I have been so lucky to be invited to join the “Outreach Cruise 2016” around Svalbard. Even though my Arctic research is mainly based on Greenland, I feel confident that i in a positive manner will be able to contribute with knowledge and perceptions as well as I myself will be educated and experience a new Arctic environment. An environment which as Greenland is embedded by cultural landscapes, a spectacular eco-history, archives of knowledge represented in place names diaries, logbooks and observations. An area which hopefully will be my new research sphere in the future using some of my “old tools” of research and supplementing them with new innovative ones as well as knowledge (it is here the bird feathers and bird poop comes into the picture -one of many) .
The intent with the cruise is to create an understanding of the University of Tromsø, IMR and UNIS its role in knowledge dissemination and recruitment of advanced labor in the northern areas. One of the aims is to provide impartial knowledge for the best possible society. -To shed light on how economic activity around Svalbard has taken place, is organized today, and perhaps should unfold in the future. Furthermore, by having a broad representation of cruise participants (ranging from researchers, politicians, Arctic leaders, oil industry, fisheries among many) it will look at how the various players, along with research and educational institutions, can promote sustainable development in the Arctic.
Good discussions about the way forward and the future development in the Arctic for business and politics is one of its goals. So the question is; what role do the various actors have and how do we get into an interaction that is for the benefit of development in the north? Hopefully answers will be found and questions will be answered during this intensive week of cruise in the pristine Arctic environments of Svalbard from the 9th-16th of June.
One thing is for sure and that is that I will be posting beautiful pictures, thoughts and observations as we travel along the coasts, in the fjords, through the cultural landscapes and eco-history of this spectacular region of the Arctic!
-nevertheless, I am excited!