Dartmouth IGERT  
Dickey logo
IGERT photo

Environmental scientists and engineers who understand the global dimensions of polar science are needed to address the challenges of rapid environmental change. Dartmouth IGERT students are part of a new cohort of scientists and engineers trained to have an international perspective and an interdisciplinary approach to global climate issues.

The growing scarcity of natural resources and other problems caused by climate change are having particularly adverse affects on Northern communities. We encourage Native students interested in research relevant to their communities to apply to the program. Visit the Native American Studies website to find more information about the College's long history of commitment to Native American student education.

Alden Adolph

Julia Bradley-Cook

Alden is an engineering student working with Mary Albert at Thayer School of Engineering. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, Alden received a BA and a BE in Engineering Sciences with a concentration in mechanical engineering and completed a thesis project with Professor Albert studying gas diffusivity of polar firn. She is continuing her studies at Dartmouth as part of the IGERT team by pursuing her research interests in the physical properties of snow and firn. Alden is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and loves trivia, the outdoors and live music.

Julia Bradley-Cook

Julia Bradley-Cook

Julia a student in the ecology and evolutionary biology working with Ross Virginia. She has a BA in biology from Grinnell College. She has worked at the Gobebeb Center and the Desert Research Foundation in Namibia, and at Climate Central, a climate change research and media organization. Her current research is on the influence of environmental change on ecosystem function in polar region, and she has spent three field seasons in Greenland. Her video about her research won the 2012 NSF IGERT Video and Poster Competition. She hails from New York City (read Julia's blog post on finding the Arctic in New York City) and spends her free time enjoying the outdoors and doing anything that involves live music or Ben & Jerry's—or, preferably, both.

Lee Corbett

Link to Corbett videoLee is a student in earth sciences working with Erich Osterberg and Meredith Kelly. She received a BA from Middlebury College, where she studied long-term climate changes in Utah, and an MS from University of Vermont where she researched the retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet margin at the end of the last ice age. At Dartmouth she is studying fluctuations in the position of the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet margin using cosmogenic nuclide dating, radiocarbon dating, and lake sediment cores. Read her blog post from Thule, Greenland. Lee is a Vermont native and spends her free time skiing or hiking in the Green Mountains and tasti

ng maple syrup.

Lauren Culler

lauren culler

Lauren is a student in ecology and evolutionary biology working with Matt Ayres. She has a B.S. in Zoology and an M.S. in Entomology from the University of Maryland. Lauren has a strong background in entomology and aquatic ecology. As part of IGERT she is studying the impacts of climate change on ecological dynamics in freshwater systems. Lauren enjoys crabbing in the tributaries of the Chesapeake and hiking in the mountains. She also travels far and wide to collect insects and has taught workshops for the Federation of Fly Fishers. Take a look at her Stoneflies of North America website and her Greenland Aquatic blog.

Sam Fey

Sam FeySam is a student in ecology and evolutionary biology working with Kathryn Cottingham. Sam completed a BA in Biology from Hamilton College and came to Dartmouth following a two-year research fellowship at the NIH. Sam brings the perspective of an aquatic community ecologist to the IGERT team. His research focuses on the effect of temperature on aquatic food web interactions. Sam received a Porter Foundation Award for Research in Sustainability Science for a project linking climate change research and sustainability science. He enjoys whitewater kayaking or telemark skiing depending on the season. He lives in Hanover with his wife, Andrea, and their rabbit, Nixon.

Zak Gezon

rebecca williamsZak is a student in ecology and evolutionary biology working with Rebecca Irwin. Zak received a BS in biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego before galavanting around the world for a few years to surf and snowboard. He eventually settled down in Costa Rica where he managed an environmental education center based on teaching tourists about the beauty and importance of arthropods. It was in Costa Rica that Zak's passion for ecology blossomed, prompting him to apply for a PhD at Dartmouth. Zak's dissertation research focuses on investigating the role that phenology plays in plant reproduction and plant-pollinator interactions. In 2011, he won the Filene Teaching Award. Zak is an avid snowboarder and mountain biker, and lives with his wife Ramsa and their cat Apple Fritter.


