Arctic Semester - Specialisation in Arctic climate and environment for Natural Science students

As a specialization in Arctic climate and environment, Arctic Research Centre at Aarhus University and Greenland Institute of Natural Resources offer six Arctic courses in the spring semester. The courses take place in Nuuk, Greenland.

Interested? More information from Education Coordinator Lise Lotte Sørensen (

Sea ice ecology

Sea ice ecology is a two weeks field course in Kangerlussuaq. It covers the sea ice ecosystem focusing on ice algae. You will learn about adaptation and distribution of sea ice algae in the extreme Arctic environment. Teachers are from Aarhus University, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and University of Manitoba, Canada. 5 ECTS.

Fisheries and hunting in Greenland

You will learn about basic biology and biogeography of fish and wildlife species important for the Greenlandic society. Furthermore, you get information about legislation, conser- vation, and international agreements, and basics of monitoring, population estimation and biological advice. The course is given by Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland) and you must register as a guest student. 5 ECTS.

Climate forcing, effects and adaptations in the Arctic

The course focuses on the development and transport of greenhouse gases and aerosols in the Arctic. It covers the cryosphere (ice, snow and permafrost), climate forcing from greenhouse gases and aerosols, as well as the effects of climate on the Arctic ecosystems including feedbacks. You will measure gas exchange between ecosystems and analyse the data in your own project. Teachers from Aarhus University. 10 ECTS.

Arctic marine ecosystems

The course gives an introduction to the abiotic conditions (currents, freshwater input, salinity and nutrients) in the Arctic marine areas and how they influence species composition, population dynamics, productivity and ecosystem processes. You will learn about climate change in the Arctic and the impacts of warming on the Arctic marine ecosystems. You will also get experience on planning and conducting field studies in marine ecosystems. 10 ECTS. Teachers from Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.

Arctic freshwater ecology

The lectures and field and laboratory exercises focus on the physical and chemical conditions characteristic for Arctic freshwater ecosystems. We study the functional groups of organisms, primary production and metabolism. Theoretical exercises deal with assessment and interpretation of biological, physical and chemical data from Arctic streams and lakes. Teachers are from Aarhus University. 5 ECTS.

Arctic governance and sustainable development: social and environmental challenges

The course will provide tools for understanding of governance processes. It educates scientists and future employees of Arctic authorities to take a holistic approach in the changes affecting the Arctic. The course is given by Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland) and you must register as a guest student. 5 ECTS.

Introductory safety course

This course is mandatory if you want to do field work in the Arctic, but it does not give any ECTS. The course is given by Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.

Program details

Academic level(s)Master
Language of instructionEnglish
InstitutionAarhus University
Fields of studyBiology and biochemistryEnvironmental scienceLife science (broad programmes)ChemistryEarth scienceNatural environments and wildlife
Tagsecologyecosystemsenvironmentclimategovernancesustainable development
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