December 2021 insights

Ny-Ålesund Research Station Newsletter

While intensive vaccination programmes saw a downturn in the number of covid cases and a subsequent lifting of many travel restrictions earlier this year, the omicron variety has brought about a return to a more complicated situation as we approach the end of 2021. We hope for an improvement in the situation over the coming months, so that we see a similar upturn in field activity during the summer season of 2022 as the one experienced during the summer months this year.

On a positive note, Svalbard Science Conference, which took place prior to the re-tightening of regulations, was a welcome opportunity for many to meet in person again - a relief after having spent way too much time on video meetings.

Finally, in true Christmas spirit, the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment has provided extra funds - 2.5 million NOK - to equip the labs in Kings Bay Veksthus. This will make possible the purchase of almost all the equipment on the list provided by the Terrestrial Flagship in connection with the ongoing process of developing a long term infrastructure development plan for Ny-Ålesund Research Station. Orders will be placed in early January, with delivery on the first boat of the year to Ny-Ålesund - planned for February.

On that note we wish you all a peaceful, safe Holiday Season and a Happy New Year, and hope to see as many of you as possible in Ny-Ålesund in 2022!

Updates from the research station

The two Svalbard hearings (Proposed amendments to the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act, and the Proposal for new regulations relating to safety in connection with field activity on Svalbard have a new hearing deadline, 1st May 2022. NySMAC is working on a joint hearing input.

The new weapon regulation have implications for researchers renting weapons from Kings Bay. Updated information on how to deal with the changes can be found in the Researchers Guide to Ny-Ålesund. Read more...

The new version of the Research in Svalbard (RiS) portal is coming closer, but the launch has been delayed to January 2022. Researchers are encouraged to clean up the information on their project, so that the data migrated to the new portal is of the highest quality.

Updates from the flagship programmes

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Flagship has planned an online meeting early in January to move forward with the activities of the network project started this year. The participants to the side-meeting held in Oslo in November will continue to plan the activities of the project, in particular the network meeting in Ny-Ålesund during summer 2022.

The Atmosphere Flagship had a fruitful meeting in Oslo before the Svalbard Science Conference, focusing mainly on discussing the implementation of the news Svalbard Strategic Grant project and activities. A range of online and physical meetings will be scheduled for 2022.

The Glaciology Flagship held a workshop supported by the Norwegian Research Council following the Svalbard Science Conference. While the number of participants was lower than the last flagship meeting, due in no small part to the pandemic, there were glaciologists attending with affiliations to almost all of the permanent research localities in Svalbard, and from a variety of nations. The one-day workshop was deemed to be highly successful, not the least for being the first in-person workshop for a number of us.

Research highligths

Airborne atmospheric measurements over Svalbard in March-April 2022

In March and April next year three different aircraft campaigns will perform coordinated measurements of atmospheric properties over Svalbard and Ny-Ålesund. The PIs write about the plans and tracks, and invites to collaboration. Read more...

The last rocket from the Grand Challenge Initiative launched from Ny-Ålesund

The Japanese research rocket SS-520-3 was launched from Ny-Ålesund 4th November 2021 to investigate the cusp region as a part of the Grand Challenge Initiative Project Cusp. Read more...


24-28 Jan 2022

SIOS Polar Night Week (online)

Due to the pandemic, SIOS has decided to move the fourth Polar Night Week online. This annual meeting still will bring the SIOS community together for science seminars, working group meetings and discussions. One of the highlights is the release of newest issue of the SESS report. The registration to PNW is open.

26 Mar -1 Apr 2022

Arctic Science Summit Week (hybrid format)

The Arctic Science Summit Week 2022 and the Arctic Observing Summit 2022 is this time taking place in Tromsø, Norway. The conference is planned in a hybrid format, opening up for in-person or online attendance.

27-28 Mar 2022

56th NySMAC meeting (hybrid format)

The 56th NySMAC meeting will take place as part of ASSW in Tromsø. NySMAC is the committee where all institutions with major interest in Ny-Ålesund science meet twice yearly.
All events are listed here


Call for contributions to the State of Environmental Science in Svalbard (SESS) report 2022. SIOS seeks proposals for new and update chapters that highlight the state of environmental science in Svalbard and contribute to the development of the Earth Observing System in and around Svalbard. Deadline for proposal submission is 10 January 2022. 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

Ny Ålesund RS Ginger Bread Village Inger Lise Næss
The world's northernmost ginger bread village in Ny-Ålesund! You may recognize the locomotive. The image is taken by Kings Bays new advisor for research and marketing, Inger Lise Næss.

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