Part of Dartmouth's commitment to undergraduate education includes getting students involved in the research process early on—the Institute of Arctic Studies awards Stefansson Fellowships to undergraduate students whose research requires travel to arctic locations. Supported projects span the academic spectrum.
Elizabeth Parker spent the summer of 2009 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Auke Creek Research Station in Juneau, Alaska, studying how selection pressures related to latitude affect the lipid allocation strategy used by capelin fish. Hanul Kim spent the same summer working with William Fitzhugh, director of the Arctic Studies Center at the Smithsonian Institution, excavating ancient artifacts related to the cooperative relationship between Basque whalers and Inuit inhabitants in Newfoundland. In 2006, Mary Hiratsuka, a Native American studies major, traveled to Greenland to study preservation of the Inuit language—she worked closely with Aqqaluk Lynge and Lene Holm of the Inuit Circumpolar Council and with faculty at the University of Greenland.
As an undergraduate engineering major and 2007 Stefansson Fellow, Chris Polashenski tracked mercury in snowmelt as it entered the arctic ecosystem in Barrow, Alaska. He is now a third year Ph.D. student in Dartmouth's Polar Environmental Change Program working with Donald Perovich at the U.S. Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) studying seasonal sea ice melt processes in the Arctic.