As you can see from this graphic made by my student and content manager, Charlie, the itinerary is taking shape! Everything has to be ready to pivot at a moment's notice given health conditions and the weather. November in Greenland is fair game for winter storms. But... here is where we stand:
October 28th, 2021: I fly out from Logan International Airport in Boston on an overnight flight to Reykjavik, Iceland. There are no direct flights from the United States to Greenland, you enter through either Iceland or Denmark. This stopover is also necessary for health screening requirements. Currently, all travelers to Greenland must be vaccinated and tested (PCR) within 72 hours of flight. They only accept test results obtained in Nordic countries (a form of quality assurance, I presume).
October 29th, 2021: I touch down in Iceland, the land of snow and ice, around 6am* local time. I meet Alice bright and early...and for the first time in person! While there will be testing upon arrival at the airport, the PCR test (and paperwork) needed to enter Greenland must be completed at a separate health facility in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. We’ll spend the night to allow time for this.
October 30th, 2021: A late afternoon flight from Reykjavik takes Alice and I to Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland. Given its latitude, my first glimpse of the country will most assuredly be in darkness.
October 31st-November 1st: After feeling sad about missing Halloween with my kids, I’ll cheer up by exploring Nuuk. Alice and I meet up with Hans and others at the Greenland National Museum as well.
November 1st: Alice, Hans, and I fly to Sisimiut, the city hosting the first week of Greenland Science Week. The only way to travel inside Greenland is by plane (there are no roads between cities), so flying to the second largest city requires another flight. When we touch down, I’ll step inside the Arctic Circle for the first time.
November 1st-8th: We stay in Sisimiut for the week. We are hosting workshops (more about these soon), giving research talks about digital heritage and virtual learning, and meeting folks from the Sisimiut Museum, the UNESCO World Heritage site, and others. These events run alongside other small-scale community events as part of Greenland Science Week. At some point during the week we plan to travel to Sarfannguit as well. This community is only accessible by boat ride through the icy waters of one the country’s fjords.
November 8th: We return to Nuuk.
November 8th-November 12th: The second week of Greenland Science Week is hosted in the capital. Here, more events online and in-person will share current scientific and cultural projects focused on Greenland. While we have some work to do this week as well, I am excited to be in the audience for other presentations. As Greenland Science Week is meant to be a “platform for dialogue between researchers, business, management and citizens,” I look forward to bringing you all into the conversation as well!
The time to pay attention to Greenland is now. By the end of the trip you will see why. No matter how this itinerary finalizes, my hope is that the virtual field trip exposes you to this incredible place and its vital position in our world.
*A note about time zones: this trip happens during a very confusing time of the year. At the beginning of the trip Greenland will end daylight savings...one week before the US does. Meanwhile, Iceland doesn’t participate in DST at all. If I make an error in translating local times...this is why!
I am an anthropology professor, writer, researcher and global traveler. This fall, I will be recording a research trip to Greenland as a virtual field trip for my students (and anyone else interested). Join us as we travel to the Arctic and learn about life in the far north.