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Ambassador Explains Danish Perspective on the Arctic


The Danish Ambassador to the U.S., Peter Taksoe-Jensen, explained to IGERT Fellows in a public talk on November 8, 2011, the Danish perspective on challenges facing the Arctic, in particular, Greenland, which has been part of the Kingdom of Denmark since 1814, but has been moving towards self rule since 1979.

He explained the challenges as well as the potential opportunities that melting Arctic ice poses for Greenland, where an abundance of natural resources could become accessible. He warned that regulation and international cooperation in the Arctic is essential to avoid oil spills that could create “a new Titanic” for the ocean ecosystems.

After his public talk, which was part of the Dartmouth IGERT Dialogues in Polar Science and Society Seminar Series, Ambassador Taksoe-Jensen met with IGERT fellows and faculty to find out more about their work in Greenland, which includes a 5-week summer field seminar, outreach activities with local high school and college students, and public dialogues with the local community on science and engineering climate change research. During the summer of 2011, IGERT fellows Lauren Culler, Laura Levy, and Julia Bradley-Cook had a unique opportunity to talk with local and international students while doing research in Kangerlussuaq, near the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Dartmouth’s Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center for International Understanding also sponsors an undergraduate student exchange with the University of Greenland. The Greenlandic students who attend classes at Dartmouth become an important bridge to the local community when the IGERT fellows are in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, and Kangerlussuaq.

The Danish Ambassador was impressed by the links between Dartmouth and Greenland, and the unique work of IGERT. He expressed enthusiasm for more partnerships between Dartmouth and Denmark.

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