IGERT Polar Environmental Change

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
101 place StudyQA ranking:4538 Duration:5 years

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Polar Science is at the forefront of research into the large and rapid environmental changes currently taking place worldwide. Scientists who understand the complex scientific and societal impacts of polar changes have the unique opportunity to affect environmental policies worldwide.

The NSF-funded Dartmouth IGERT in Polar Environmental Change supports the development of an interdisciplinary PhD program in polar sciences. Students complete a core curriculum that integrates the requirements of a participating graduate program (Earth Sciences, Engineering Sciences, or Biological Sciences) into an interdisciplinary framework for studying polar changes. The curriculum includes seminars in polar science and policy and fieldwork in Greenland.

The objective of the Dartmouth IGERT is to develop a new generation of environmental scientists and engineers who:

  • Have an interdisciplinary view of polar regions and their importance to global environmental change
  • Understand the societal and ethical implications of their research, the policy process and the role of western scientific management and traditional knowledge in decision making processes
  • Are able to communicate their science to diverse audiences
  • Upon graduation are already engaged with the international science and engineering community, hastening their development both as global science citizens and as researchers

The core courses are Introduction to Polar Systems; Polar Science, Policy, and Ethics; The Greenland Field Seminar. In consultation with an advisory committee, IGERT students typically take three courses from at least two of the following areas: engineering sciences, biological sciences, earth sciences, physics, and toxicology. The following is not a complete listing of courses:

Engineering Sciences:

  • Behavior of Materials
  • Methods of Materials Characterization
  • Cold Regions Science
  • Cold Regions Engineering
  • Topics in Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics
  • Intermediate Thermodynamics

Biological Sciences:

  • Scientific Integrity and Research Ethics
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Genes and Gene Products
  • Advanced Topics Seminars

Earth Sciences:

  • Mathematical Modeling of Earth Processes
  • Climate Change Seminar
  • Isotope Geochemistry
  • Soil Chemistry
  • Geobiology
  • Remote Sensing and GIS


  • Methods of Materials Characterization
  • Optical Devices and Systems
  • Microscopic Theory of Solids
  • Microscopic Plasma Theory


  • Graduate Toxicology

Students are funded for two years of their graduate program at $30,000 per year. Funding for other years is awarded from departmental fellowships and faculty research grants at a rate set by the Graduate Division. Applicants must first be accepted by one of the participating PhD programs at Dartmouth (earth sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology, or engineering) in order to receive an IGERT fellowship.

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