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The Swedish icebreaker Oden will traverse 2,000-nautical miles across the Northwestern Passage over an 18-day journey. (Photo: Lars Lehnert) [View Image]

VCU students to participate in Arctic summer research cruise

July 7, 2019

By Christopher Katella, University Public Relations

Three Virginia Commonwealth University undergraduate students will set sail this week as part of a National Science Foundation-supported research expedition studying the Arctic Ocean’s impact toward life on Earth.

Ericka Schulze, Mirella Shaban and Tristan Rivera, joined by VCU associate professor Linda Fernandez, Ph.D., will take part in the Northwest Passage Project voyage set to depart from the Thule Air Base in Thule, Greenland, on Thursday onboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden returning Aug. 4 after a 2,000-nautical-mile journey.

Led by the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography's Inner Space Center, researchers and students from various universities and research centers will collect water, ice and air samples to gain a clearer picture of how climate change is affecting the Canadian Arctic Archipelago’s ecosystem and how that informs understanding of changes worldwide. VCU is one of eight U.S. universities participating on the trip.

Fernandez, who studies environmental economics at VCU’s Center for Environmental Studies and is serving as a faculty coordinator for the trip, said VCU’s participation is “the ideal type of NSF research for fundamental understanding of dynamic changes in a lesser-known region of the world.” Schulze, Shaban and Rivera — all Center for Environmental Studies students — will participate in an independent study during the fall semester under Fernandez’s guidance to synthesize their findings for presentation.

Read the entire article: VCU students to participate in Arctic summer research cruise

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