Environmental Change in the High Arctic Landscape of Svalbard

During this field course, students will gain experience in aspects of glaciology, fluvial hydrology and sediment transport, periglacial geomorphology, physical limnology and pro-glacial lacustrine sedimentation. Students will use a network of environmental monitoring instrumentation to interpret seasonal, annual, and long-term changes in the high Arctic terrestrial system.

The course will investigate how climatic and watershed processes influence the modern glacial, fluvial, lacustrine and periglacial systems in the high Arctic setting of western Svalbard. Monitoring of the rapidly changing Arctic cryo-/hydrosphere will extend existing environmental data sets for the field site at Kapp Linné that establish a robust baseline against which future changes will be measured. Documentation of the changing environmental conditions occurring at this high latitude site will also facilitate interpretation of high-resolution Holocene climate proxy records such as annually laminated lacustrine sediments.

The duration of the course will be four weeks. The first week of the course will be centered at UNIS. Students will take mandatory Arctic survival and safety training.

Introductory lectures will be held coupled with local excursions and introduction to field techniques. Up to two weeks of fieldwork will be undertaken at the Kapp Linné catchment, where students will be introduced to all aspects of the research activities and trained in field techniques and the use of monitoring and sampling instruments. Data and samples collected will form the basis of independent small research projects co-designed with the course lecturers. Data collected from logging instruments and samples collected will be shared among students pursuing different research projects.

At the completion of the fieldwork, a week will be spent at UNIS synthesizing data and analyzing samples, under the supervision of the course lecturers. At the end of the last week, students will prepare and deliver a final presentation on their research. After the course student will continue working on their data and submit a report during the autumn semester. The student may also choose to continue analysis of data or samples as an independent study or bachelor’s thesis project at their home institution in addition to the course requirements.

Course details

Academic level(s)Bachelor
Language of instruction
InstitutionUniversity Centre in Svalbard
Begin date11.07.2016
End date04.08.2016
Registration deadline15.02.2016
ECTS credits10.0
Field schoolYes
Fields of studyEarth science
Teaching placeSvalbard
Tagsfield schoolsummer schoolgeologyglaciology
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