Ellie Miller, Aarhus University/Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, 2022-2023

Fulbright Denmark has a very special grant for one US Graduate Fulbright Student covering one academic year, with the first semester at the Arctic Research Centre (ARC), Aarhus University, Denmark, and the second semester at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR), Nuuk, Greenland. This “Combined Denmark Semester and Arctic Semester in Greenland grant is offered through Fulbright Denmark, and both the ARC and GINR accepts the Fulbright student into their program.

This opportunity is particularly valuable for American students with a strong academic background in natural sciences, as it offers a unique chance to study in both Denmark and Greenland, at two highly esteemed academic centers that collaborate closely. The program provides an excellent base for the student, allowing for professional networking opportunities in both countries.

Ellie Miller is the recipient for this special grant in the academic year of 2022/2023. She has been in Greenland since mid-February. You can read more about her experience in the program below.

Fulbright Grants

We have Fulbright grants to American students (master/Ph.D.) for one academic year of study and research in Denmark. Students can propose Fulbright projects to be carried out in affiliation with any Danish institute of higher education.

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Having an open-minded approach is crucial for achieving success while living abroad. It requires the willingness to embrace new and exciting experiences, even if they may seem daunting at first. Being courageous enough to say “yes” to these opportunities is essential for personal and professional growth.

- Ellie Miller, U.S. Fulbright student, 2022/2023

Exploring Polar Regions

I submitted an application for this particular grant as a result of my keen interest in the evolution of polar regions in the aftermath of a changing climate. This grant has furnished me with a solid theoretical foundation of Arctic science during my tenure at the Arctic Research Center in Aarhus, Denmark, as well as the prospect of applying this knowledge in the field once I relocated to Greenland. Additionally, it has provided me with an opportunity to develop connections with both the research communities and the Inuit population in Nuuk. In my professional endeavors, I aspire to foster mutually beneficial partnerships with Arctic communities and establish a culture of co-generative research practices among the upcoming generation of polar scientists. This grant has paved the way for me to initiate this essential work, which is of great significance as a nascent scientific professional.

During my time in Greenland, I have been involved in several ongoing projects, with a primary focus on the study of sea ice and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in the Arctic. The sea ice project has entailed extensive sampling throughout the Nuuk fjord to investigate the structural evolution of the sea ice over the course of a year, as well as its potential as a habitat for algae and other microorganisms. The GHG project, on the other hand, has enabled us to examine the atmosphere-marine exchanges of important GHGs like carbon dioxide, methane, etc. Specifically, our research aims to elucidate the mechanisms by which the ocean serves as a carbon dioxide sink within the Greenlandic fjord systems, and how this capacity is impacted by rising global temperatures. By investigating these flux relationships, we can gain critical insights into the unique vulnerabilities of the Arctic to climate change, which render it three to four times more susceptible than any other region on the planet.

Fulbright - More than a grant

In both locations, the individuals I have encountered and the relationships I have formed have been fundamental aspects of my experience. I have established numerous meaningful connections with people from diverse backgrounds, fostering friendships that will endure a lifetime. Greenland is unequivocally one of the most breathtaking places where I have ever had the privilege to reside. The profound connection between the Inuit people and their environment is awe-inspiring to experience both as an individual and as a researcher. During my stay in Greenland, my most notable experiences are undoubtedly centered around the “Big Arctic Five,” which encompasses dog sledding, the northern lights, ice and snow, the Inuit people, and whales. Although I have yet to witness whales, I remain hopeful; experiencing these elements has amplified my admiration, gratitude, and amazement for this region.