Table of contents:
- Book your stay in Ny-Ålesund through the RiS portal
- Travel to Svalbard
- Research permissions and applications
- Shared research facilities in Ny-Ålesund
- Logistical support
- Cargo and freight
- Research synergies (coordination and collaboration)
- Safety issues
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) work
- Outreach – including media in your project
- Contact persons
- Other tools and resources
Book your stay in Ny-Ålesund through the RiS portal
Depending on your host institution in Ny-Ålesund, you will either have to register your project in the Research in Svalbard (RiS) data portal yourself, or your host institution will do this for you.
RiS is a combined system where you can register new projects, update existing projects, book facilities in Ny-Ålesund, and apply for permits from the Governor of Svalbard (if relevant for your project). Before you book, please read the Help and FAQ pages from RiS, and check out the “How to” presentations (link in the right hand panel on the RiS web site).
Travel to Svalbard
In RiS you can book your round trip Longyearbyen-Ny-Ålesund. Your travel to and from Longyearbyen will have to be booked separately.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian have regular flights to Longyearbyen from Oslo and Tromsø.
Please note that while both Oslo and Tromsø are inside the Schengen Area, Svalbard – while being an integral part of Norway – is not part of the Schengen Area. This means that travellers from outside the Schengen Area may need a visa for transiting mainland Norway (both ways) even though a visa is not required for staying in Svalbard. Note that all passengers must present their passports before boarding a flight to Svalbard.
If you need a support letter to include with your visa application, please contact NPI – Sverdrup.
Research permissions and applications
While some research activities in Svalbard do not require prior consent from governmental agencies, others might be dependent on approval from several agencies. Most of Norway’s legislation applies also to Svalbard and regulates research-relevant activities in the archipelago. The Svalbard Environmental Protection Act (2001) and regulations derived from it in particular, is highly relevant to all field research in the archipelago.
Researchers and research institutions must familiarise themselves with applicable regulations and obtain all relevant permits from Norwegian authorities before initiating their research activities in Svalbard.
Other, Ny-Ålesund spesific local regulations, include receiving permission from the land owner Kings Bay before installing instruments etc. within the Kings Bay area plan, and guidelines and regulations regarding use of radio emitting equipment and use of the airspace in Ny-Ålesund.
Shared research facilities in Ny-Ålesund
There are several research facilities available for shared use in Ny-Ålesund. Most of these are owned and operated by Kings Bay. Many of these can be booked through the RIS portal.
Kings Bay will normally be the main provider of logistical services in Ny-Ålesund. In addition, both your host institution and NPI will be able to provide some logistical support. Reservation of major equipment (boats, snowmobiles, etc.) and other key items (chemicals, rifles, etc.) should be made as part of your RiS booking. Final approval of your RiS booking to Ny-Ålesund might depend on the availability of major equipment needs that you have specified.
Cargo and freight
Due to limited air cargo capacity to and from Ny-Ålesund, heavy or large volume cargo related to research activity should preferably be sent by cargo ship.
Research synergies (coordination and collaboration)
There are several ways that you as a researcher in Ny-Ålesund can connect with other researchers to coordinate your activities, and get added value from your project through scientific collaboration, sharing of logistics etc.
The four Ny-Ålesund flagship programmes are key arenas for facilitating such coordination and collaboration between individual researchers and research groups. Consequently, all researchers coming to Ny-Ålesund are strongly encouraged to participate in flagship activities and workshops, and to engage with researchers in related projects to investigate possibilities for synergies and collaboration.
The RiS portal contains a awareness module that automatically informs you about projects related to your project – either thematically, or geographically. This information automatically pops up when you register your project in RiS.
Svalbard Science Conference is hosted every second year by The Research Council of Norway in collaboration with NPI and NySMAC, and is an arena to enhance cooperation in, and quality of Svalbard research, to build and strengthen interdisciplinary and international networks, and to consolidate Svalbard as an attractive platform for Arctic research.
Ny-Ålesund Science Managers Committee
Ny-Ålesund Science Managers Committee (NySMAC) was established to promote cooperation and coordination between researchers and between research projects and programmes in Ny-Ålesund. NySMAC provides advice and comments on research projects, research planning and coordination, infrastructure development, and environmental protection. NySMAC includes representatives from all parties with major interests in Ny-Ålesund (currently 18 members and 4 observers), and meets twice every year.
The institution hosting your project in Ny-Ålesund will inform the other NySMAC representatives about your project at the regular NySMAC meetings (twice yearly). Make sure to provide all relevant information about your project to your host institution so that their representative can convey this to the rest of the NySMAC community.
There are many challenges you as a researcher might face when visiting Ny-Ålesund.
First and foremost there are risks associated with conducting field work in the Arctic. Challenges may be related to the rapidly changing and extreme weather conditions, to the physical environment, polar bears, and to limited search and rescue capacity.
Also if your project takes place within Ny-Ålesund itself, you still have to think about safety, for instance when working in the laboratories.
