Ross Virginia

Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science
Director, Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center for International Understanding

Dartmouth College
Hinman Box 6182
109 Steele Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: (603) 646-0192
Fax: (603) 646-1682

Current Courses

Environmental Issues of the Earth's Cold Regions,
Environmental Studies 15

This course examines the major physical, ecological and human systems of high latitudes, including the circumpolar northern Arctic regions and the continent of Antarctica. Using an interdisciplinary perspective the course explores the science of polar environmental change and applies this information to understand the connections of the polar regions to global processes and international issues (climate change, biodiversity, indigenous rights).


Introduction to Polar Systems,
Biological Sciences 148

This course examines current polar science that has relevance to critical environmental issues and policies for the high latitude regions. It provides a foundation on topics such as ice core interpretation, declining sea ice and changes in ice sheet dynamics, alterations in the terrestrial and marine carbon cycles, and climate change impacts on polar biodiversity. The later portion of the course focuses on the development of a group interdisciplinary research project.


Polar Science, Policy, and Ethics,
Environmental Studies 80

This course examines the connections between polar science and the human dimensions of rapid environmental change in the Arctic. The differing ways of understanding environmental change from the standpoints of western science and traditional knowledge information are viewed as drivers of policy formulation. The ethical responsibilities of researchers who work with Indigenous peoples are considered essential to the process of applying science in meeting the needs of communities adapting to climate change. Governance frameworks and key stakeholders in the Arctic region are identified and compared with the legal system governing Antarctica. The course emphasizes team learning and the development of science communication skills as an important part of the policy research process.


Past Courses

Ecological Agriculture
Global Environmental Science
Foreign Study in Environmental Studies in Southern Africa
Introduction to Environmental Science