The goal of UAK has been to develop long-term collaboration between Norway, Canada and USA to improve multidisciplinary research and education in selected Arctic topics of importance to local communities and operators in the Arctic. The topics of UAK have included: 1) Studies of natural and antropogenic hazards, how they can be observed and what needs to be done to minimize risks and consequences; 2) Status and changes in acoustic noise in the ocean, affected by ship traffic, tourism and resource exploitation; 3) Cross-disciplinary data collection, management and publication, 4) Local observing systems which are important for the communities, and 5) Communication and dissemination of research towards local communities and other actors who need improved knowledge about the Arctic.
The first research school was organised in Longyearbyen in December 2018 with 14 lecturers and 15 students. The topic was cross-disciplinary research and collaboration between research and local communities. The second and third research schools were organised as part of cruises with the Norwegian Coastguard vessel KV Svalbard in 2020 and 2021. These cruises offered a unique opportunity to learch about Arctic field work from an icebreaker. The first cruise had focus on use of oceanographic, acoustic and optical instruments in Storfjorden, where the students learned about collection and processing of data from the instruments. The second cruise took place north of Svalbard in an ice-covered area, where the students learned about instruments and methods to collect data from sea ice and the ocean underneath the ice. The methods included use of drones to collect high-resoution images of the sea ice and ROV to observe the underside of the ice, where large amounts of sea algaes were found. Satellite SAR images were downloaded daily to support ice navigation and identify ice floes where in situ data could be collected. Oceanographic data were collected from profiling instruments (CTD and XBT) and bottom-anchored moorings. An acoustic ice buoy was deployed during the cruise to measure the noise under the ice. Also automated ice buoys for the International Arctic Buoy Programme were deployed to collect ice drift and meteorological data for a year or more. The research school had focus on training in processing and management of the data , and publication of and uploading to data repositories. The participants were really an international team of younger as well as more experienced researchers. The first cruise had 6 instructors and 10 students and second cruise had 7 instructors and 12 students from 9 different countries. The research schools involved instructors and students from the UAK consortium and also from NORCE and CIRFA project at University of Tromsø. The activties during the cruises were documented in videos and later edited into instruction and popular science videos published on Youtube.
Several workshops have been organised, two of them with the partners in USA and Canada in 2018 and 2019. In Longyearbyen workshops have been organised to improve collaboration between researchers and the local community. The workshops have involved a wider group of scientists, including archaeologists working with cultural heritage preservation and members of the Svalbard Social Science Initiative. Another communcation and outreach activity was the 4-day trip with the tourist vessel Nordstjernen around Svalbard, where NERSC had dialogues with many groups working and living in Svalbard about sustainability questions. The overall goal of the communication activities is to make Arctic research more relevant for the local community to support their effort to adapt the society to climate change and new economic conditions. NERSC has organised two workshops on data management and one course in writing popular science articles using results from the cruises. The course was held in Bergen by forskning.no and the articles are planned to be published in Forskersone.no. Exchange visits between Norway and USA/Canada for scientists were organised in 2022. The major outcome of the project was consolidating the long-term collaboration with partners in USA and Canada and extension of the collaboration with new partners. A follow-up project, UAK_2 will continue the training and education collaboration with partners in USA and Canada.
The project has contributed to the following outcomes and impacts according to the goals of the INTPART programme:
(1) The main outcome is that international partnerships have been established with leading research and education institutions in USA and Canada within marine science and technology. This partnership has helped NERSC and the other Norwegian partners to increase their competence and expertise in specialized fields of their research. The partnership is expected to be long-term since the follow-up project UAK-2 under INTPART will support further collaboration within the partnership in the next five years.
(2) The coupling between new results in marine science and education on undergraduate and graduate level among the partner institutions has been strengthened during the research schools and workshops where teachers and students work closely together.
(3) Collaboration with industries (ocean technology companies) and public organisations (the Norwegian Coastguard and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute) within the partnership is growing, which will be further developed in the UAK-2 follow-up project from 2023 to 2028
(4) A concrete outcome of the partnership has been the Horizon Europe project which will follow up the H2020 project INTAROS by further developing Arctic ocean observing systems in the next five years.
UAK will develop long-term collaboration between Norway, Canada and USA to improve multidisciplinary in Arctic research and education. AUK is focussed on selected topics of importance to local communities and operators in the Arctic, namely the nature of natural and human-made hazards and ocean acoustic environment, all of which can have significant negative impact. The research and training activities will be implemented through Research School, workshops and exchange visit program for PhD students, Post-Docs and senior scientists.
UAK will contribute to establishment of educational programs within Arctic research supporting the cross-disciplinary activities in INTAROS. The traditional education programs at Norwegian Universities are primarily domain specific e.g. natural science, social sciences, scientific data management, and community based monitoring. UAK aims to bring in more multi-disciplinarity into education programs at the involved Norwegian universities. In UAK we will address the following topics
1) Cross-disciplinary data management and integration.
2) Natural and man-made hazards
3) Ocean acoustic environment
4) Community based monitoring
5) Communication between research and communities
The partnership consists of Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, University in Bergen - Earth Science, Western Norway University of Applied Science, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, University of Colorado, University of Manitoba, and University of Calgary. In 2020 three new partners from Canada and USA joined the project:Carleton University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have all undergraduate and graduate educational programmes within the topics of the UAK project. The will contribute to the exchange of young scientists and the training activities in the last year of the project