachers from Chile, who had all completed award-winning Antarctic science projects as part of the Chilean Antarctic Institute's Feria Antártica Escolar. Dartmouth's Institute of Arctic Studies and the Chilean Antarctic Institute have collaborated on the Joint Antarctic School Expedition/Expedicion Antartica Escolar (EAE) since 2015.
  3. Unfortunately the Antarctic weather did not cooperate and the group only had 24 hours to take in the sights, meet scientists, and visit the international scientific bases on King George. One of the highlights was the 6 km trek to the Uruguayan base and Collins Glacier. Along they way they saw Antarctic mosses, soils and lakes, snowfields, skuas and even a few penguins.
  4. Fortunately, southern Chile, an area also known as Patagonia, was an outstanding classroom for the American and Chilean students and educators to continue their cross-cultural polar science experience. After meeting with the local government and giving presentations about some of the great science done by the JSEP students (the Chileans presented their award-winning projects), the team ventured out to some of the nearby national parks to learn about glaciers and sub-Antarctic ecosystems.
  5. So, despite the shorter-than-planned visit to Antarctica, JASE/EAE successfully connected students across cultures and international borders for an inspiring week of sharing science and exploring polar environments. Below you can read a tweet from each American student about their overall reflections on JASE. As educators, we could not have been more proud of the students and how they shared their passion for science and represented the values and diversity of American students.
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