History of this Expedition

On June 19, 2019 – Uncategorized  

Vintage photo of explorers

In 1926 a University of Michigan Greenland Expedition was led by Professor William Herbert Hobbs (Figure 1) as a reconnaissance to establish plans for subsequent expeditions to measure geophysical properties. The journey, described in detail in Hobbs (1927) and Hobbs (1930) led to some of the first meteorological and geological observations on the island of Greenland. Subsequent expeditions identified the characteristics of Greenland climate including the katabatic winds associated with the Greenland Ice Sheet.

In 2006 the University of Michigan organized a new expedition to Greenland to give undergraduate students the opportunity to visit some of the measurement locations used by Hobbs. An unexpected outcome of the 2006 expedition was its impact on students who participated. That expedition included 10 students of whom 8 were women and longitudinal studies of subsequent life choices suggest that this expedition influenced many to go on to advanced degrees. Whether this expedition explains their future choices is unclear, but it is clear that these students were motivated to continue in the sciences beyond their undergraduate degrees and a few have commented on how this expedition led them to remain in the sciences.

For the 2019 expedition it was proposed to offer a new expedition to Greenland. This expedition enlisted undergraduate students from the University of Michigan, Virginia Tech University, Hampton University and the University at Albany. The students selected include seven from the University of Michigan, three from Virginia Tech University, and three from the University at Albany. Unfortunately, we received no candidates from Hampton University. Scientifically, participants will make atmospheric measurements near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and, if transportation and accommodations are possible, at Summit Station. These measurements of radiation and atmospheric winds will mirror measurements made by the Hobbs expedition.