Ali Giese

Ali GieseAli is an earth sciences student working in Bob Hawley's Glaciology Lab. After earning a bachelors degree from Harvard, where she explored orbital cycles as potential forcing mechanisms for mountain glacier retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum, Ali worked as a researcher for two NGOs addressing climate change. She experienced an education and policy-based approach to effecting environmental change while at the Earth Policy Institute in DC and a business-based one while at Ceres in Boston. Ali's scientific interests lie in the physical behavior of ice sheets--particularly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet--and past and future responses to climatic warming. She spent part of summer 2012 in Alaska at the Wrangell Mountain Center's International Summer School for Glaciologist. Ali enjoys singing, rock climbing, and cheering for her hometown Boston Red Sox.


Stephanie Gregory

Stephanie GregoryStephanie is a student at the Thayer School of Engineering working with Mary Albert and Ian Baker. Stephanie has a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Rhode Island where she competed for their track and field team. During her undergraduate studies she spent a month in Costa Rica studying the biodiversity of small mammals on a coffee farm. As a member of the IGERT program, she is utilizing her background in chemical engineering to better understand the driving forces of pore close off at multiple locations in Antarctica. She is currently investigating the physical properties and microstructure of firn cores from the WAIS Divide and Megadunes drilling sites. Stephanie enjoys swimming, cycling, running, snowboarding, and gardening in her free time.

Ruth Heindel

Stephanie GregoryRuth is an earth sciences student working with Ross Virginia and Meredith Kelly. She earned a B.S. in geology-biology from Brown University, where she studied aeolian sedimentation in a high arctic fjord on Svalbard. Ruth’s love of the arctic has taken her to Alaska, northern Canada, Svalbard, and most recently to Greenland. At Dartmouth, she is studying landscape evolution and sediment transport in areas impacted by glaciers. She spent her first IGERT summer of 2012 assisting fellow IGERT Julia Bradley-Cook in Greenland measuring the carbon dioxide gas that is released from ground and doing outreach with an international group of high school students. Ruth is a proud Vermonter who enjoys skiing, backpacking, playing her cello, and cooking.

Kaitlin Keegan

Kaitlin KeeganKaitlin is a student at Thayer School of Engineering working with Ian Baker and Mary Albert, Director of NSF's Ice Drilling Program Office. Kaitlin received a BS in materials science and engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Her research is on the physical properties and microstructure of firn core at NEEM and Summit, Greenland to achieve a greater understanding of how pores close off within the ice structure. Kaitlin has participanted in outreach activities with Greenlandic, Danish, and US high school students through the NSF Joint Science Education Program. She loves movies, can't resist ice cream, and has demonstrated her baton twirling chops in Greenland.

Ben Kopec

Ben KopecBen is a student in earth sciences working in Xiahong Feng's Stable Isotope Laboratory. He received his BS in earth and environmental sciences from Susquehanna University where he conducted research on a variety of hydrologic issues. Ben is studying the effects of sea ice on arctic precipitation and chose the Dartmouth IGERT based on the opportunity to work in Greenland and to combine his interests in climate change and hydrology. He enjoys the numerous outdoors activities surrounding Dartmouth from winter snowboarding to hiking and fly fishing in the summer

Nina Lany

Nina LanyNina is a student of ecology working in the Matt Ayres entomology lab, focusing on the effects of climate change on plant-insect interactions and phenology. After earning a BA in comparative literature from the College of Wooster and a BS in natural science from Lyndon State College, Nina taught science, math, and humanities. She is now developing research that both contributes to ecological theory and promotes societal understanding of effects of climate change on northern forests. When not catching insects, Nina, her partner Luke, and their daughter Aniela enjoy working on their woodlot, taking care of the baby chicks, and swimming in the rivers and lakes of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

Alex Lauder

Alex LauderAlex is a student in earth sciences working with Xiahong Feng. After earning a BS in civil and environmental engineering from UCLA he returned to his childhood home of Guam to work. His projects ranged from studies on water quality and typhoon structural failures to construction management and coastal design projects. He has taught high school science and enjoyed volunteering for construction, education, and health-related projects in urban areas, Indian reservations, and various Micronesian islands. Alex loves snorkeling, barbequing, and discussing issues affecting Native communities.

