Home to around 60,000 people, with a third of the population living in the capital city of Nuuk, Greenland is one of the most unique landscapes in the world. Up to 80% of the land is buried under an ice sheet, the largest in the Northern Hemisphere, and the second largest reserve of fresh water on Earth behind Antarctica. Greenland is also one of the most beautiful, intact, wild places left on the planet. During Summer months the sun shines for many hours in Sisimiut, our home above the Arctic Circle for this experiential course. Local plants and animals thrive during the summer months, as local Inuit residents fish, hunt, and trap honoring their traditional way of life.
Greenland is also at a crossroads as the modern age has brought great shifts to their society and economy. This course is a journey in natural history, ecological, and cultural sustainability. Sisimiut is home to around 6,000 residents and is the second largest municipality in Greenland. Working with the mayor and local elders, we will explore resource extractive actives in the area and those that take place in Greenland as a whole, as well as study the potential for ecotourism to lead the area and country into a more sustainable age.
Over ten days this hands-on field course will allow students to spend time in a place that is still very much a raw bioregion, but has also adapted to modernity in a purely unique manner. Adventure opportunities are plentiful with this course featuring local lessons on language, food, and survival. We will visit and work with dog sled teams, visit backcountry huts, camp in the alpine environment, and visit the the Greenlandic Ice Cap, a focal point for climate change science today. We will also visit native Inuit villages by boat where fishing remains a way of life. Kayaking and SUP'ing excursions will take place in local fjords, while time will also be spent learning the oral history of the greater region from our Inuit hosts.
This field course will expose students to unique people in one of the most special places on Earth. An active course grounded in both the experiential and expeditionary side of education, students will walk, hike, paddle, fish, and have the opportunity to learn from ecologically based ways of knowing that are deeply connected to the land, water, and communities of this Arctic bioregion.