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Time Programme
Monday 6 November - Setting the stage





Welcome to the conference

High ambitions for Svalbard research

Svalbard Science Forum and Research Council of Norway 


Keynote address

Dr. Cathrine Lund Myhre, NILU
Atmospheric Research from Svalbard in a Pan-Arctic Context - From the Svalbard to Kigali.

Dr. David Carlson
Svalbard - A Unique Location and Vantage Point for Polar Research.




The importance of Svalbard research in the future

Moderator: Ruth Astrid L. Sæter

International dialogue addressing future plans for Svalbard research and funding possibilities. 

Panel: Acting director Aleksandr Makarov (AARI); Dr. Julia Boike (AWI); Director Ole Arve Misund (NPI); Head of Unit Andrea Tilche (European Commission); Department Director Christina I.M. Abildgaard (RCN)


Tool Box: new tools, methods, platforms to conduct research in Svalbard

The session will show new “tools”, new methods, new technologies, new platforms etc. which can be used to do science in a new way, more coordinated way, a more shared way.

Ole Jørgen Lønne (Interim Director, SIOS), From vision to action: New SIOS products for ESS research.
Margrete Nilsdatter Skaktavl Keyser (SSF/RiS), New ways of finding collaborators through RiS.
Janicke Giæver (RCN), Arctic funding possibilities through H2020.
Ann Christin Auestad (Arctic Safety Centre), New ways of staying safe.
Dr. Rune Storvold (NORUT), Efficient and innovative use of drones for scientific data collection in the Arctic.
Prof. Martin Ludvigsen (NTNU), Autonomous technology for documenting the environment in the Arctic.
Prof. Michael Greenacre (UPF, Barcelona & Akvaplan-niva), Dynamic graphics for improved data visualization.
Øystein Mikelborg (NPI), The icebreaker wessel Kronprins Haakon, a new platform for Arctic science.
Dr. Øystein Godøy (MET/SIOS), Improved image geometry of Sentinel-2 data for Norway and Svalbard.
Associate Prof. Pernille Bronken Eidesen (UNIS), New ways of coupling research and education.



Poster session

How can my work contribute to others' research and what do I need from the others in order to advance and improve our activity?

For abstract submission, see separate tab.



Tuesday 7 November - Connecting Svalbard research - Invited speakers



From observation to integrated studies - wider use of data

Chair: Prof. Børge Damsgård, UNIS.

This session will explore and give examples of how comprehensive data is collected, processed and managed, so that it can be prepared for use in modelling investigations leading to integrative studies, which can answer the complex aspects of the Arctic in the Earth System. 

Introduction by chair
Presentation by Prof. Mads Forchhammer, UNIS
Presentation by Dr. Arild Sundfjord, NPI
Presentation by Dr. Julia Boike, AWI
Presentation by Prof. Jan Marcin Weslawski, IOPAN

Panel and plenary discussion.




Drivers of environmental changes - climatic and other human factors

Chair: Dr. Cathrine Lund Myhre, NILU.

Climate change, natural and anthropogenic, is the largest force modifying the Arctic environment. Additional drivers are less studied, but are not negligible either. In this session the interplay between the various drivers should be highlighted and investigated. 

Introduction by chair
Presentation by Dr. Ketil Isaksen, MET
Presentation by Dr. Andreas Stohl, NILU
Presentation by Prof. Karin Andreassen, UiT 
Presentation by Dr. Carleen H. Reijmer, Utrecht University
Panel and plenary discussion





A global context for Svalbard research - connecting to the world

Chair: Dr. Jun Inoue, NIPR.

Processes in the Arctic have influences and teleconnections to mid latitudes and vice versa. This session shall highlight the interconnectedness of Svalbard with mid-Europe and other southerly latitudes. Chair: Dr. Jun Inoue, NIPR.

Introduction by chair
Presentation by Dr. Marion Maturilli, AWI
Presentation by Prof. Timo Vihma, FMI
Presentation by Prof. Tor Eldevik, UiB
Presentation by Dr. Susanne Crewell, University of Cologne
Panel and plenary discussion.


      Poster session



Wednesday 8 November - Thematic research and cooperation within and across disciplines - Parallel sessions



Discipline chairs highlight the interconnectedness of the disciplines and their (common) future plans.




Atmosphere research in Svalbard

Chair: Dr. Roland Neuber, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Research on the Atmosphere above Svalbard covers all altitudes from the ground to the ionosphere and investigates processes on short and long time scales. Long-term observations together with process studies, to understand physical and chemical processes, are key pieces in trying to understand the rapid climate changes we have seen in the Arctic the last decades. As Arctic surface temperatures increase twice as fast as in mid latitudes, their spatial and temporal developments are influenced by changes in atmosphere composition, sea ice cover and ocean temperatures, and connected to processes across latitudes and altitudes.

