We started our course in Longyearbyen, Svalbard and have made our way to the world’s most Northerly settlement, Ny Ålesund. The journey to Ny Ålesund is quite an adventurous experience and involved a half hour flight over moonlit mountains in a very small plane. Not only is Ny Ålesund the world’s most northerly settlement but it is also the regular haunt for local polar bears and we are on the look out for any such curious critters who might want to “help” us with our science.
As we are researching the polar night the darkness is really important and the management group of King’s Bay have done an awesome job of keeping the harbour area dark for us.
Already we have been experiencing a variety of local weather conditions, with mild days and a little light snow. Light for polar night with a very awesome full moon, apparently turning us all into werewolves, an event to look forward to! We have also been lucky enough on occasion to see the Northern Lights (Aurora) in our Lunch break. We’ve been broken into 4 groups according to our interests and abilities and have spent the most of today going around and getting to know the equipment we’ll be using for the next 2 weeks. For some of us this involved getting excited about the robots themselves and for others we learnt about a million different ways you can detect and analyse light and the properties of the water column. We’re very much looking forward to the arrival of the University of Tromso research vessel, the Helmer Hanssen which is bringing with it some more awesome equipment and researchers. The ship arrives tomorrow and after the unloading we’ll get to meet all the other scientists who will be working with us on this campaign.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting all about our research discoveries with the occasional anecdote in-between. Keep an eye on this blog for all the news and updates!
Amelia, Inga og Piotr