Undergraduate students spend summer in Fairbanks learning about the Arctic
Eight undergraduate students traveled from the Lower 48 to conduct research for two months this summer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The focus of the program at UAF is on understanding the Arctic as a system. Vladimir Alexeev, project lead of the REU program at the UAF said working with the students is very rewarding.
"It's so much fun to see their faces after the program, they change, all of us change, students change, and we change too," said Vladimir Alexeev.
The students were asked what their biggest takeaway from the program was:
"I think a new understanding of the importance of arctic systems in my work. That was an area that going to school on the east coast we didn't really talk as much about, it's much more localized issues in New England and there's this whole realm of work being done here that's really important and leading in environmental work and climate change work specifically and I think I might find a career path in that now, " said Chiara Arellano, undergraduate student at Brown University.
"How broad the field of science is, it's not just being a professor or a specific track of research that you go down, especially when we're dealing with climate change, and such big issues, it's interdisciplinary, and there's a lot of different factors. Just being able to hear from all the researchers and the work that they do with the community and with policy, it's been really cool to see all of the different avenues and opportunities that there are," said Zoe Screwvala, undergraduate student at University of South Carolina.
"I guess because I'm starting to think of my own career path, it was really inspiring to hear about all of the different directions people go in, who are concerned with the same issues that I'm concerned with, there’s so many different paths to go down. So I'm taking away the message that everyone has kind of just forged their own weird, unique path to where they are now, and that was just really exciting to learn about," said Sarah Pearl, undergraduate student at Dartmouth University.