Laura Levy

laura levyLaura is a student in earth sciences working with Meredith Kelly. She received an MS in geology from Northern Arizona University, where she studied glacier fluctuations in the Ahklun Mountains of Alaska. Laura is continuing her work in the arctic by researching how the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers in Greenland have changed over the past 12,000 years. She received an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant to study past extents of the Greenland Ice Sheet near Kangerlussuaq, western Greenland, a project that evolved from her participation in IGERT. She enjoys hiking/backpacking, riding horses, climbing, cooking and hanging out with her dog, Pepper.

Thomas Overly

Thomas OverlyThomas is a student in earth sciences working in Robert Hawley's Glaciology Lab. Thomas earned a master's degree in geography from the University of Kansas, where he used near-surface radar data to examine snow accumulation in central Greenland. His studies have taken him to Greenland four times, twice on the ice sheet at Summit Station and also the NEEM Deep Ice Core. As a 2008 Fulbright Grantee to Greenland/Denmark, he spent two months traveling throughout coastal Greenland with hunters and fishers examining the potential for interweaving local Greenlandic environmental knowledge and the current scientific understanding of climate change. Thomas wants to combine his background in remote sensing, glaciology, and cultural geography to examine how people can integrate knowledge to best understand and prepare for polar environmental change. He enjoys climbing, skiing, biking, photography, live music, soccer, basketball, and cooking.

Chris Polashenski

chris polashenskiChris is an engineering student working with Donald Perovich at the U.S. Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL). A Dartmouth graduate, Chris's research interests range from zero energy greenhouses to Arctic ice monitoring buoys, but he has a passion for understanding and mitigating changes in our climate. He hopes to focus his work on building scientific understanding of seasonal ice melt processes in the Arctic. Chris spends as much free time as possible outdoors hunting, hiking, fishing, and canoeing. He lives with his girlfriend, Norah, chickens, rabbits, and a free-spirited beagle named Tracks. NASA wrote about his work in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska.

Kristin Schild

KiristinKristin is a student in earth sciences working with Bob Hawley. She received a BA from Southern Methodist University where she competed as a springboard and platform diver on their swimming and diving team. She received her MS from the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute studying ice sheet dynamics and glacial earthquakes at major Greenland tidewater glaciers. At Dartmouth she is studying the seasonal evolution of subglacial water tunnels for a tidewater outlet glacier in west Greenland. Kristin is originally from Chicago and spends her free time climbing, kayaking, running, hanging out in cold places and hiking with her dog and husband.

Jessica Trout-HaneyJessica Trout-Haney

Jessica is a student in ecology and evolutionary biology working with Kathryn Cottingham. Jessica majored in Zoology and German as undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire, and received her MS in Biology from Villanova University where she studied the social and genetic mating system of the Boreal Chickadee. She joins the IGERT team with a focus on aquatic food web dynamics and the ecology of cyanobacterial toxins. In her free time, Jessica loves rock climbing, hiking, skiing, and swinging from the trapeze.

Christine Urbanowicz

christine urbanowiczChristine is a student in ecology and evolutionary biology working with Rebecca Irwin. She received a BS in environmental studies from Gettysburg College and an MA in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is focused on studying species distributions through the lens of landscape ecology. As part of the IGERT team, Christine is excited to investigate the effects of climate change on arctic pollination systems. She enjoys being active outdoors, cooking, and volunteering at animal shelters.

