Journalist Going to Greenland on a Paid Internship...
Her Thoughts Before She Left on the Trip.
By Eve Lamborn
Im going to Greenland this summer and
Im getting paid to do it. That thought sometimes occurs to
me while Im daydreaming in class or walking across campus,
and then Ill pinch myself and realize that its actually
A chance reading of a job posting last winter
has resulted in summer plans that are so unreal that I relish telling
my friends about them because I love watching their reactions.
"Did I tell you Im going to Greenland
this summer?" Ill ask, sliding the question into conversation.
"I didnt tell you? Well, Im going to Greenland
I let the statement hang in the air, dripping
with the need for explanation, as my friends take a moment to process
this unexpected revelation. Disbelief, confusion and surprise are
simultaneously written across their faces during this long pause.
Then Ill nonchalantly explain its
part of a science-reporting internship I snagged at the beginning
of this semester. The people Im working for routinely travel
to Greenland to study polar ice sheets, and Im coming along
for the ride, courtesy of NASA. I try to play it cool when explaining
my very cool summer job, but my excitement is hard to disguise.
In a few weeks, Ill be in a place few people even dream about
Sea levels have been rising over the last
century. Because 60 percent of the worlds population lives
in coastal areas, rising oceans could have potentially catastrophic
long-term consequences. Scientists think melting polar ice sheets
are causing some of this rise, the result of climate change, but
much information is needed to confirm this theory.
This is where the KU scientists contribute.
A team of scientists led by Prasad Gogineni, distinguished professor
of electrical engineering and computer science at the University
of Kansas, received an $8.7 million, 5-year grant from the National
Science Foundation and NASA last fall to develop a mobile sensor
that measures polar ice sheets. They received the grant to gather
data about polar ice sheets that will be used to gain a greater
understanding of the way the ice sheets are changing over time and
how much they are contributing to the rise in the water level in
the worlds oceans.