Dartmouth president part of Arctic trip

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HANOVER, N.H. (AP) — The president of Dartmouth College got an up-close look at the school's impact in the Arctic.

Philip Hanlon and his wife recently joined a group of about 30 people, mostly Dartmouth alumni and their families, for a 10-day expedition to Greenland and the Arctic Circle. The trip was led by Ross Virginia, who directs the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth's John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding. He said he hopes Hanlon gained a greater understanding of Dartmouth's engagement in the region.

"The remoteness and the scale of the Arctic are very powerful, and it's an amazing place for personal reflection," he said. "Beyond that, I think he will recognize that this is a place where Dartmouth has had an impact — and it's a place where a lot more is needed in terms of science, of understanding culture and culture change, geopolitics, sustainable development."

Dartmouth's history in the Arctic goes back to John Ledyard, who graduated in 1777 and trekked across Siberia in hopes of establishing a fur trade from Russia to Alaska. In the 20th Century, explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson spent the latter part of his career at Dartmouth and helped establish the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover.

Current faculty and students have been researching numerous topics related to the Arctic, including studying the effects of climate change.

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