Introduction is given through lectures to geophysical characteristics of seasonal, northern environments, physical properties of snow and ice, basic thermodynamics, radiation and spectral topics, energy flow in ecosystems and metabolic processes during the arctic winter. Special consideration is given to changes in winter conditions as a consequence of climate change.
Based on the course literature, seminar discussions and lab and field studies, certain topics are dealt with in depth, such as morphological, physiological and life history traits related to winter survival in terrestrial plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, trophic interactions, ecosystem carbon balance during winter, and how the long arctic winter affects population dynamics, community structure, vertebrate social structures and overall ecosystem functioning.
Strong emphasis is on field demonstrations of relevant features when the snow accumulation in the High Arctic is approaching maximum for better understanding the selective forces of the arctic winter. Students get hands on training in the field and in the lab, training in research teamwork and leadership, in data collection, data analysis and communication of scientific results, both oral and written.
|Language of instruction||English|
|Institution||University Centre in Svalbard|
|Fields of study||Biology and biochemistryEnvironmental scienceLife science (broad programmes)|
|Teaching term||Spring (every second year)|
|Tags||ecosystemshigh northphysiologyfield studiesthermodynamicsarctic regionsnow and icevertebratesnorthern environment|