Notes from the Field
High Arctic Institute, Greenland


The Arctic is probably the world's most ecologically sensitive and vulnerable ecosystem. Since it functions as a global barometer, slight shifts in global temperature could have major impacts. A warming trend of the Arctic Ocean and change of atmospheric pressure patterns are already reported. Also, alarmingly high contaminant levels are being found in the most northern Inuit people, whales, Polar Bears, and seals, believed to result from global atmospheric distillation and fractionation (chemicals transported from the tropics through the atmosphere) and pollution entering the Arctic Ocean from north slope rivers of Russia.

The Peregrine Fundís actions in the Arctic focus on Greenland. Broadly stated, our goal there is conservation and scientific understanding of Gyrfalcon and Peregrine Falcon populations and their environment. Greenland is a mostly pristine Arctic area and of high conservation value. We are the principal group studying falcons in Greenland and have a long history of work there through our relationship with William Mattox.

Authorization for work in Greenland is provided by The Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland, Greenland Home Rule Government, and by the United States Air Force. We cooperate with Thule Air Base, the U.S. Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management, Conservation Research Foundation, VECO, National Science Foundation, New York Air National Guard, 109th TAF, Boise State University, Bent Brodersen/Kangerlussuaq International Science Support (KISS), and Danish scientists Knud Falk and Kaj Kampp, among others.

The project is managed by Kurt Burnham under the general direction of Bill Burnham with special assistance from Bill Mattox. Jack Stephens, who has lived in Thule for 28 years, is our Thule Coordinator.

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