Any researcher or research group with activity in Ny-Ålesund is responsible for her/his/their own safety. (The only exception to this is if the institution hosting your activities takes this responsibility and for example accompanies you and/or your research team out in the field).
Rental of firearms
Carrying out field work outside of Ny-Ålesund, you are required to bring with you appropriate means for frightening and chasing off polar bears – typically a flare gun, and a rife. In order to rent a rifle, there are a set of formal requirements that you must meet, and an application process you must complete well in advance of your arrival in Ny-Ålesund. You will find detailed information on how to go about renting a rifle here.
Kings Bay offers limited medical services in Ny-Ålesund in the form of a full time nurse. Any serious incidents/situations will have to be dealt with by the hospital in Longyearbyen.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) work
Ny-Ålesund Research Station and everyone operating under the umbrella of the station is working systematically to keep the environmental footprint of all activities as small as possible. The latest Environmental Action Plan for Ny-Ålesund from 2006 outlined some recommendations for the EIA work. Measures have been initiated for most of these recommendations.
A systematic review of and an increased focus on the EIA work will be initiated in 2021.
Outreach – including media in your project
If you plan on bringing a media group or a journalist/photographer to Ny-Ålesund as part of an outreach activity connected to your project, there are some procedures you need to follow.
All media visits to Ny-Ålesund require an assessment of the request. The same institution that assessed your research project must also assess your media request in accordance with its own policy and procedures for media and public engagement. This will include selection criteria such as the quality of media output, audience reach, and operational impact on researchers in Ny-Ålesund.
Norwegian media and media from countries without a permanent presence in Ny-Ålesund should send their request to NPI at Visit.NyA@npolar.no. Media from countries with a presence in Ny-Ålesund should send their request to the host institution’s contact person.
You will not be able to book flights or other transportation to Ny-Ålesund for the media team before the request has been assessed and approved by your host institution. Media visits should not be booked through RiS, but by the host institution directly from Kings Bay at Booking@kingsbay.no.
The visiting media actor must fill in this Media Form, and the host institution is required to share this information with NPI at Visit.NyA@npolar.no. This ensures that planned activity can be coordinated and that all media visits are included in the media visit overview for Ny-Ålesund. All media actors must be briefed by the host institution on the rules and regulations that apply in Ny-Ålesund. Visitor information for Media is available under Visit Us – Media.
The local head of the institution hosting your project is your main point of contact. Other relevant points of contact include:
|Head NPI Ny-Ålesund
|General questions related to Weekly Meeting, etc.
|NPI research coordinator
|General research related questions, including use of radio emitting devices, GIS system, flagship related questions, etc.
|NPI Programme leader Ny-Ålesund programme and Head NPI Ny-Ålesund
|Support letter to include with your visa application, and general questions regarding visits by non-researcher groups to Ny-Ålesund, including VIP and media.
|Kings Bay advisor
|Questions regarding Land-Use Plan and applications for installation of equipment on KB property
|Kings Bay lab technician
|Questions concerning use of the common laboratory facilities and their equipment
|Kings Bay research advisor
|General questions related to research logistics and services provided by Kings Bay.
|Coordination of research activities in Ny-Ålesund
Other tools and resources
Ny-Ålesund research station has various tools, such as online maps, web cameras, handbooks and a GIS system for instruments and field sites in Ny-Ålesund, available for all.
Other relevant actors on Svalbard
The Governor of Svalbard
The Governor of Svalbard is both Chief of Police and has the same authority as a County Governor on mainland Norway. The Governor is also the principal environmental protection authority in Svalbard. The Environmental Protection Department is responsible for:
- Nature supervision and environmental monitoring
- Safeguarding the environmental aspects of planning and construction, business enterprises and interventions in nature
- Management of protected areas, flora and fauna
- Oil spill preparedness, pollution control and waste disposal
- Registration, monitoring and maintenance of cultural heritage sites
- Control of import and export of animals and registration of domestic animals
Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS)
SIOS is an international observing system for measurements on and around Svalbard addressing Earth System Science questions. Important components of SIOS include:
- The observing system
- The knowledge centre
- The working groups
- The SIOS consortium
- SIOS data access point
- SIOS open calls and opportunities
- SIOS observation facility catalogue
Svalbard Science Forum (SSF)
Svalbard Science Forum was established by The Norwegian Research Council to promote coordination of research activities on Svalbard, to provide integrated and easily accessible information about research currently ongoing on Svalbard, and to expand and strengthen collaboration between individual researchers and research institutions – both Norwegian and foreign – that are involved in research activities on Svalbard. The forum serves as a coordination and advisory body for actors engaged in research activities on Svalbard.
The SSF secretariat administers seed money from the Research Council of Norway through two funding programmes.
- Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG): aims at establishing new collaborative research networks on Svalbard, developing existing networks, increasing mobility between research communities on Svalbard, and making research data more accessible.
- Arctic Field Grant (AFG): awarded to students and researchers and covers additional costs for conducting field work on Svalbard and Jan Mayen.
Both of these programs have application deadlines annually.
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