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Students experience research in Greenland

Student Ryan Biesterfeld holds two young glaucous gulls; Dr. Jennifer Burnham is at left.

Geography's Dr. Jennifer Burnham has gone to northwest Greenland each summer for the past four year to continue research on seabird migration and the effects of methyl mercury on birds in northwest Greenland.

In the summer of 2011, student Ryan Biesterfeld '11 accompanied Dr. Burnham and in 2012, Claire Behnke was the Greenland student researcher.

They collect blood samples and tag various kinds of birds to determine their migratory routes. The birds are given a small geo-locator before being released so the researchers can follow their migration.

Dr. Burnham began teaching at Augustana in 2006 after working for several years in the soil conservation field and then completing her M.S. at the University of Illinois and her Ph.D. at the University of Washington. Her interests include soils, climate change, biogeography, physical geography and cartography.

• Dr. Burnham's Greenland blog

• Ryan Biesterfeld's Greenland blog

• Claire Behnke's Greenland blog