About the Trip
Fast facts about the 2024 journey
- Students from all majors are encouraged to apply
- First-time researchers are encouraged to apply - no previous experience is necessary
- Applications are now open and must be emailed to Dr. Rhett Herman by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2023.
- The trip is one of the most affordable study abroad options
- Class registration is per permission of instructor.
- Students may borrow polar clothing depending on fit and quantities
- Be a part of the traditional sea ice Hawaiian-themed class photo
- Potential scholarship funding is available
What to know and do before you go to Alaska
Accepted students are required to take the one-credit-hour PHYS 324 fall preporatory course. They will concieve of and plan their own arctic research project throughout the fall of 2023.
Accepted students are also required to take PHYS 325 at the start of the spring 2024 semester to finish their projects and prepare for deployment in the field.
What kind of research is involved?
The 2024 trip is an ambitious, student-centered adventure that will build upon past research collected since 2006. With mentoring from Dr. Herman, students will develop their own research project that relates to their own future career in whatever field they want. Most of these are based on microcontrollers, and collect data from the numerous environmental and other sensors that may be attached to these. No experience with microcontrollers or these sensors is assumed!
The Naval Arctic Research Laboratory was given by the Navy to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the 1980s. The NSF administers it specifically for research operations. Radford University researchers are joining researchers from all over the world who come to this polar research field site, which is remotely located with no connecting roads.
The student researchers may be venturing further out onto the ice than they have ever done before for more individualized data collection using the sensors and research plan they developed during the fall seminar and spring couse.
By collaborating with the Governor’s School, a magnet high school, a wide range of ages and backgrounds are able to contribute to the research. The two Governor’s School students are dual-enrolled in this class, and will work alongside Radford University students. The Governor’s School’s students must complete a rigorous and competitive review process before being invited to join the team of undergraduate researchers.
As always following a trip to the Arctic, Radford University researchers will present their work at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Ca. which is the world’s largest meeting of earth and space scientists. Some students will go with Dr. Herman to this prestigious meeting of roughly 24,000 attendees.
Students will boost their resumes while presenting their findings on equal footing next to researchers from NASA and NOAA, and universities and research centers around the world.
After the 2022 journey, five students presented their work individually at the 2022 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Read about their research presentations online.