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Arctic Adventure: Pomona Researchers Spend Summer Hard at Work on Windswept Norwegian Fjord

Pomona Biology Professor Nina Karnovsky, accompanied by a trio of student researchers, is back at work in the Arctic Circle this summer and blogging about it. Assisted by Nell Balwin '09, Derek Buchner '09 and Zachary Brown '07, Karnosky is continuing her research into how climate change may affect the feeding ecology of an obscure arctic bird known as the little auk.

The Pomona researchers are staying on a windswept Norwegian island -- far north of the mainland -- at a Polish research station that hosts a variety of international scientists. The research involves long days measuring and observing the birds, but the students have found time for a midnight swim in the icy waters.

This is the third summer Karnosky has brought students to this same arctic base for research, and they have a habit of falling in love with the arctic's barren beauty.Laurel McFadden '06 went on the land a Watson Fellowship to travel the arctic for a year, a journey she is near completing, according to her blog. Meanwhile, Allison Bailey '07 received a Fulbright research grant to study at the university in Longyearbyen -- the same island where the Polish research station is located -- where she’ll look at the relationship between migrating geese and plants of the tundra and how they are affected by climate change.

Research team blog