This session will consist of three parts. Part one will include presentations from ongoing or planned projects. Part 2 will allow us to convene in thematic groups to advance the collaborative actions. Part 3, a poster session, will be open for all kinds of presentations and atmosphere topics.

12:00-13:00 Lunch


15:00-15:30 Break



Terrestrial research in Svalbard

Chair: Dr. Maarten Loonen, University of Groningen – Arctic and Antarctic studies

Less ice covering the fjords and more icing on land. More precipitation as rain and earlier snow melt. These trends cascade through the food web of microbes, insects, birds, herbivores and predators. How can we quantify these changes towards input of global models?

Thawing permafrost can release climatically active gasses, but higher temperatures can increase peat formation. What are the predicted effects of temperature, plant growth, microbes, grazing and decomposition on the net carbon balance?

The format will be a few 20 min. oral presentations and 5 min. poster presentations on ideas and data, which can be used in the following discussion on the next step in cooperation. Part of the session will be used to draft research proposals on both themes to improve funding for international cooperation in terrestrial research.

12:00-13:00 Lunch


15:00-15:30 Break



Marine research in Svalbard

Chair: Prof. Kai Bischof, University of Bremen – Marine Botany

Progressing Atlantification, retreat of tidal glaciers, and changing contaminant loads are impacting Svalbard fjord systems, particularly on the western shores of the archipelago. In Kongsfjorden, recent hydrographic changes produced a pronounced influx of Atlantic water into the fjord system during winter, which may have driven the cold system (prior to 2006) to a “warm system” with winter temperatures above freezing and little landfast ice in the fjord. As a consequence, the locally adapted flora and fauna will progressively need to compete with boreal species.

This session is meant to gather baseline information on and allow for networking within the research priorities mentioned in the call for abstract. After the presentation of current research activities and plans in a number of talks, time will be allotted encouraging participants to team-up and discuss and advance project ideas directed to the topics mentioned in the call for abstract.

12:00-13:00 Lunch


15:00-15:30 Break



Glaciological research in Svalbard

Chair: Dr. Jack Kohler, Norwegian Polar Institute

Liestøl Symposium: integrating field measurements, remote sensing, and models of Svalbard glacier mass balance.

Glaciers cover about 60% of Svalbard and most of them are clearly shrinking. Changes in glacier extent, surface properties and meltwater runoff have implications on Arctic ecosystems, the surface energy budget, and global sea level change. To assess these impacts, we need a better knowledge of past and future changes in the Arctic glacier systems and their link with ongoing climate change.

The format will be a number of 20 min. oral presentations, and a series of 5 min. talks summarizing poster presentations, all on Svalbard glacier mass balance. The workshop is named in honor of the pioneering Norwegian glaciologist Olav Liestøl (1916-2002), who initiated mass balance measurements in Svalbard in the 1950s, including the record from Austre Brøggerbreen, which in autumn 2017 will be 50 years long.

12:00-13:00 Lunch


15:00-15:30 Break





Concluding session 

Prof. Hanne H. Christiansen

Thursday 9 November - Back to back meetings (open for all conference participants)


Atmosphere research in Svalbard Chair: Dr. Roland Neuber, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, and the Atmosphere Flagship in Ny-Ålesund 

Glaciological research in Svalbard – Liestøl Symposium Chair: Dr. Jack Kohler, Norwegian Polar Institute and the Glaciology flagship in Ny-Ålesund

Marine research in Svalbard Chair: Prof. Kai Bischof, University of Bremen, and the Kongsfjorden System in

Developing Arctic Observing systems – the role of Norwegian institutions, part of the “INTAROS-Norge” project funded by the Research Council of Norway. Chair: Prof. Stein Sandven, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC). As the conference venue is full, this workshop will take place at the premises of the Research Council, Drammens veien 288.


Advisory Scientific Committee:

Prof. Kai Bischof (University of Bremen), Prof. Harald Ellingsen (SSF), Dr. Kim Holmén (SSF), Dr. Jack Kohler (NPI), Prof. Marek Lewandowski (SSF), Dr. Maarten Loonen (University of Groningen), Acting director Aleksandr Makarov (SSF), Dr. Roland Neuber (AWI), Dr. Christina Pedersen (NPI), Carina Leander (SSF secretariat) and Thorbjørn Gilberg (RCN).