June 2021 insights

Ny-Ålesund Research Station Newsletter

The summer season is busy in Ny-Ålesund, with bird chicks, reindeer calves and fox cubs - and, of course, researchers! While 2020 was eerily quiet due to the strict travel restrictions introduced due to the Corona pandemic, 2021 has been - if not normal - a step closer to normalcy.

A number of international institutions have taken on the extra cost and effort involved in having researchers undergo a 10 day quarantine on the Norwegian mainland before travelling to Ny-Ålesund. The contribution to maintaining the integrity of long time series, and the engagement in time critical research and monitoring in Ny-Ålesund that this has made possible, is invaluable!

While restrictions on travel to Norway are still in place at the time of publication of this newsletter, exemptions are made for researchers working in Ny-Ålesund - provided some formal steps are taken. As the rules seem to change from one week to the next it can be difficult to get a clear picture of how to plan and execute your trip to Ny-Ålesund.

To assist researchers in the planning process we strive to provide updated information regarding travel restrictions and quarantine rules on the Covid information page on the Ny-Ålesund research station web site.

Good luck in preparing and executing your project, safe travels, and welcome to Ny-Ålesund!

Updates from the research station

Kings Bay has announced the launch of the planning and consultation process in connection with the revision of the land-use plan for Ny-Ålesund for the coming 10-years period. Deadline: 9th July. Read more here.

The introductions of new regulation regarding firearms in Norway has implications for scientists renting firearms from Kings Bay, and most scientists will now have to apply for permission to do so from the Governor of Svalbard. Read more here.

Updates from the flagship programmes

The Terrestrial ecosystem flagship network proposal “The Terrestrial Ecosystem Flagship in Ny-Ålesund: From workshops to research projects” for the Svalbard Strategic Grant call has been awarded funds to arrange activities in 2021-2023.

The Terrestrial ecosystem flagship plans to arrange an afternoon poster session for scientists present at the research station in July. The aim is to share information about ongoing studies and to discuss possible future cooperation. The session will be organized in an informal way, and be announced locally.

The Atmosphere flagship is replanning and rescheduling network activities that have been on hold for the last year. The flagship is also working on identifying larger infrastructure needs for atmospheric research and monitoring for the coming decade, and will provide input to the NySMAC process on this topic. Stay tuned for more information.

The Kongsfjorden system flagship is excited to finally meet in person again: the next flagship meeting will take place on November 1st in Oslo (on the day before the Svalbard Science Conference). Read more about this under Events.

The Glaciology flagship is planning to meet in connection with the International Glaciological Society Nordic Branch meeting, which will be hosted this year by the University of Oslo. At present, the plan is to hold the Nordic Branch meeting following the Svalbard Science Conference, on 4-5 November.

Research highligths

Linking the Ny-Ålesund observatories in an effort to solve the Arctic climate change riddle

A team of researchers studying the footprint of short lived climate forcers in the Arctic has started connecting data from multiple measurements sites around Ny-Ålesund including in-situ and remote sensing methods. Part of the project was recently conducted in the form of a short field campaign. Read more here.

The changing Arctic critical zone

Terrestrial ecosystems are complex systems where biotic and abiotic components are strongly interconnected and respond to environmental and climate stress. The tundra constitutes the life support system of such ecosystems in the Arctic, and it is particularly fragile and exposed to climate change. Read more here.

INTERACT Stories of Arctic science II

Researchers from Ny-Ålesund contributed to the newly launched e-book from INTERACT Stories from Arctic Science II. See the e-book here


31 Oct 2021

Cross-flagship collaboration - nutrient cycle in the Arctic workshop

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 between the disciplines. Two physical meetings have been planned; A one day workshop on the 31st of October in conjunction with the SSC, and a three-days workshop in Orvieto in Italy in the spring of 2022.

1 Nov 2021

Ny-Ålesund flagship side-meetings to SSC

Three of the four Ny-Ålesund flagship programs plan to take advantage of the physical meeting place provided by the Svalbard Science Conference to arrange side-meetings with focus on specific flagship issues. All meetings will most likely be arranged as parallel sessions on Monday the 1st of November. Details in the links:
Kongsfjorden System meeting
Terrestrial Ecology Flagship meeting
Atmosphere Flagship meeting

2-3 Nov 2021

Svalbard Science Conference (SSC) in Oslo

The 3rd Svalbard Science Conference will be a physical meeting taking place in Oslo, Norway. The conference will bring together the Svalbard science community to discuss the overarching topic of cooperation for better science. The interest to participate is large, and a total of 180 abstracts have been submitted. The registration is still open.

4-5 Nov 2021

55th NySMAC meeting in Oslo

The 55th NySMAC meeting will take place after the SCC. NySMAC promotes cooperation and coordination between actors engaged in research and monitoring in Ny-Ålesund, and includes representatives from all parties with major vested interests in Ny-Ålesund. This is a closed meeting for representatives and observers only.

26 March - 1 April 2022

ASSW-2022 in Tromsø

Arctic Science Summit Week 2022 will take place in Tromsø, Norway. The conference is planned in a hybrid format, offering in-person or online attendance. The ASSW 2022 programme includes Business and Community Meetings, a Science Day and the Arctic Observing Summit 2022.

6-10 Sept 2021

Training course on Hyperspectral Remote Sensing in Svalbard

SIOS offers an online training course on how to use hyperspectral remote sensing data (satellites, airborne) and associated tools/software in the context of research in Svalbard. The course is intended for scientists, students and technicians with no or little experience with hyperspectral remote sensing techniques.

5-6 October 2021

Workshop on harmonising and collaborative atmospheric pollution research

SIOS and the network HERMOSA is arranging a two days online workshop on harmonising and collaborative research activities in Svalbard atmospheric pollution research. The workshop is for all scientists with relevant expertise and interest in the field of atmospheric aerosol sampling, analysis and data handling in Svalbard.

All events are listed here


The Research Council of Norway's Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG) call is still open for project submissions. The SSG is a seed money program aimed at advancing coordination, collaboration and data sharing between researchers engaged in work relevant to Svalbard. Open ended call. Read more
The Research Council of Norway has a call for sustainable marine research open for researchers from Norwegian institutions. Ny-Ålesund projects will be prioritised. Open ended call. Read more (only in Norwegian)
SIOS is launching its first Innovation Award. SIOS, in collaboration with Svalbard Science Forum, is launching an Innovation Award aiming to promote innovation in support of Earth system science in the Svalbard region. Deadline: 10 September 2021
Read more

Image of the month

Imbarco Midtre LR
This image is taken by Mariasilvia Giamberini from CNR. Researchers are happy to see the boat approaching the beach to take them back to Ny Ålesund research station for the night. It was a long day out spent sampling ice and freshwater that melts from the Midtre Lovenbreen glacier.

The sampling of ice, fresh meltwater and sea water is part of the ISMOGLAC project run by the Institute of Geoscience and Earth Resources of CNR. The project is aimed at investigating the dynamic processes of the glacial melting and evaluating the consequent transfers of fresh water towards the Arctic Ocean through the determination of physical and chemical parameters and chemical and isotopic composition of water, sampled at several points moving from the Ny-Ålesund coast line towards the inner part of the fjord.

Please contact us at post@nyalesundresearch.no to contribute to image of the month.
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