THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
FOLLOWING THE STIMULUS MONEY

UMass project deserves funding

November 25, 2009

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AS MOTORISTS drive along Interstate 93 each morning, they see a billboard near the office of The Boston Globe. This billboard shows a graduate student extracting pollen from a soil sample taken from a Viking Age site in Iceland. This University of Massachusetts at Boston project was supported by the National Science Foundation and stimulus funding (“Stimulus funds reach unlikely destinations,’’ Page A1, Nov. 19), and it is helping us to reconstruct the changing environment of Iceland.

Six hundred years ago climate change and corresponding environmental destruction caused conflict and strife in Viking Age Iceland. Our study provides an example of climate-induced conflict that politicians and policy makers should heed. We believe this project and others like it should be likely destinations for stimulus funding - creating jobs for aspiring researchers and planning the future of our planet. What better way to stimulate our economy?

John Steinberg
Heather Trigg
Douglas Bolender
Research scientists,
Fiske Center for Archaeological Research
UMass-Boston

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