October 2021 insights

Ny-Ålesund Research Station Newsletter

We are exited to finally meet many of you in person in Oslo next week for the 3rd Svalbard Science Conference (SSC). In total, 280 researchers are travelling to Oslo to learn more about Svalbard research and meet up with colleagues. The overarching theme for this year's SSC is Added value through cooperation, which we hope will stimulate and inspire all of you, and ultimately increase the international relevance of research from Svalbard. For those of you who cannot travel to Oslo, the conference will be live streamed.

While many of us meet in Oslo, Andøya Space is busy preparing the JAXA rocket to be launched from Ny-Ålesund between 3-17 November 2021. This rocket is part of the international rocket program The Grand Challenge Initiative, which aims at studying physical conditions in the ionosphere.

Updates from the research station

Kings Bay just announced the planning programme for the revision of Ny-Ålesund land-use plan. In accordance with the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act the final planning programme has been published so that the framework and premises for the plan can be publicly debated. Read more and find the final planning programme here.

Both the Proposed amendments to the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act, and the Proposed amendments to the regulations for access and passage in nature in Svalbard and proposal for a separate regulation rendering the Act relating to package travel and travel guarantees have been distributed for comments. The consultation deadline for both proposals are early February 2022. Both proposals will be presented by the responsible Norwegian Authorities at the coming NySMAC meeting.

As many of you experienced this summer, the new weapon regulation require a permit from the Governor (or police) in order to rent or borrow a rifle. The good news is if you received such a permit this year, you do not need to apply again next time you go to Svalbard for fieldwork. We have updated the information regarding the regulation on our website, please read this carefully.

The research community in Ny-Ålesund has established the Gruvebadet House Meeting to coordinate access to the Gruvebadet Atmosphere Laboratory and Observatory. The committee consist of representatives from the research institutions active in Gruvebadet.

A new version of the Research in Svalbard (RiS) portal will be launched 17th December 2021. SSF strongly encourages Project Owners to revise their projects and clean them up, so that old drafts and incorrect fieldwork periods are not migrated to the new RiS. Fieldwork periods in RiS shall only cover the time period people spend in the field.

NERC / BAS celebrates 30 years in Ny-Ålesund. Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Harland-huset has been a home for, and has provided support to more than 400 researchers from 62 universities and research centres over the last 30 years. The official celebration to mark the anniversary took place on the 28th of September. Congratulations!

Updates from the flagship programmes

All four Ny-Ålesund flagship programmes plan meetings in connection with the Svalbard Science Conference in Oslo next week. For more information and links, see Events below.

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Flagship has 35 people registered to the SSC side-meeting 1st of November at Scandic Fornebu in Oslo. The agenda for the event has been released, and will be a mix of key-note talks and discussion sessions about the projects we can undertake within the terrestrial ecosystem flagship. After the conference, NySMAC will also meet to discuss future infrastructure needs. Angela Augusti will be present from the terrestrial ecosystem flagship to discuss our needs. The flagship chair and co-chair are looking forward to see you in Oslo very soon.

Research highligths

Report from NPI fieldwork on Arctic marine mammals in a time of climate change

17 seals from the three resident seal species in Kongsfjorden are now swimming around in Kongsfjorden with specially made GPS dive loggers glued to their fur. Read more from NPI field work within the project Arctic marine mammals in a time of climate change: a Kongsfjorden Case Study in this new article.


31 Oct 2021

Workshop on the nutrient cycle in the Arctic

The nutrient cycle in the Arctic will be the focus when researchers from the four Ny-Ålesund flagships convene to discuss how to increase collaboration across flagships and research disciplines. The workshop two main themes are: Kongsfjorden net ecosystem metabolism (nitrogen budget); and Nutrient budget in atmosphere, biosphere and soil continuum: carbon, nitrogen and more.

1 Nov 2021

Ny-Ålesund flagship meetings: Kongsfjorden, Terrestrial and Atmosphere, respectively

Three of the four Ny-Ålesund flagships arrange meetings as parallel sessions on Monday 1st November. While the Terrestrial scientists will have a physical meeting, the marine scientists will have their meeting online. The Atmosphere flagship plans for a hybrid meeting with both in person and online participation. Read more in the links below:
Kongsfjorden System flagship meeting
Terrestrial Ecology flagship meeting
Atmosphere flagship meeting

2-3 Nov 2021

Svalbard Science Conference in Oslo

In addition to the three main science sessions on Geohazards, biohazards and other hazards; Science for society; and Summit to sea, this year's conference includes a poster session, parallel sessions and a panel debate. The conference will be opened by the director of the Research Council of Norway, Mari Sundli Tveit. The new Minister of Research and Higher Education in Norway, Ola Borten Moe, will also attend. The full conference program and a link if you wish to follow the conference stream is available here.

4 Nov 2021

Ny-Ålesund flagship meeting: Glaciology

The Ny-Ålesund glaciology flagship will arrange its flagship meeting on Thursday 4th November, followed by the IGS Nordic Branch meeting at the University of Oslo on the 5th and 6th of November.
Glaciology flagship meeting

4-5 Nov 2021

55th NySMAC meeting in Oslo

The 55th NySMAC meeting will follow the SCC. NySMAC is the committee where all institutions with major interest in Ny-Ålesund science meet. In addition to the reporting from the member institutions and observers, the future development of common research infrastructure is on the agenda this time. NySMAC is a closed meeting.

24-28 Jan 2022

SIOS Polar Night Week in Longyearbyen

This annual meeting brings the SIOS community together for science seminars, working group meetings and plenary discussions, and for the release of latest issue of the SIOS State of Environmental Science report.
All events are listed here


The Arctic Field Grant (AFG) call is open. Svalbard Science Forum through the AFG allocates funding to Norwegian research organizations to facilitate fieldwork in Svalbard and Jan Mayen. The funding is available for Master students, PhD students and researchers affiliated with Norwegian institutions. Application deadline: 24 Nov 2021. Read more
The INTERACT transnational access call is open. Research groups can apply for physical access to Ny-Ålesund or 42 other research stations in the Arctic or Alpine areas. Deadline 30 Nov 2021. Read more
The Research Council of Norway's call for sustainable marine research is still open for researchers from Norwegian institutions. Ny-Ålesund projects will be prioritised. This is an open ended call and funds are still available. Read more (only in Norwegian)

Image of the month

The October image shows the moon and northern lights over the London houses, and is taken by Svein Harald Sønderland, research advisor at Kings Bay AS.

Please contact us at post@nyalesundresearch.no to have your image shown in the newsletter.
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