March insights

Ny-Ålesund Research Station Newsletter

Welcome to the first ever Newsletter from Ny-Ålesund Research Station! The newsletters will provide you with the latest updates from the station and from the four Ny-Ålesund flagship programmes, research highlights, information about events and opportunities, and the image of the month.

This first newsletter is distributed to everyone who has participated in flagship activities in the past.

If you wish to receive future monthly newsletters, please remember to sign up!

Updates from the research station

The Covid-situation makes international travel challenging, and the quarantine requirements upon entry to Norway presents researchers and staff en route to Ny-Ålesund with some practical (and financial) obstacles. In spite of this, several researchers and management staff will be arriving in Ny-Ålesund this spring, and some have already found their way there. For instance, CNR completed their planned staff rotation on the 12th of March, and seven researchers arrived at AWIPEV and 10 at NPI last week, after having spent the required time in quarantine in Oslo. The group being hosted by NPI should have been at NERC/BAS, which unfortunately has not been able to staff and open the Harland House for researchers this spring.

Kings Bay AS has just started the revision of the land use plan with a start-up meeting with the Governor of Svalbard and Norwegian Polar Institute early in March. Kings Bay will involve actors in Ny-Ålesund in this process, starting with a session at the 54th NySMAC meeting this week. KB's new advisor Hanne Karin Tollan (advisor@kingsbay.no) is leading the work.

The password protected NySMAC document archive is up and running on the research station website. The NySMAC Secretariat is still working on uploading old meeting presentations and institute reports to the archive.

The Norwegian Polar Institute just finished renewing the Svalbard satellite image mosaic in Topo Svalbard. The updated "Satellite, summer" aerial map from summer 2020 is in 50% higher resolution and better colors than before.

New drone regulations require that anyone using drones in Svalbard must register as UAS operator. The exception is for drones below 250 g without a camera, and drones CE-marked as toys. Previously registered RO1, RO2 or RO3 operators have to register before the new regulation enters into force in Norway, which is expected in the first half of 2021. Read more

Did you know the Norwegian Polar Institute is the official agency responsible for place names in the Norwegian polar regions? They just named two new bays in Kongsfjorden: Kongsbrebukta and Kronebukta. Read more...(in Norwegian only)

Updates from the flagship programmes

The Terrestrial Flagship is working on a joint flagship network proposal for the Svalbard Strategic Grant. The proposal will be submitted after Easter. Read more about the flagship current activities in the update by the flagship chair from January 2021.

The Kongsfjorden flagship is in need of a new marine infrastructure to replace the Old Pier which was closed down for safety reasons last year. This is part of a broader discussion of research infrastructure development to be continued by NySMAC at their meeting this week. Get in contact with the flagship.

Research highligths

25 years of monitoring of POPs and CEAC

The Environment and Climate Change Canada researcher F. Wong is first author on the publication Time trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and Chemicals of Emerging Arctic Concern (CEAC) in Arctic air from 25 years of monitoring where also NILU contributes with observations from the Zeppelin Observatory in Ny-Ålesund. Read the publication here.

Traces of antidepressants and painkillers found in crustaceans in Ny-Ålesund

Researchers from SINTEF, NPI and UNIS have collected samples from Arctic crustaceans close to Ny-Ålesund. They discovered a number of drugs (ibuprofen from Ibux, diclofenac from Voltaren, antibiotics and an antidepressant) in a variety of different concentrations. Read more...

Searching for copepods in the dark

Norwegian Polar Institute research project in Kongsfjorden and the Marin lab, where they search for male copepods (zooplankton) that only appear in the polar night. Read more... (in Norwegian only)

Record high levels of CO2 measured at Zeppelin Observatory

NILU's annual report “Monitoring of greenhouse gases and aerosols at the Zeppelin Observatory, Svalbard, and Birkenes Observatory, Aust-Agder, Norway” document record high levels for most climate gases measured at the Zeppelin Observatory in 2019, with annual average CO2 concentration of 411.9 ppm. Read more...

Timelapse from Kronebreen

NPI published a nice timelapse video from Kronebreen in Kongsfjorden. See the full timelapse here...


22–24 March 2021

54th NySMAC meeting

The 54th NySMAC meeting (members and observers only) will be a virtual meeting under the umbrella of the ASSW 2021.
If you are participating, please register for the ASSW.

2–3 November 2021

Svalbard Science Conference

Registration for the 3rd SSC2021, held at Scandic Fornebu, Oslo, is now open. More information regarding the conference, abstract submission and program is available at the conference website. It is safe to register, if the conference is canceled you will get your fee back. Arranged by: Research Council of Norway in collaboration with NPI and NySMAC

All events are listed here


The Research Council of Norway has open the Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG) call. The SSG offer funding for coordination and networking activities in Svalbard. The call is open ended. Read more

The Research Council of Norway also recently announced a new call for Norwegian researches to support research and use of research infrastructure in Svalbard and Ny-Ålesund. Read more (only in Norwegian)

Are you interested in working on strengthening the links between researchers and infrastructures in Svalbard, or to improve the SIOS observing system? SIOS offers support for secondments to SIOS Knowledge Centre in Longyearbyen. Read more

The SIOS logistics sharing notice board is set-up to allow researchers to share logistics to make field work more efficient economically, environmentally and in terms of researcher time and effort. Read more

Image of the month

The March image is taken by Norwegian Polar Institute's head in Ny-Ålesund, Helge T. Markussen.

The picture is from early March, and shows the buildings Jean Corbel, which is operated by the French Polar Institute (IPEV). Corbel is located about 5 kilometers east of Ny-Ålesund, and consists of four huts with facilities for staying overnight. The installation runs almost entirely on renewable energy, with the windmill together with solar panels as the main sources for charging the battery bank. The AWIPEV team looks after the installation and has regular visits to Corbel during the winter.

The image of the month will, in addition to giving the photographer honors and glory, be shown in the monthly newsletter and be included in the image carousel on the front page of the research station website.
Please contact us at post@nyalesundresearch.no to contribute to image of the month.
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