The first Svalbard Science Conference organized by the Norwegian Research Council took place 6-8 November in Oslo. The interest in this workshop was enormous with over 300 participants discussing atmospheric, geological, terrestrial and marine research in and around Svalbard. Arctic ABC’s Malin Daase presented results from the polar night research that has been conducted in Kongsfjorden and elsewhere on Svalbard since 2012 within the (now finished) projects CIRCA and Marine Night project, and is at the moment also a focus within Arctic ABC.
Photo: The future for Svalbard research looks bright: Malin Daase and Christiaane Hübner from SIOS discussing infrastruture in Svalbard
The scientific and engineering teams of the Arctic ABC and ABCD projects met in the city Trondheim, Norway from October 9 – 12th 2017 for their annual meeting. The program was divided in two blocks.
The first block focused on the state-of-the-art of the platforms for optical physical and environmental sensors, also referred to as POPEs, and the steps that will be taken during 2018. These are instruments to study the environment and ecosystem in the ice layer of the Arctic. The first deployment of these instruments as part of the ABCD happened in the Polar Stern cruise PS106 in May and June 2017. Furthermore, testing is ongoing on the acoustic pope to study fish and plankton and also on the environmental POPE that provides valuable information of light conditions and temperature in the water under the ice.
The second block focused on sharing the scientific results gathered during the field activities and lab work of 2016-17. Planning activities were fundamental and specialized sessions allowed scientists to converge their ideas into material that is of relevance to the world.
In the picture from left to right Malin, Trevor, Laura Hobbs, Pierre Priou, Magnus, Max Geoffroy, Øystein Varpe, Morgan Bender, Geir Johnsen, Finlo Cottier, Jørgen Berge, Bodil Blum, Bernhard Schartmuller, Kathrin Stephen, Jon Cohen, Paul Renaud, Daniel Vogedes, Neil Banas, Minna-Liina Ojala, Erin Kunisch, Aksel Alstad and Pedro De La Torre
As part of the Science Festival in Moscow 6-8 of October 2017, a delegation from UiT and NTNU visited Moscow and participated with talks and opening of the polar night exhibition. All posters had been translated into Russian, and the exhibition was part of the official programme for the 2017 Science Festival in Moscow. Geir Johnsen, Malin Daase and Jørgen Berge also participated with scientific talks during a Norwegian-Russian seminar at the Lomonosov Moscow Starte University, as well as during the main festival. Kenneth Ruud (vice-rector at UiT) opened the festival and exhibition.
The ice buoys are sending data! Arctic ABC's Erin Kunisch and Rolf Gradinger deployed a set of ice buoys for the first time in Arctic pack ice outside fjords. The Acoustic Zooplankton and Fish Profiler was collecting data for two weeks, and the weather and light buoys are still sending data life from an ice flow north of Svalbard. A milestone for the Arctic ABC project!
Arctic ABC's Ingrid Ellingsen, Stig Falk-Petersen, Malin Daase and Bodil Bluhm presented at the ESSAS conference in Tromsø 11-15 June 2017. Some 200 international conference participates with strong participation from Europe and North America discussed topics related to the major theme:
"Moving in, out, and across Arctic and Subarctic Marine Ecosystems: Shifting Boundaries of Water, Ice, Flora, Fauna, People and Institutions",
More about the conference here.
On 9 May 2017 the former CircA team member Julie C Grenvald, successfully defended her PhD at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The title of her dissertation is "Understanding winter patterns of zooplankton Diel Vertical Migration (DVM) in a high Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard)". Julie has been based at UNIS and participated throughout the nightly activities of the CircA project. Her supervisors have been Jørgen Berge (UiT, UNIS), Tove Gabrielsen (UNIS), Paul Renaud (APN, UNIS) and Finlo Cottier (SAMS). The main focus of Julie’s work is the surprising level of activity in the zooplankton world during the dark (or not so dark) polar night.
The Mare Incognitum teams say congratulations and wish Julie all the best and plenty of light for the future!
From 15 – 18 March 2017, representatives from the five Arctic Ocean coastal states, along with five other key high seas fisheries nations, met at Reykjavik, Iceland to continue discussions on future regulation of the living resources of the central Arctic Ocean. In this article of the Canadian newspaper the Atlantic, Associate Professor-II Njord Wegge, which is a member of the UiT’s Arctic ABC project, is interviewed, giving his view on some key issues that was negotiated. The Atlantic 03/2017.
FAABulous fieldwork page.Delayed by more than one year, we eventually managed to start sea ice sampling in Van Mijenfjorden. Not that is was easy – similar to last year, exceptionally warm conditions during autumn and winter had delayed sea ice formation quite a bit – and even now, there is not too much ice there; but it is enough to get started. Read more at the
The dark season has started, with students and researchers gathered both in Ny-Ålesund and on board RV Helmer Hanssen. While the researchers on board Helmer Hanssen are mainly focused on pelagic systems and organisms north of Svalbard, the students on the UNIS course AB334 are mainly occupied with using enabling technology for environmental monitoring and mapping in the dark. Some are also interested in bamboo…
Kunnskapshull in Aftenposten (12.01.2017)
A recent study on blue mussels from various regions in the Arctic have unravelled a very surprising discovery - there are many migrants from the Mediterranean on Svalbard! We used to think that the blue mussels on Svalbard was simply a northern extension of the Atlantic species Mytilus edulis, but new research has demonstrated that a considerable part of the gene pool on Svalbard comes directly from the Mediterranean, more precisely the species Mytilus galloprovincialis. In a time when some countries are building walls to prevent immigration from the south, Svalbard is an example of a community that receives immigrants on a daily basis, and where the immigrants are settling down without any problems. Perhaps it is true what they say about the coming wall between USA and Mexico - it defines where the borderline to stupid is: Canada and Mexico! Read the paper here. News (in Norwegian) in Forskning.no and Svalbardposten.
This year’s January campaign on Svalbard was our sixth consecutive year of polar night research. Since our first expedition to Ny-Ålesund in 2010, we have spent large parts of January on Svalbard every year since 2012 - the first years we were mainly based on the RV Helmer Hanssen, whereas from 2014 our main activity have been divided between Ny-Ålesund and onboard Helmer Hanssen. So also this year, when Bodil Bluhm lead the group onboard HH and Jørgen / Geir were in charge of the campaign in Ny-Ålesund - the former in association with the UiT course BIO-8510 and the latter with UNIS course AB334. And despite a constant and intense focus on the polar night from a very high number of students and researchers during the last eight years, there are still immense gaps in knowledge that needs to be filled. And unexpected discoveries seems to line up, just waiting to be brought out of the darkness and into the public spotlight - so also this year:
- Conflicts or cooperation in Arctic waters?
- First deployment of an ABC POPE!
- Heading towards darker times…
- FAABulous project meeting 2016
- ArcticABC intense autumn meeting
- Polar night exhibition moved to Trondheim!
- FAABulous mooring stories...
- Dr. Laura Hobbs: Postgraduate student of the Year!
- The 2nd FAABulous cruise (KV Svalbard)
- Arctic ABC and Arctic ABC Development project meeting