The goal of UAK is 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 are focussed on: 1) Cross-disciplinary data management and integration, 2) Natural and man-made hazards, 3) Ocean acoustic environment, and 4) Communication between research and communities, including Community based monitoring. The UAK consortium has been extended with three new partners from USA/Canada.
Due to the continued pandemic situation until September 2021 the exchange visits between the partners in Norway and USA/Canada could not be implemented as planned. The only visits were four PhD/Master students from USA and Canada who came to Norway for participation in a research school onboard KV Svalbard. Based on the successful research school conducted in June 2020, the Norwegian Coastguard kindly offered to host a similar cruise onboard KV Svalbard from 5 to 18 June 2021. The research school was organised as part of the scientific cruise which took place in the area north of Svalbard with focus on practical training in use of various instruments for sea ice and ocean observations. The cruise offered a unique opportunity to learn about field work and data collection in oceanography, ocean acoustics and sea ice research. The participants were really an international team of younger as well as more experienced researchers, comprising 7 instructors and 12 students from 9 different countries. Planning of the cruise was challenging because of the international participants and travel restrictions to Svalbard as well as mainland Norway.
The programme included work in the sea ice where the students learned how to use a number of different instruments for data collection. The work included drilling cores to measure sea ice thickness, snow cover and other properties. Drones were flown to obtain high-resolution images of the sea ice. An ROV with camera was used to observe the underside of the ice where ice algaes were detected in many places. A 3-D scanning laser was used to map ridges in very high resolution. Satellite remote sensing data were obtained from Sentinel-1 and Radarsat 2 for mapping sea ice on regional scale and for planning the location of the ice station. The SAR data obtained every day in near realtime were important for use ice navigation to ensure that KV Svalbard could find the best sailing trout through the sea ice. The oceanographic programme consisted of CTD-stations, XBT-casts, recovery and deployment of a bottom-anchored mooring under the sea ice. An acoustic buoy was deployed and recorder ambient noise under the ice during a period of one week. Drifting ice buoys for the International Arctic Buoy Program were deployed on ice floes in different positions during the cruise. The activities onboard the icebreaker and on the ice station was documented on video and were part of the education and outreach material prepared after the cruise. The cruise involved collaboration with NORCE, the CIRFA project at UiT and Met.no. Data management across scientific disciplines was part of the programme where the students were given tasks to organize and archive very heterogenous data from the different observing systems. Experience and knowledge about data management will be useful for them in the future.
During 2021 work continued in the Longyearbyen community to improve collaboration with the scientific community present in Svalbard. The work has involved a wider group of scientists, including the CULTCOAST project led by NIKU and members of the Svalbard Social Science Initiative. The aim of the collaboration 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. Several online meetings and a physical meeting were organized during the year. A physical workshop is planned as part of the Svalbard Science Conference in November 2021.
UAK has continued collaboration with the EU-projects INTAROS and CAPARDUS, the latter started in December 2019, with the objective to support development of Arctic standards and guidelines related to observing systems, cross-disciplinary data management and communication between researchers and society. Exchange visits between Norway and USA/Canada for scientists could not be organized during 2021 because of the COVID-19 situation, but will be planned for 2022. The report from the research school in 2020 has been completed and is available at the project website (http://uak.nersc.no).
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