The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, with a location in the high Arctic and easy accessibility, represents a unique platform for high quality international research and education.

The Svalbard Science Forum, The Research Council of Norway and The Norwegian Polar Institute in cooperation with The Ny-Ålesund Science Managers Committee (NySMAC) invite researchers, research managers and stakeholders to the second Svalbard Science conference. The conference will focus on Svalbard in a pan-Arctic setting, aspiring to enhance cooperation and quality within Svalbard research, build and strengthen interdisciplinary and international networks and consolidate Svalbard as an attractive platform for Arctic research.

Together with updates on the new strategies for research and education in Svalbard and inspirational talks from invited key notes, we invite participants to take an active role in the conference through presentations, poster sessions and group discussions.


The conference will be at Scandic Fornebu, Oslo 5–6 November 2019

Registration is open.


Dear Participant, Presenter, Chair and Key note.

Please scroll down and register your participation at Svalbard Science Conference 5-6 November 2019.


The participant fee for the conference is:

Participant - 2000 NOK/approx. 200 EURO

PhD or Master student - 1000 NOK/approx. 100 EURO (Send a copy of your student ID or a confirmation from your supervisor to

Chair / Key note / conference committee - no fee

The participant fee is paid by credit card when you register.

In case you have to cancel your registration, please contact Marie Eide ( We are unfortunately not able to refund the participation fee after 6 October 2019.

You cover your own accomodation and travel expenses. We encourage participants to stay at the conference hotel Scandic Fornebu (link).

Booking code for discounted rates: BRES051119 

(If you need a booking the night prior or after the conference you may contact the hotel to ensure that you get the discounted rate)

Registration is open for up to 250 participants and will be open till the conference is fully booked or up to 1 October 2019.

For questions regarding registration please contact Marianne Johansen (



From Tuesday November 5th 2019 at 08:00
To Wednesday November 6th 2019 at 16:00
Tuesday October 1st 2019 at 23:59
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Oslo 5 – 6  November 2019

Preliminary programme

  • Tuesday 5 November

  • 08:00-09:00


  • 09:00-11:30

    Session 1 Setting the stage (Chair RCN/NP)

    Svalbard is not at the edge of the world but at the centre of the Arctic

    Svalbard is, with its location in the high Arctic and its well developed and accessible infrastructure, an attractive platform for Arctic research. This session will focus on future Svalbard in a pan-Arctic setting. How can we enhance the value of the research undertaken here? How can we encourage high quality science through building and strengthening interdisciplinary and international networks? How to enhance cooperation, data sharing and sustainability? To start the discussions this opening session presents a host of invited speakers and selected talks to inspire and ignite.

    What role will a changing Svalbard play in Arctic research in the future?

  • 11:30-12:30


  • 12:30-14:30

    Session 2: Svalbard > 0c (Chair: Harald Steen)

    Svalbard is warming at an alarming rate and change will come- but to what?

    The report “Climate in the Svalbard 2100” predicts that if nothing is done to stop the warming the average temperatures in Svalbard could increase as much as 10 degrees by the end of the century. Such a change will have enormous effect on not just on ecosystem functions and services, geo-hazards and the cryosphere but on society as well. During this session, we want to explore the effects of a temperature increase on Svalbard and the Arctic.

    What can your research predict about the future based on the knowledge we have today?

  • 14:30-15:00


  • 15:00-16:00

           Session 2: Panel discussion (Moderator)

  • 16:00-18:00

    Session 3 Poster session and mingling (Chair SSF)

    The poster session is open for all topics relevant to the scope of the conference but especially for posters answering some of the questions posed in the sessions. We invite all presenters and participants to look at the bigger picture.

    Session 3a (16:00-16:30) A bear ate my zodiac (Chair: Pernilla Carlsson)

    We have all been there; something did not work out exactly as we planned...

    In this side event to the poster session we explore the unexpected. Take the chance to get your 3 minutes of fame in this mini-Pecha Kucha style session; 9 slides x 20 seconds pr slide. It can be related to anything extraordinary; wild animals or colleagues, equipment or experiments that did not work out exactly as their description said, weather and vessels not co-operating as you wanted.

    What can we all learn from your story? How to avoid troubles in the future or how to have a good laugh together?

  • 19:00


  • Wednesday 6 November


  • 09:00-11:00

    Session 4 Svalbard in the dark (Chair: Maarten Loonen, Børge Damsgård)

    The dark period is a new frontier in Arctic science.

