Arcticportal News
Iceland and Norway advertise funds
Other News
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 08:32

From Reykjavík (Photo: GettyImages) From Reykjavík (Photo: GettyImages)The foreign ministries of Iceland and Norway have established two funds as a part of their cooperation in the field of Arctic studies and Arctic scientific research.

The ministers of foreign affairs signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding in Akureyri on September 29, 2011, concerning co-operation. It indicated key activities, including the establishment of a Nansen Professorship in Arctic Studies at the University of Akureyri, Norwegian and Icelandic Arctic Science Cooperation Fund and Exchange scholarships for Icelandic and Norwegian Students in Arctic Studies.

Exchange scholarships for Icelandic and Norwegian Students in Arctic Studies are one of the key activities in this co-operation. The purpose of the exchange scholarship program is to encourage the exchange of students between higher education institutions in Norway and Iceland in the field of Arctic science.

Students at all levels (bachelor, master, doctoral) can apply if they are enrolled at Icelandic and Norwegian higher educational institutions. Priority will be given to Master and Ph.D. students and students wishing to study at Norwegian and Icelandic universities that are members of the University of the Arctic network.

Next deadline of application is March 15th and all relative information and the application can be found here.

The purpose of the science fund is to encourage scientific cooperation between higher education institutions, research organizations and research groups in Norway and Iceland in the field of Arctic science or other activities as decided by the joint Icelandic-Norwegian Committee. Grants are awarded for travel and accommodation cost in relation to the participation of individuals or groups in scientific conferences and/or joint meetings in Norway and Iceland. In this context Arctic science encompasses research, monitoring, education and dissemination of knowledge that relate to both distinctive and common denominators of nature, culture, economy and history of the Arctic region with a bilateral and/or international perspective.

More information can be found here.


Nominations for Antarctica prize open
Other News
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 09:28

Antarctica (Photo: GettyImages) Antarctica (Photo: GettyImages)Nominations for a prestigious prize for Science and Policy in Antartica are now open.

The "Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica" is a US$ 100,000 unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica.

The Prize is inspired by Martha T. Muse's passion for Antarctica and is intended to be a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

The prize-winner can be from any country and work in any field of Antarctic science or policy. The goal is to provide recognition of the important work being done by the individual and to call attention to the significance of understanding Antarctica in a time of change.

A website with further details, including the process of nomination, closing date and selection of the Prize recipients is available at

The Prize is awarded by the Tinker Foundation and administered by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).



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Research opportunity with INTERACT
Other News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Monday, 04 February 2013 11:23


(Photo: Interact) Researchers at the station (Photo: Interact) Researchers at the station Transnational Access call to INTERACT Boreal Stations for summer 2013 and winter 2013/2014 is open 1-28 February


The INTERACT project under EU-FP7 has a Transnational Access program that offers access to research stations in the northernmost Europe and Russian Federation.


The current TA call is open to Boreal Stations within the INTERACT network, including six stations in Norway, Finland, Russian Federation and Faroe Islands.


The sites represent a variety of ecosystems from boreal forests, bogs and other peat lands, wetlands, flood plains and freshwater ecosystems to highlands and jells, periglacial landscapes and low alpine tundra, providing opportunities for researchers from natural sciences to human dimension.



Some key areas of research that fit to the specific stations are mentioned below, but various other kinds of research can also be conducted at all stations:


• Bioforsk Svanhovd, Norway: endangered and invasive species, changes in land use, anthropogenic influences, effects of air pollution from heavy metals and acidification, effects of grazing by domestic animals


• Oulanka Research Station, Finland: freshwater, plant and tourism ecology, effects of tourism, long-term data series, land use and land use changes, winter ecology, freshwater ice ecology


(Logo: Interact) (Logo: Interact)

• Kevo Subarctic Research Institute, Finland: treeline ecosystems, herbivory impacts, periglacial and peatland formations, Sami culture


• Kolari Research Unit, Finland: human-ecosystem interactions such as effects of tourism, reindeer management, forestry and mining


• Mukhrino Field Station, Russian Federation: biodiversity, paleoecology, eco-hydrology, mire ecology, vegetation, microbiology, carbon and nitrogen cyclin


• FINI Sornfelli, Faroe Islands: periglacial highland landscapes and processes, subarctic ecology


You can find more information about the stations available in the call by clicking the links above to station descriptions on the INTERACT website. Applications to other INTERACT Stations offering access are not considered eligible in this call, and will be rejected from evaluation.


(Logo: European Commission) (Logo: European Commission)

Transnational Access includes:


• Free access for user groups/users to research facilities and field sites, including support for travel and logistic costs


• Free access to information and data in the public domain held at the infrastructures


The call for proposals to the above mentioned stations for summer 2013 and winter 2013/2014 field seasons is open on the INTERACT website at on 1-28 February, 2013.


Transnational Access is available to user groups, where the group leader and majority of group members work in an institution established in a EU Member State or Associated State.


The maximum amount of access per user group is 90 person-days, including previously granted INTERACT TA.


(Logo: EU FP7 Research Funding)(Logo: EU FP7 Research Funding)

You can find the eligibility rules and application instructions, descriptions of stations and their facilities, and registration to the on-line application system from the INTERACT website.


Go Green! Apply Transnational Access to conduct research at the Boreal Stations of INTERACT!


