Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Banner Img

© Fabienne Meier, All rights reserved

Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail Image
Thumbnail Image

Participation in the Juneau icefield research program

Fabienne Meier

-

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich - ETHZ

Lay summary

Description of the programme

The Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) is an educational and expeditionary training in the stunning Coast Mountains of Alaska and British Columbia. During seven weeks, we traversed the Juneau icefield from Juneau (Alaska) to Atlin (Canada). Along the icefield traverse, we got a wide range of academic training in earth and climate sciences as well as wilderness survival, safety and mountaineering skills. It provided unique opportunities for team building and connecting with other polar researchers from all over the world as well as personal growth.

How did you personally benefit from the programme?

This training helped me in many aspects for working in polar environments in my future career: I gained a lot of mountaineering skills in glacier travelling and rescue as well as new field work, science and safety skills in polar environments. Also, living on the icefield for seven weeks and being exposed to all its challenges and harsh conditions taught me a lot about expedition logistics and how to life and survive in harsh and remote environments. Expanding my network among polar scientists might be very beneficial when applying for a PHD position or a job in this sector. The learned academic and safety skills prepared me well for a career in polar field sciences.

What were the highlights of the training?

Research training directly outside in the field (e.g. ice coring, rock sampling, installation of different temperature sensors on the icefield or digging several mass balance pits), being exposed to a polar environment for seven weeks in a very remote place and closely working together with leading scientists from all over the world contributed to the special experience and were definitely amongst my highlights.

Would you recommend the programme to other students?

I would highly recommend the programme to other students. It is a very unique and valuable experience living and researching on the Juneau Icefield, one of the most beautiful places on this planet I’ve ever seen!

However, everyone wanting to participate should be aware of the challenges during such a seven-week expedition: the icefield traverse is physically demanding, and you are exposed to harsh weather conditions. Also, there is very little privacy on the icefield, and you have to make significant compromises regarding your comfort levels such as food and hygiene standards.

Details

Regional focus Arctic
Location Alaska
Funded amount 2,500 CHF
Project dates 1st June 2022 – 30th August 2022
Category Field and Summer Schools