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2014 Arctic Internship Fellows

Jennifer Berry, BS Chemistry; BS Environment ‘15
Juneau Icefield Research Program
Juneau, Alaska

With the help of the Arctic Internship Fellowship, Jennifer Berry participated in the Juneau Icefield Research Program where she was able to immerse herself in research and learning how to live safely on a glacier. The program ran logistics that allowed her to do research along an 80 mile, 2 month ski of the Juneau Icefield. They skied from remote camp to remote camp, which are isolated from each other by vast glaciers and snowy peaks.

Jennifer’s research project was split up into two main parts. First she looked at the relationship of black carbon in the snowpack to the albedo of the snow. Across the icefield she collected the snow, starting by measuring the albedo using a pyranometer attached to a metal boom which measures radiation from the sun and the radiation reflected off the snowpack. Then she collected snow at multiple depths from the same area where she measured snow albedo. The second part of her study was looking at the atmosphere above the icefield. With the help of Dr. Chelsea Thompson, she set up three different instruments to measure ozone, black carbon, and size-resolved particle counts. Read more about Jennifer’s Alaska research experience on her Juneau Icefield Research Program Blog.

Jennifer says, “Everything that I was able to do this summer was helped by the Arctic Internship Fellowship. It directly allowed me to be part of the Juneau Icefield Research Program and be able to conduct my study. From this I was able to realize what exactly field research is like, involving the many tribulations that I’ve been told are always a part of fieldwork. Even with the many problems I encountered, I found that fieldwork is exactly the career I would like to pursue.”

Meghan Bond, BS Environment; minor Statistics ‘15
Labrador Institute

Labrador, Canada

As part of the Arctic Internship Program, Meghan Bond spent a month of her summer researching Canadian solid waste management practices in Happy Valley-Goose Bay (HV-GB) with the Labrador Institute. Within the Labrador Institute, she worked with Dr. Joinal Abedin who is interested in the management of the municipal landfill in the town. He is concerned that the landfill is contaminating the surround groundwater, and was planning on conducting an experiment in the future to examine his concern. The purpose of Meghan’s research was to compile it into a literature review that would provide Dr. Abedin with more information about Canadian solid waste management practices prior to beginning his project. Meghan compared standards required of landfills by the government, and evaluated if they were implemented at the HV-GB landfill. She wanted to see if this landfill was including any sustainable practices into their waste management processes. In her literature review, she recommended ways to reduce the amount of waste being disposed of in this landfill. Those methods included composting and education programs and more sustainable methods need to be implemented because HV-GB is a growing community, and landfills are not a sustainable method of waste disposal.

Meghan says, “As a student interested in public health, this internship experience allowed me to learn about the negative effects that landfills can have on the health of a community. I wish to one day receive a Masters of Public Health, and continue to research aspects of public health that are growing concerns throughout the world. Additionally, I appreciate the opportunity to write a literature review, and to practice researching and consolidating information.”

Kristina Macek, BA History; BA Political Science ’14
The Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies (CMSS), University of Calgary

Calgary, Canada

Kristina Macek’s internship began by researching chaos and complexity and if these theories could be used to better understand the Arctic. Both of these theories originated in the hard sciences and scholars are currently trying to use them to better understand social science topics. The conclusion she came to was that while complexity and chaos may be one day used to understand the Arctic, at the moment the social sciences are unable to create the kind of data needed to make full use of these theories. We are years away from being able to use complexity theory to accurately predict events in the Arctic in regards to areas such as security.

Kristina then shifted her focus to doing research on the way we currently explain why events occur in the Arctic. She discovered that many researchers believe that area claims over the Arctic Ocean are becoming more prevalent than land claims and those claims are creating conflict within the region. Additionally, many are advocating for a stricter, more enforceable code of governance in the Arctic, in order to better resolve conflicts. She also looked into how climate change is affecting resource availability and thus increasing Arctic desirability and the economic implications of these resources. Kristina concluded that due to climate change and other factors that the Arctic will increase in desirability therefore leading to more conflict between nations with land and sea claims in the region.

Kristina says, “Throughout the course of my internship, I not only learned more about the Arctic as a geopolitical arena how it can be studied using traditional methods, but also how approaches from other disciplines may be applicable to Arctic study. I feel that throughout the course of the internship I improved my research and writing abilities. I really enjoyed my time at the University of Calgary and found my experience working with Professor Huebert very rewarding. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in the Arctic.”

Kaitlyn Robinson, BA History; BA Political Science ‘15
The Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies (CMSS), University of Calgary

Calgary, Canada

As a recipient of the Arctic Internship Fellowship, Kaitlyn Robinson spent six weeks as an intern at the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS). She worked closely with Professor Rob Huebert, researching Arctic Security and naval deployments. Specifically, Professor Huebert asked her to investigate the naval capacities of the “Arctic 8,” the eight countries with a legitimate claim based in international law to the melting Arctic Ocean and its trade routes and resources. Utilizing the Calgary Military Museum’s copies of Jane’s Fighting Ships, she documented the Arctic 8’s navies, recording ship classes and types utilized between 1988 and 2012. She then focused her efforts on logging the Arctic deployments of these ships over the same period of time. While her research was just the starting point for a larger project aiming to predict future naval activity in the Arctic, it is, according to Professor Huebert, the first of its kind to organize all post-Cold War Arctic 8 deployment information in one place.

Kaitlyn’s experiences both inside and outside of the CMSS office certainly progressed her educational and career goals. Through her research on Arctic security, she familiarized herself with a topic that she knew little about before arriving in Calgary. Interested in conflict, security, and defense, she devoted the past three years of her undergraduate education to exploring these themes in countries around the world. She thought herself fluent in the content of this kind of research when she first began her work at CMSS, but she soon discovered the uniqueness of the Arctic and its security was something that she had never encountered before. Unlike most of her previous work that utilized well-established, populated countries as case studies, she focused on a largely frozen, inaccessible body of water, the legitimate owner of which was yet to be determined.

Kaitlyn says, “Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to spend six weeks working at CMSS! From my time in Calgary, I learned much about political science research, the country of Canada, and my own interests. I am extremely grateful for the Program in International and Comparative Studies’ support in my academic endeavors; I am definitely a better student because of it.”

Mariel Ziperski, BBA Business ‘17
Labrador Institute

Labrador, Canada

As a participant of the Arctic Internship Program through the Program in International and Comparative Studies, Mariel Ziperski spent five weeks working with Scott Nielsen, a PhD candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Mariel participated in excavation of on-site fieldwork in Sheshatshiu (a reservation for the Innu people in the area) on a small, square plot of land that would eventually be used for housing. Sheshatshiu is extremely rich in history and on the site Mariel was working on, they were able to find tool remnants and a loose collection of fire pits from three thousand years ago. Mariel also profiled the rock formations that made up the hearths and looked at soil compositions. She then analyzed these materials to hypothesize the site's history in the context of the local Innu people and their ancestors.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that PICS has provided me. The chance to work abroad is not presented to many freshman and I am so fortunate to represent Michigan in another country. I learned about the Innu and Canadian culture as well as dove headfirst into a field I had no previous experience in. I had incredible adventures that I will never forget.”