For additional information, visit the INTERACT website or contact WP4 coordinator Hannele Savela, hannele.savela(at), or WP4 leader Kirsi Latola, kirsi.latola(at)



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Climate conference seeks abstracts
Climate Change News
Monday, 04 February 2013 08:18

Downtown Akureyri (Photo: SP) Downtown Akureyri (Photo: SP)The conference Climate Change in Northern Territories is calling for abstracts. The conference is held in Akureyri, Iceland, in august. The ESPON/ENECON and NRF Open Assembly organize the conference, hosted by the University of Akureyri.

This is the 2nd call for abstracts for general participation and young researchers. The deadline for submission is the 28th of February, but for young researchers the deadline is 15th of March. The abstracts are to be submitted to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Further information for young researchers.


The idea is that this conference will bring together researchers which have similar background but have been focusing on different problems and situations and applied different methodological approaches. Regional and local stakeholders as well as state politicians and policymakers are also target groups for the conference.


Subthemes are:

 - Territorial socio – economic impacts of climate change

 - Methodologies for assessing socio-economic impact

 - Adaptation to climate change in regions and local communities – examining methods and sharing knowledge


You will find more information concerning the central theme here.



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Arctic Frontiers 2013 - Final Remarks
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Thursday, 31 January 2013 15:31


(Logo: Arctic Frontiers)(Logo: Arctic Frontiers)

The increase in human activity in the Arctic region, which is driven by the ever increasing demand for decreasing stocks of natural resources (mineral as well as hydrocarbons), has led to a rise in the need for improved management, monitoring and surveillance of the region.


The weather conditions may change quickly and dangerously, while the presence of the sea ice poses a risk to ships. For those reasons, the need for frequently updated information has increased.


Arctic Frontiers has been yearly organized as an independent network and leading meeting place for pan Arctic issues. This year's Arctic Frontiers took place 20th – 25th January in Tromso, located in the northern part of Norway.


This year's event collected close to 150 speakers from variety of countries. The audience accounted close to 2 000 people from various Arctic states and different fields of expertise. Both groups were largely supported by 35 journalists from 15 different countries. This number does not include the many local Norwegian media.


(Photo: Arctic Portal) Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and the Canadian Northern Economic Development presents during the policy session (Photo: Arctic Portal) Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and the Canadian Northern Economic Development presents during the policy sessionFirst two days were occupied by the policy section titled: Geopolitics and Marine Production in a changing Arctic''. This year's policy session gathered speakers from the eight Arctic countries bringing up issues from charring and managing the Arctic Council, fisheries, oil and gas exploitation and the right and responsibility of the Arctic peoples to manage their territories to the role of armed forces in the Arctic.


Non-Arctic states were also well represented. The policy session welcomed speeches from the Ambassadors of China and South-Korea as well as from the EU Commissioner for Marine Affairs and Fisheries , while the science section's geopolitics session expanded the Asian representation to cover diverse range of issues regarding Japans, South-Koreas, Singapore and India's interests in the Arctic.


Non – Arctic states, together with the representatives of the Arctic, came up with new principles of how to manage, explore and develop the Arctic in the light of an on – coming change.


Today the Arctic Region is an emerging energy and mineral province, with the extraction of natural resources projected to increase dramatically in the coming years to decades. New industrial activities, a changing business community and demographic dynamics are to alter the established social and economic structures in several regions of the Arctic.


In short it can be said, that the non-Arctic countries call for an open and inclusive trans-regional dialogue and resource management and inclusive observer policies for the Arctic Council. In their view, the Arctic is not isolated region within the global economic and resource community, but a part of a global system that should be governed by and benefit all countries in the world.


It occurred evident that the interest towards the Arctic is growing and southern countries have started to grow increasing interest on the emerging opportunities in the Arctic.


In addition to the two day policy section, the Frontiers had a comprehensive science section concentrating this year on the above mentioned geopolitics, marine harvest and marine production.


(Photo: Arctic Portal) Speakers during the science session (Photo: Arctic Portal) Speakers during the science sessionThe science section addressed mainly the issues of security, energy and interstate relations in the Arctic. Overall, it identified conditions of continued stability in light of new developments in the northern hemisphere.


A warming Arctic Region with less ice may involve opportunities in terms of economic activity and increased interstate cooperation, but may also present the Arctic stakeholders with new challenges in terms of how best to meet their interests and at the same time interact with the other stakeholders through mutually beneficiary relations.


The Arctic potential to become a new, thriving energy region was strongly highlighted during first days of the policy session.


The circumpolar North holds large quantities of natural gas and oil, both discovered resources and estimated ones. Northern Russia has the largest known reserves of natural gas in the Arctic, but it can also be found in other regions such as Norway, Canada and Alaska.


Last day of the science session welcomed representatives of non – Arctic states, such as Asian and European states that do not border the region. Those countries and organizations have been increasingly opening their eyes into the changing North. The speakers tried to answer the questions of does their interest consist of and what is their policy towards the Arctic Region.


The Arctic region has many faces. Historically it has been veiled by an aura of mystique, a frozen wonderland untouched both by the outside and the effects of industrialization, populated by a mysterious group of people from a different phase in the history of man. As interesting and romantic this notion may seem, it holds little or no truth in the Arctic today.


(Photo: Arctic Portal) Happy participants during the coffee break (Photo: Arctic Portal) Happy participants during the coffee breakThe Arctic is literally on top of the world, the earth rotating around the two poles, in the North and the South. But the Arctic is not just about the North Pole - the Arctic region stretches much further in all directions, even splitting the earth into the East and the West, famous identities in the world history.


This year's Arctic Frontiers highlighted that the Arctic is not only a historical and cultural region but also a potential for commercial and industrial activities. The meeting showed that the Arctic should be looked at as at the mixture of traditional subsistence activities as well as a part of the global market economy.


Leena & HMM

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