Chelsea Vario

Chelsea VarioChelsea is a student in the ecology and evolutionary biology program and works with Andy Friedland on the effects of wood harvesting on carbon storage in soils. She has a in environmental science from the University of New Hampshire. Chelsea's research interests in both undergraduate and graduate school have focused on biogeochemical cycling in soils and forested ecosystems. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to study soil formation in the young landscape of Greenland. Aside from the delights of soil, Chelsea enjoys playing music, cooking, exploring the natural world, and dancing till the wee hours of the morning.


Ben Walker

Stephanie GregoryBen is a student in engineering working with Laura Ray. His research involves increasing the onboard automous capabilities of the YETI Polar Robot system. He received a BS from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where he studied electronic component evaluation and system integration. Ben comes to the program after 13 years in Air Force Rescue, and several seasons of polar experience in Greenland and the North Slope of Alaska. He enjoys chasing stray electrons around the laboratory, early morning walks with his dog Jade, swimming, performance based dance, and a good book.

Marcus Welker

Marcus WelkerMarcus is a student in ecology and evolutionary biology working with Anne Kapuscinsk. He graduated from the Unviersity of Alaska Anchorage in natural sciences and has an MS in aquatic resource management from Kings College London. He is interested in the social-ecological system effects of anadromous fish expansion in the Arctic and the unique marine-freshwater-terrestrial linkage. In 2012, Marcus received an award to attend the NSF East Asia and Pacific Institute for graduate students in Japan. Marcus spends his free time outdoors exploring the vast wilderness New England has to offer, mountain biking and skiing.

Simone Whitecloud

simone whitecloudSimone is a student in ecology and evolutionary biology working with Mark McPeek. She worked as a naturalist in the Bay Area after receiving a BS in Biology and a BA in French from the University of San Francisco. Her interests include plant interactions and indigenous uses of plants. She is hoping to find evidence of awareness of plant interactions in the harvesting practices of the indigenous peoples of New England and Greenland, her two field sites. Read about her in the Polar Services Newsletter aritlce Educating the Whole Scientist and a Dartmouth Graduate Studies profile online.

Rebecca Williams

rebecca williamsRebecca is an engineering student working with Laura Ray. Her research involves control theory, signal processing, and electronic instrumentation in order to create a robot capable of navigating polar regions. She received a BS from the University of Illinois at Chicago in biomedical engineering but has decided to wander from this field in pursuit of an analogous goal: the protection and advancement of the world's health through environmentalism. She revels in any opportunity to balance her engineer's brain with artistic creativity, and can often be found playing the piano, sewing, drawing, and writing. Read about her work in Greenland behind the wheel of crevasse detection vehicle developed at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering.

Gifford Wong

gifford wongGifford is a student of earth sciences working in Robert Hawley's Glaciology Lab. He circuitously came to Dartmouth after studying at the Unviersity of California Berkley and an Honours degree in Antarctic Studies from the University of Tasmania at Hobart. He has experienced polar life with the US Antarctic Program. Gifford is investigating the role of glaciers within the climate change conversation by investigating the spatial variability of part of the Greenland Ice Sheet. He enjoys the outdoors, improvisational acting, and helicopters. Listen to Gifford narrate an NSF video on the work in Antarctica at WAIS Divide.



IGERT Leadership
Ross Virginia photo

Ross Virginia

Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science and Director, Institute of Arctic Studies at The Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, PI

Mary Albert photo

Mary R. Albert

Professor of Engineering and Executive Director of U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office, Thayer School of Engrineering at Dartmouth College, Co-PI

Ian Baker photo

Ian Baker

Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, Co-PI

Xiahong Feng photo

Xiahong Feng

Professor, Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Co-PI

bruce duthu

N. Bruce Duthu

Samson Occom Professor of Native American Studies and Chair of the Native American Studies Program, Dartmouth College, Co-PI


Department Participants
Biological Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Earth Sciences
Thayer School of Engineering

