Disko Island, GreenlandSummer Study Tour

Required Course(s)
Arctic Ecology

On this week-long study tour, you will have the opportunity for a hands-on encounter with the Arctic climate, witness magnificent wildlife, and experience how a modern Arctic society thrives. You will learn about species adaptations to the Greenland Arctic environment by observing plant and animal species on land, and excursions at sea, hike to observe local glaciers and discuss the use of natural resources.

The class will study how the dynamics between glaciers and plants are influenced by climate variations, and identify different indicator species on land and at sea.The chosen destination provides the opportunity to conduct fieldwork, have discussions with research specialists, gain a cultural experience, and spend time with fellow classmates.

Tour Objectives

  • Conduct fieldwork at sea and on land on a variety of high Arctic mammals and plans, focusing on the adaptations organisms require to thrive in either the marine, terrestrial, or freshwater ecosystems
  • Dive into the details of species interactions, and look into the phenomena of “trophic mismatch”
  • Experience firsthand how climate changes are affecting biodiversity and Arctic ecosystems in the UNESCO Heritage Ilulissat Ice Fjord area

Possible Activities

  • Visit the Arctic research station on Disko Island to learn about ongoing ecological research in the area, and visit some of the sites
  • Observe how a modern Greenland town maintains traditional harvest of natural resources and adapts to the commercial tourism industry
  • Hike to the Lyngmark glacier to study plant adaptations on an eight-hour hike from sea level to glacier front