Arctic Research at Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College has a long tradition of research and teaching in northern and polar studies. Originally founded in 1769 for the education of Native Americans, Dartmouth is the ninth oldest college in the U.S. Enrollment is approximately 1,800 graduate and 4,100 undergraduate students and includes the highest percentage of Native American students of any Ivy League institution. The college has 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and Tuck School of Business, and has had a long collaborative relationship with the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) located nearby.

Photo courtesy of Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth College is situated in the rural town of Hanover, New Hampshire, located in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. The 269-acre campus is centered around a five-acre "green" (right side of image) that in 1770 was covered by pine trees up to 270 feet tall. Photo courtesy of Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth’s Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center for International Understanding facilitates faculty and student research, teaching, and an understanding of scientific and social issues facing high-latitude regions through seminars, visiting scholars, student exchanges, institutional collaborations, and research and policy discussions. The institute administers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in polar environmental change offered through the Department of Earth Sciences, the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program, and the Thayer School of Engineering.

Dartmouth’s involvement with polar regions began in the 1700s when student and explorer John Ledyard set out for northern Canada; he later walked across a vast region of Siberia. During the 1950s and 1960s, polar explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson founded Dartmouth’s Northern and Polar Studies Program and inaugurated the Stefansson Special Collection on Polar Exploration, which is now a premier library collection on history of the Arctic and Antarctic. Dartmouth’s commitment to the bond between people and the natural environment continues today with its focus on research and education related to the science and human consequences of climate change, led by the Dickey Center’s Institute of Arctic Studies. Dartmouth is also home to the Ice Drilling Program Office, which provides scientific leadership and oversight of ice coring and drilling activities funded by NSF.

This insert highlights current arctic research activities at Dartmouth College.