27th June 2010
The day started off with two lectures on the Botany of Svalbard with an introduction to an IPY international tundra project, ITEX, run by Ingibjorg Jonsdottir. This project focuses on climate change and how it might affect the individual responses of plants. This was followed by an excursion to some of her study sights in Endalen. The experiments consisted of open top hexagonal chambers which imitate climate change by increasing the temperature by 1-3 degrees within the chambers. We also looked at the typical plants in the tundra environment.
Next, we had a lecture on bird health followed by an excursion to Adventdalen and to the dog yard to observe the birds first hand. We saw Sandpipers, Skewers, Pink footed and Barnacle geese to name but a few.
28th June 2010
We had lectures with Kit Kovacs on marine mammals in the Svalbard area, followed by a lecture on using marine mammals to explore the oceans pole to pole. Finally, the morning was rounded off with a lecture on marine mammals and the effect of climate change on them. In the afternoon, we dissected a ring seal pup and an adult male seal. The day was rounded off by having a lecture on Arctic auroras and night time phenomena and preparing for our trip tomorrow to Kapp Linne
Authors: Sarah Lee (England) and Kristin Heggland (Norway)
Photos: Kristin Heggland