Greenland Education Tour 09

What Are They Doing?

The expedition members visited several research sites in Greenland as part of an initiative to foster enhanced international scientific cooperation between the countries of the United States, Greenland, and Denmark.

The expedition members spent several days learning about the research conducted in Greenland, the logistics involved in supporting the research, and they gained first-hand experience conducting experiments and developing inquiry-based educational activities.

The 2009 expedition built on the 2008 expedition and was supported by the National Science Foundation. The project was developed through cooperation with the U.S.-Denmark-Greenland Joint Committee, which was established in 2004 to broaden and deepen cooperation among the United States, the Kingdom of Denmark, and Greenland.

Where Are They?

The group traveled to Kangerlussuaq on the west coast of Greenland and then to Summit Station at the peak of the Greenland Ice Sheet, atop 3,200 meters of ice. Summit Station is a year-round scientific research station funded by the National Science Foundation.

Expedition Map


A very full and busy week in addition to internet challenges made for the lack of continued journal entries. Look for posts by the end of the week to fill in the activities from the day our Education team made it to Kangerlussuaq from the Summit Station. We enjoyed our last day together with a hike to the edge of the ice, a picnic and a very meaningful debrief session to plan for next year!I'm in Kangerlussuaq very briefly, awaiting my flight back to the U.S. via Copenhagen. More stories to follow... with details about meetings, adventures, visits and establishing educational contacts in Nuuk...
Our 4am alarm was fifteen minutes too early...Trine and I packed our gear, rolled up our sleep kit and had everything nearly ready to go when we got word that the plane was delayed due to weather and visibility. We had to decide whether to pull out the gear and go back to sleep or go ahead and walk to the Big House. The idea of hot tea and a potential flight was too tempting! Tent City on the day we were supposed to leave! So despite a hopeful wind we still sit here at 9am Greenland time waiting for word of a plane. From the information we receive after each half hour weather report the...
We started our day with a general overview of the science done at Summit Station by Sandy Starkweather, station manager. She gave us a thorough background of the importance of the research done at this high elevation research facility. Under the Joint Committee Agreement, the U.S., Danes and Greenlanders work together to promote science, education, tourism and stewardship of Greenland. The Summit Station is a unique facility given the high elevation, clean air and environment as a resource for the entire polar science community. Summit Station photo Researcher Brie Van Dam from the...
We started our day with a check in about group education projects at an 8:30am meeting. The students are gathering information from scientists and staff here at Summit Station and feeling very positive about their work. I am excited for these teams - to have resources, scientists and examples right in their environment makes for a great experience. After breakfast the teams spent most of the morning gathered together working. It was a productive time and I'm really pleased with everyone's enthusiasm for a presentation. In addition to presenting to each other in Kangerlussuaq we're also hoping...
We started our day of July 9th by getting up at breakfast at 12:30 am! Once we got our gear stashed, it was time to get on the bus to the airport at 1:30. Our LC-130 took off with everyone for Greenland near 2 am with great views out the side windows right away. The windows in the rear were even bigger and everyone had an opportunity to move to the back to take photos and look at the ice. A little over two hours later and we were landing on the ice sheet at the Summit of Greenland! Smoother than Alaska Airlines landing in Juneau! window view cockpit view lakes on the ice Clothed in...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

5 July 2009 to 21 July 2009
Location: Various Locations, Greenland
Project Funded Title: Greenland, Denmark, United States Joint Science Education Tour '09

Meet the Team

Jennifer Thompson's picture
Washington, DC
United States

Jennifer Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and outdoor recreation and her experiences as a guide, commercial fisher, naturalist, and parent eventually led her to pursue a career in education. Ms. Thompson thoroughly enjoys working with young children and engaging them in the natural world. She has taught kindergarten and first grade classes in Juneau, Alaska for ten years, and is currently spending a year in Arlington, Virginia as an Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation. Ms. Thompson is intrigued with polar science and thankful for the opportunities she has had to interact with scientists investigating climate change, and hopes to build additional collaborative relationships through PolarTREC. Ms. Thompson has two teenagers and loves everything outdoors—skiing, hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, climbing, boating and coastal beach walks!