The worldwide Augustana College experience

My name is Ryan Biesterfeld, geography major/biology minor and an upcoming senior, and I will be traveling to northwest Greenland for about six weeks to gather data for my senior research project. The title of my research project is Spatial Distribution of Methyl Mercury in High Arctic Avian Species. I will be accompanied by Dr. Burnham, her husband Kurt and some of his fellow researchers from the High Arctic Institute. We will be stationed near Thule Airbase in Northwest Greenland. We will be taking blood samples from various species of arctic birds and testing the samples for methyl mercury contamination and observing any trends.

Greenland Photos 3 (Peregrine Falcons)

Greenland Photos 2

Greenland (week4)

After our trip to Booth Sound, we returned home and Kurt greeted us with great news. Our new boat motors were on their way! This meant that we can go out to different locations again! We had been stuck on base and sampling local birds for the past few days.  When the motors came in […]

Greenland (Week 3)

I am finally back from my week-long excursion to Booth Sound! We weren’t so sure that we were going to get to head out there because the weather was picking up and the ocean could have been too rough to make it there. Since our boat was out of commission for the time being, we […]

Greenland (week 2)

So we have hit a bit of a snag here at Thule Air Base.  One of our research boat engines has began to make a not so good noise and cannot be used anymore.  So our boat is out of commission for a couple weeks until we get a new pair of engines shipped up […]

Greenland Photos

Take a look and tell me what you think….

What’s happening so far in Greenland (Week 1)

So I have been here for almost a week and we have been super busy! I may not post anything for days at a time because when there is good weather we work almost all day…I mean what else would we do with 24 hours of daylight? For the last few days I have been […]


On my way to the airport!