Almost 30 graduate students from more than 10 countries gathered in the small Alaskan village of McCarthy, 7-17 June 2022, to participate in the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s (UAF) sixth 11-day International Summer School in Glaciology.
High glacierized mountains provided the perfect setting for the event, which aimed to provide early-career Ph.D. students with tools to address the increasing challenges in quantifying and modeling rapid changes in glaciers and ice sheets occurring in response to a warming climate and to foster collaboration among students as well as established scientists in the field of glaciology. All eight instructors from the glaciology group at UAF and two other US universities stayed for the entire period, thus offering plenty of opportunity for interaction between the instructors and students during and outside the formal instruction period.
Students took part in glaciology lectures, exercises and computer projects with a focus on the Arctic, and presented their own research in an outdoor poster session with posters pinned to the outdoor walls of the Wrangell Mountain Center or to laundry lines. Excursions to nearby glaciers provided hands-on experience in a high-latitude glacier environment, which was a memorable experience, especially for the almost 10 students who (though studying glaciers) had never been on a glacier. A number of evening activities rounded off the program, including a public lecture that attracted >50 locals and tourists.
Overall, the course received extremely positive evaluations. The graduate students left with a stronger background in glaciology, but also with a network of professional contacts from around the world. As in previous years, the course relied heavily on contributions from international organizations and IASC was among one of several professional organizations providing financial support.
- Students enhanced their literacy in glaciology especially gaining a broader foundation beyond their own thesis topic
- The combination of complementary instructions methods including lectures, exercises, research projects and student presentations contributed to an effective learning experience
- Students created a personal and professional network with glaciologists from different countries and all career stages opening opportunities for future collaboration and interactions.
Photo, top left, Regine Hock: Kennicott Glacier excursion.
Photo, right: Regine Hock: Glacier excursion
Photo, bottom left, Regine Hock: Glacier excursion