IRES – Baltic Region Climate Change Project

The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at NIU is hosting an international student-focused project to evaluate records of current and past climate variability in northern Europe. This project will partner with community colleges in Northern Illinois and universities in Estonia and Alaska to train students in interdisciplinary field-based environmental science methods.

Student projects will vary based on individual interests and some examples include:

  • Assessing the short and long-term environmental impacts of climate change in the Baltic region.
  • Reconstructing past climate and vegetation dynamics using lake sediment records
  • Past glacial variability, carbon dynamics and the evolution of peatlands.
You will be exposed to a host of research methods, including water chemistry, geochemistry (stable isotopes - δ18O and δ13C), paleoecology (pollen) and biology (chironomids) as tools to reconstruct past climates. We will also deploy weather stations and instruments to monitor modern changes in environmental conditions, hydrology and greenhouse gas emissions.

Each year the project will involve initial orientations, five weeks of international summer field and lab-based instruction, follow-up laboratory work at home institutions during the academic year and conference presentations in the spring. A total of four students (undergraduate and graduate) and one in-service public science teacher (RET) per year will be recruited and all the undergraduate participants will be from two-year colleges in northern Illinois. Students from underrepresented groups will be targeted and at least one undergraduate student per year will be from a non-STEM background.

Additional Information

If you are interested in learning more about program please contact:

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