Faculty Participants
Mary R. Albert, Co-PI Geophysical sciences • Snow physics, transport
Steven A. Arcone CRREL • Snow and Ice • Radar remote sensing
Matthew P. Ayres Plant-insect interactions
Ian Baker, Co-PI Material science • Ice
Douglas T. Bolger Conservation ecology
David M. Cole CRREL • Snow and Ice • Soil and ice mechanics
Kathryn Cottingham Aquatic ecology • biostatistics • environmental health
Michael Dorsey International climate policy
N. Bruce Duthu, Co-PI Native American law and policy
Xiahong Feng, Co-PI Isotope geochemistry • Snow chemistry
Carol L. Folt Aquatic ecology • Toxicology
Andrew J. Friedland Forest biogeochemistry
Lenore A. Grenoble Arctic cultures • Language policy
Robert Hawley Glaciology • Ice sheets
Richard B. Howarth Ecological economics • Climate change policy
Meredith Kelly Glaceology • Paleoenvironments
James H. Lever CRREL • Ice engineering • Physical modeling
Francis J. Magilligan Hydrology
Jill Mikucki Geobiology • subglacial ecosystems
Erich C. Osterberg paleoclimate • atmospheric pollution
Donald K. Perovich CRREL • Snow and Ice • Optical properties
Eric Post Penn State University • Arctic vegetation • grazing systems
Darren J. Ranco Environmental risk • Research ethics • TK
Laura E. Ray Robotics
C. Michael Reynolds CRREL • Environmental quality • oil microbiology
Bill D. Roebuck Ecosystem toxicology
Nancy Serrell Science education and outreach
Susan Taylor CRREL • Environmental quality • Geochemistry
Ross A. Virginia, PI Ecosystem ecology • soil biogeochemisty
John W. Weatherly CRREL • Snow and ice • Climate modeling

External Advisory Group
Amelia R. Ward Department of Biology and Director of the Center for Freshwater Studies, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (Committee Chair)
Ginny Eckert '90 School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Universtiy of Alaska Fairbanks, and PI MESAS IGERT: Marine Ecosystem Sustainability in the Arctic and Subarctic
Gail Fondahl '78 Department of Geography and Vice President of Research, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC, Canada

IGERT is a science and engineering based program that also considers the cultural and political dimensions of environmental issues. Current or potential graduate students interested in IGERT can apply to the program after being accepted by one of the following three PhD programs.

Department of Biological Sciences

The Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) encompasses all areas of ecology, evolutionary biology and related disciplines. The program seeks to train highly qualified and motivated students for productive careers in research and teaching through completion of a Ph.D. degree. The core faculty are ecologists and evolutionary biologists in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Environmental Studies Program. Email for more information.

Department of Earth Sciences

The Department of Earth Sciences is devoted to the study of the natural world in which we live. At the advanced level, research and teaching themes fall under the broad category of "environmental geosciences." Field studies, both near home and abroad, are combined with laboratory-based and theoretical studies of fundamental processes affecting the Earth's surface. Email for more information.

Thayer School of Engineering

The founder of Thayer School believed that engineering in the context of a liberal arts education could provide the single best preparation for addressing the world's problems. This wisdom remains at the core of Thayer School's educational mission. Graduate students take a range of courses as they develop advanced professional skills, and they tackle research problems that may take them into any field of engineering or into areas that draw on several disciplines. Email for more information.

Ross Virginia, IGERT PI
Institute of Arctic Studies
The Dickey Center for International Understanding
Dartmouth College
6214 Haldeman Center
Hanover, NH  03755
603.646.2168 fax

Ross Virginia

Lee McDavid, IGERT Program Manager
Institute of Arctic Studies
The Dickey Center for International Understanding
Dartmouth College
6214 Haldeman Center
Hanover, NH  03755
603.646.2168 fax

Lee McDavid

Graduate Studies Office
Dartmouth College
6062 Wentworth, Room 304
Hanover, NH  03755-3526
603.646.8762 (fax)