UND geomorphologist and his student team to talk about research in Antartica Tuesday

University of North Dakota geomorphologist and Antarctic researcher Dr. Jaakko Putkonen, along with his team of student scientists, will take a bout their recent research expeditions to Antarctica on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in the East Asian Room of the Chester Fritz LIBRARY.

The presentation, titiled “No Shower, No Problem” will begin at 7 p.m., and is fre and open to the public.  Putkonen and his team of students (Ted Bibby, Collin Giusti, and Erin Hoeft) will recap their adventures and research in Antarctica’s remotest ice free valleys. The two-month expedition, funded by the National Science Foundation, allowed the team to conduct research that tracks changes in the Antarctic landscape.

Putkonen’s presentation is part of a larger traveling exhibit that is visiting UND this month, titled “Cold Recall: Reflections of a Polar Explorer” –  about one of the greatest adventures of the early 20th century: the race to the South Pole. Putkonen’s presentation is free and open to the public.

The “Cold Recall” traveling exhibit will be on display until April 27 in the UND Chester Fritz Library.

The library and Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures are hosting the “Cold Recall” exhibit and related programming that spotlights UND research and related events in Antarctica. On April 24, there will be a film screening of “Encounters at the End of the World” with discussion by Dr. Olaf Berwald, chair of the UND Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures. 7 p.m., in the Chester Fritz LIBRARY.

Exhibit background:
Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole on Dec. 14, 1911, only a few weeks before Englishman Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen was celebrated in his native Norway and throughout the world for his achievement, considered one of the great triumphs of human endurance of the age.

Created by the Fram Museum (Oslo, Norway), in partnership with the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of famed polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole from 1910-1912. The exhibit is touring the United States under the sponsorship of the Royal Norwegian Embassy; this will be the only showing of the exhibit in North Dakota.

The exhibit is a collection of 48 posters that features hand-colored lantern slides taken by Amundsen crew member Olav Bjaaland during the expedition. Accompanying texts on the posters stem from Amundsen’s writings from these journeys. Because the majority of his own photos had been damaged, Amundsen used Bjaaland’s images to illustrate his expeditions to the South Pole and through the Northwest Passage at public lectures that doubled as fundraising events for future explorations.

Amundsen’s other notable accomplishments include being the first person to reach both the South and North Pole and the first successfully to traverse the Northwest Passage via boat. He was also one of the first to use airplanes to explore the northern polar regions. Amundsen died in 1928 while flying a rescue mission in the north polar area.

The exhibit and programming are supported in part by the University of North Dakota, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Useful Links:
Jaakko Putkonen home page
http://www.geology.und.edu/putkonen

Recent videos of UND Geology team’s Antarctic field work
https://sites.google.com/site/undgeomorphology/projects/antarctica/media

UND Discovery story about Putkonen’s Antarctic research
http://webapp.und.edu/dept/our/discovery/seeking-ancient-clues-at-the-bottom-of-the-world

UND Geomorphology
www.sites.google.com/site/undgeomorphology/

UND Geology and Geological Engineering
http://engineering.und.edu/geology-and-geological-engineering/

United States Antarctic Program
http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/science/contenthandler.cfm?id=2447

National Science Foundation Antarctic Project story
www.usap.gov/usapgov/News/contentHandler.cfm?id=964

Contact:
For additional information, contact Dr. Melissa Gjellstad at 701.777.0487, or Wilbur Stolt at 701.777.2189.

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