Photo of Ryan Cumpston

Pilot Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

Northern Illinois University student Ryan Cumpston spent the summer of 2005 on top of the world—quite literally.

Cumpston traveled to a mountainous region near the North Pole, spent his days in a skiff at the edge of a massive glacier and rubbed elbows with some of the world's top polar scientists.

The experience was part of the Svalbard Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), run by Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and funded by the National Science Foundation.

NIU is hoping in coming years to expand its presence in the program.