"Dartmouth's northern activities are... intimately tied to our traditions, location and unique resources." John Sloan Dickey (1953)
Located in rural northern New England, Dartmouth has a strong sense of place that encourages lasting bonds between people and the natural environment, and promotes responsible stewardship of the land.
Our long tradition of northern studies starts with former student and legendary 18th century explorer John Ledyard and continues with the noted 20th centrury Arctic explorer, scholar, and founder of Dartmouth's Northern and Polar Studies Program, Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962).
(L to R) Bill Mattox '52, Vihjalmur Stefansson, and geologist William Herbert Hobbs.
The Stefansson Special Collection on Polar Exploration is one of the premier library collections in the world on the history of the Arctic regions and Antarctica. Dartmouth's Hood Museum of Art contains over 3,000 items related to Canada and the circumpolar north.
Dartmouth attracts intellectual adventurers and environmental pioneers, creating a remarkable number of polar faculty in environmental science, ecology and evolutionary biology, earth sciences, and engineering. Dartmouth's link to the north is made stronger by an institutional commitment to Native American students through its Native American Studies Program. Approximately 150 Native students study at Dartmouth, including students from northern communities in Alaska and Canada, plus visiting students, scholars and leaders from Greenland.
A unique and important resource for students is Dartmouth's close proximity to one of nation's leading research facility dedicated to understanding the basic science and engineering of cold environments, the U. S. Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL). Together, Dartmouth and CRREL form an important center of expertise for northern and polar research.
The Dartmouth IGERT PhD program in Polar Environmental Change, awarded to the Institute of Arctic Studies, forged a dynamic path of interdisciplinary scholarshiop in polar science, engineering and the human dimensions of environmental change. Working with the scholarly resources at Dartmouth and our global network of academic, governmental, and community leaders, the Institute of Arctic Studies continues the legacy of crossing boundaries and creating new knowledge.
Click here to download a PDF about Vilhjalmur Stefansson and the Stefansson Collection.