Arctic Geophysics Research Expedition

Help make this profound research experience accessible to more students!


The Arctic Geophysics research class is an unparalleled experience that allows our students to study the overall energy balance of our planet. In this class, our talented students design and build their own equipment, which they deploy on arctic sea ice in Alaska, at the northernmost point in the United States! This unique experience allows lead faculty – Dr. Rhett Herman – to work closely with and mentor a small group of students, providing them personal attention while they build their project. 

Students standing in arctic wearing hawaiian clothing.wii


Students who participate return to campus to present their findings during the Annual Radford University Student Engagement Forum in April. They gain the relevant academic knowledge, skills and critical thinking abilities they need to be career-ready and engaged citizens upon graduation.

The vital insight gained from this opportunity positions our students on the forefront of the research industry and expands their understanding of practical research. Unfortunately, many of our talented students are not able to benefit from this valuable practical learning due to the significant cost. Your financial support of the Arctic Geophysics project enables us to preserve the tradition of providing this first-class research expedition for current and future students.

Laura Keller '12

Certified Professional Geologist, Project Scientist – Schnabel Engineering

"I largely credit my career to the Arctic Geophysics course I took with Dr. Rhett Herman at Radford University my senior year. It fortified my love of exploring science and all the things I don’t understand. Having this course on my resume undoubtedly got me my first job out of college as a Geophysicist traveling the country and globe.
 We spent several months planning, building, learning, and preparing for a trip to study the sea ice in Barrow, Alaska. We conducted successful research under the tutelage of Dr. Herman, presented to the local community and the University, saw the Northern Lights and polar bear prints, and experienced a wind chill of -60 F."



A donation in any of these amounts could alleviate the following:

  • $157 – one night’s lodging
  • $100 – one land-use permit (each student requires one)
  • $120 – project build cost (parts, supplies, etc.)
  • $30 – breakfast/lunch per day
  • $20 – one evening meal in the Ilisagvik College Cafeteria
  • $180 – one pair of Black Diamond Guide Gloves for proper hand protection
  • $80 – one pair of “bunny boots” for appropriate foot protection
  • $1,400 – plane ticket


  • $100 – van fuel
  • $210/week – hand-held radios (x2 weeks)
  • $600/week – equipment storage (x2 weeks)
  • $1,672/week – van rental (x2 weeks)
  • $1,800 – equipment shipping to/from Utqiagvik (approx. $900 each way)

Please consider making this opportunity accessible for more students by reducing the financial commitment with your donation today!