2017 REU Program: Understanding the Arctic as a System

The Arctic climate is changing. Today, more than ever, an integrated cross-disciplinary approach is necessary to understand and explain changes in the Arctic and the implications of those changes. Responding to needs in innovative research and education for understanding high-latitude rapid climate change, researchers from UAF have established a new Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site, aiming to attract more undergraduates, including students from minority groups, to arctic sciences.

The International Arctic Research Center would like to welcome the eight undergraduates selected to participate in the REU program and work with some of IARC’s senior scientists to better understand the Arctic as a system.

Students of the 2017 REU program:

Jill Brooks studies geography and environmental studies at the University of Vermont. She is interested in ecology and how natural systems impact social systems. Jill is working with Sarah Trainor on a project that focuses on creating a graphic of salmon distribution and run-timing along the Yukon River.

Giovanni Corti studies physics at Reed College. He is interested in using physics in applied ways that focus more on the environment. Giovanni is working with Regine Hock on analyzing glacier mass changes in Alaska and investigating the climate linkages.

Austin Dabbs studies mechanical engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is interested in looking at how human disturbance influence different ecotypes and how changes to the environment can impact elements of engineering. Austin is working with Vladimir Romanovksy to collect permafrost temperature data and incorporate this data in modeling and model verification.

Ross Fischer studies mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado. Ross is interested in applying his engineering skills to help better understand environmental issues. Ross is working with John Walsh to evaluate projected changes in the surface moisture budget for Alaska.

Christoph Funke studies applied mathematics at Yale University. He is interested in applying his studies to environmental needs and possibly pursuing a career in environmental protection. Christoph is working with Vladimir Alexeev on a project that assesses polar amplified (PA) warming in the Arctic.

Rachel Patteson studies environmental science at the University of Missouri. She is interested in research and is looking to possibly pursue a career in academia and travel. Rachel is working with Igor Polyakov to analyze regional warming rates starting from the 1950s in order to determine where ice cover will likely remain most vulnerable in the future.

Jamie Ramsey studies environmental science at Antioch College.  She is interested in research and would possibly like to pursue a career working with national parks or non-profits. Jamie is working with Eugenie Euskirchen by obtaining various measurements in plants and soils to determine the impact that increasing permafrost degradation and growing season length will have on carbon, nitrogen, water, and energy fluxes in tundra and boreal ecosystems.

Claire Simpson studies geography and environmental studies at UCLA. She is interested in hydrology related research and has conducted undergraduate research focusing on streams in Greenland. Claire is working with Chris Arp to combine water level data from Arctic lakes with field mapping and geospatial analysis to show how these hydrologic regimes impact aquatic habitats.

Learn more about these IARC projects and REU.