Most of the work on the Dusty project to date has focused on environmental science aspects. But we wanted to know how dust affects the 538 residents in the town of Kangerlussuaq. Located right at the head of the fjord, the town is located next to the sandur plains caused by deposition of glacial silts.
Photo of the sandur plains (James Shilland)
We wanted to find out what local people think about dust. Whether it impacts their health and behaviour. What they know about where the dust derives from, and whether they perceive changes in the frequency and intensity of dust storms. So, we packed away the rucksacks and got out our clipboards, to survey local residents.
Suzanne, Albrekt and Amanda getting ready for a hard day of clipboarding
Anticipating some difficulties with translation, we enlisted the help of Albrekt Wille, a local Greenlander who is fluent in Danish and English as well as (of course) Greenlandic. As it turned out the language posed fewer problems that we anticipated with many local residents speaking all three languages.
We set up a survey station in the local Minimart for the first day, assisted by with cookies freshly-baked by Amanda as an incentive to persuade people to participate.
Two following days were spent visiting local businesses including the Airport Authority, Air Greenland, local shops, the museum, local hotels and the police station to identify residents who had spent a range of time living in Kangerlussuaq.
Of course it was thirsty work visiting all of these places.
Back in Nottingham we will be working with Nick Clare from the School of Geography and Benedict Watling, an undergraduate on our Q Step programme to analyse the results from the questionnaire survey.