United States
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

Summer Polar Science Research Opportunity for Students & Faculty

Student & Faculty applications are open for the 2024 Juneau Icefield Research Program field season!

The Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) is an 8-week summer field course for students interested in undergraduate-level Polar sciences. Participants receive a wide range of training in Earth & climate sciences, alpine travel and safety skills, and science communication while traversing the Juneau Icefield from Southeast Alaska to northern British Columbia.

We are seeking Students who are interested in participating in the JIRP 2024 Expedition. We are also seeking Faculty who are interested in teaching for 2 weeks during the student program. More information about each opportunity can be found below!

Key Dates:

  • December 10, 2023: Student Academic and Scholarship applications due (rolling basis for late submissions)
  • January 14, 2023: Faculty applications due (rolling basis for late submissions)
  • Early February 2024: Application Decisions sent out
  • Early June - Early August 2024: JIRP 2024 Expedition (Faculty attend for 2 weeks in this date range, students attend full expedition)

More Information for Students:

The JIRP curriculum is geared towards undergraduates. JIRP is also appropriate for graduate students with limited experience in these topics, rising high school seniors who demonstrate academic drive, and non-traditional students who are interested in moving towards Earth science. We do not require students to be currently enrolled in school.

There are no specific prerequisites for JIRP, just a willingness to learn! This is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in glacial science who do not have access to relevant coursework at their home institutions. Additionally, we cater safety training to participants with no backcountry experience.

The JIRP academic curriculum focuses on glaciology, climate processes, glacial geomorphology, periglacial ecology, and interactions between these systems. Students learn through academic workshops, field trips, and lectures with rotating faculty from around the world. Faculty focus on the primary topics listed above but also cover Alaskan geologic history, geomatics, remote sensing, geophysics, scientific literacy, and science communication. Students also work with research teams on the Juneau Icefield to acquire hands-on experience with modern fieldwork.

The JIRP field safety curriculum teaches students how to live and work safely in alpine and Polar environments. Students will learn basic backcountry skills, including packing a backpack, hydration/nutrition, and wilderness first aid. During our 2-week safety orientation, we progress to covering technical rope skills, backcountry travel on crampons and skis, group management, and route finding. After safety orientation, JIRP students use their skills every day of the season to further their scientific and academic objectives.

For additional information, visit juneauicefield.org/students/information. For specific inquiries, reach out to our staff at office@juneauicefield.org.

More Information for Faculty:

Teaching Faculty at JIRP are volunteers who are eager to share their passion and knowledge with students. We cover all expenses for our Teaching Faculty once they arrive in Juneau, including food, lodging, and helicopter flights. Faculty members are responsible for funding their own flights to Juneau.

Typically, Teaching Faculty participate in one two-week block during the summer. Faculty should be prepared to teach several undergraduate-level lectures in our core curriculum areas, lead hands-on field workshops or exercises, and mentor students on their research projects. We are actively seeking faculty who can contribute to our core curriculum in glaciology, glacial geology, and climate science, as well as in complementary fields like atmospheric science, alpine ecology, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, tectonics, polar engineering, science communication, science policy, and related disciplines.

While many of our faculty are active professors, we also welcome advanced graduate students, professionals working in Polar sciences, science communicators, and others to apply.

Teaching faculty will accompany students on the Icefield, so should be prepared for 8-10 hours of challenging physical activity each day. Faculty will attend a required safety training covering basic mountaineering and crevasse-rescue skills to ensure they can safely navigate the Icefield with students.

JIRP also supports a separate Research Faculty track for scientists looking to conduct externally-funded projects on the Juneau Icefield. JIRP can provide logistical support, opportunities to engage motivated students in research, and outreach possibilities. On a case-by-case basis we can also explore possibilities to support research outside the normal time frame of the student summer program.

For additional information, visit juneauicefield.org/students/information. For specific inquiries, reach out to our staff at office@juneauicefield.org.