    The notion that everything shuts down in the dark period has well and truly been abandoned. In several fields the dark season this is the main season. There are algae and ice growing in the sea, animals and rain on land, aurora and black carbon in the atmosphere and people out and about. But working in the extreme conditions of the Arctic winter presents challenges both logistically and scientifically and calls for international and interdisciplinary collaboration. Svalbard is well suited for these studies and in this session, we want to focus on the implications of this newly gained insights into mid-winter processes and how we, together, can solve some of the challenges ahead.

    Which new insights have been discovered recently from the metaphorically dark unknown and where will they lead us?

  • 11:00-12:00


  • 12:00-15:30

    Session 5 Parallel sessions


    Session 5a Toolbox (Chair: Bo Andersen)

    Scientific instruments and other tools have always relied on the technological development available at any given time.

    In this session we will focus on which tools that will be important for polar science in the future. Among others we request inputs on new instrumentation and technologies, Communication tools, “Big data” in polar research and integration of different data sources (land and sea based, drones and air, satellites). Both existing and upcoming developments are welcome.

    What new tools will Arctic research benefit from in the coming years?


    Session 5b Long term monitoring (Chair: Kjetil Tørseth)

    What can we learn from observations, and do we measure what is required and with adequate precision and geographical coverage?

    Svalbard is a very well-suited location to study both regional and global phenomena. In this session will address ongoing monitoring efforts, and their integration across themes and disciplines. Observations of meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, biology and oceanography allow the assessment of natural and anthropogenic long-term changes of the environment. The derived data are essential in understanding perturbations of biogeochemical cycles and the associated impacts on ecosystems. Data also form basis for policy response actions. At the same time, long-term monitoring requires commitment and sustained funding, often over many decades, to distinguish short term fluctuations from the general baseline trends.

    Can the impact of long-term monitoring in terms of policy response be exemplified?


    Session 5c An ocean of plastic (Chair: Ingeborg Hallanger, Amy Lusher)

    Plastic pollution can affect all aspects of society and environment in the Arctic and beyond.

    There is a growing number of scientific investigations showing the extent of plastic pollution across the Arctic. This has in turn set off a series of management decisions and policy processes. But are these decisions and processes based on a sound knowledge foundation? What knowledge is needed and what is lacking for science-based management?

    What new insights and knowledge can we that work with plastic pollution share among ourselves to gain a holistic understanding?


    Session 5d Rocks, mud and ice (Chair: Brit Lisa Skjelekvåle, Jacek Jania)

    Svalbard is a climate laboratory. The status of the glaciers and the permafrost are important indications of present global climate change

    Svalbard contains a nearly complete archive of the earth's history. An almost complete geological layer series spanning the last 500 mill years places Svalbard on the map as an important reference in a global context. In the rocks making up Svalbard we find the development of life on earth and indications of climate through the earth's history. The cryosphere also serves as a climate archive and indicator at it will respond to a changing climate. There are many interdisciplinary topics related to a changing Arctic, how are the increased fresh-water fluxes from glaciers effecting the marine ecosystem?  What are the implications for sea-level change, local isostatic change? What are the effects of snow-cover on the terrestrial ecosystem or on the carbon cycle?

    What can Svalbard's past tell about its future?

  • 13:45-14:15


  • 15:30-16:30

    Session 6 Round up, end of conference 

Side events to Svalbard Science Conference 2019

Monday 4 November

  • Svalbard Social Initiative - a network of social scientists working in Svalbard, Stein Sandven, NERSC.
  • Svalbard Geoscience Alumni Workshop, Andrew Hodson, UNIS.
  • Ny-Ålesund Atmosphere Flagship workshop, Scandic Fornebu, Radovan Krejci, SU.
  • SIOS workshop to discuss and develop a strategy for SIOS RI development – all day, Scandic Fornebu, Inger Jennings, SIOS.
  • SIOS workshop (date tentative, 12-18): Workshop with authors of the SESS report 2019


Tuesday 5 November

Svalbard Science Conference, Scandic Fornebu


Wednesday 6 November

Svalbard Science Conference, Scandic Fornebu



Thursday 7 November

  • NySMAC meeting (by invitation only), afternoon, Research Council of Norway, Lysaker, Christina A. Pedersen, NPI.
  • Ny-Ålesund Glaciology Flagship 2-days workshop, Models and observations of snow and glacier mass balance, Scandic Fornebu, Jack Kohler, NPI.


Friday 8 November

  • NySMAC meeting (by invitation only), Research Council of Norway, Lysaker, Christina A. Pedersen, NPI.
  • Ny-Ålesund Glaciology Flagship 2-days workshop, Models and observations of snow and glacier mass balance, Scandic Fornebu, Jack Kohler, NPI.