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Arctic Biology (AB)
AB students on fieldwork on Svalbard. Photo: Steve Coulson/UNIS
Despite the apparent harshness of the High Arctic, many organisms are well adapted to this environment. The fauna and flora of Svalbard includes more than 1,800 marine invertebrate species, 1,200 terrestrial or freshwater invertebrate species and over 170 higher plant species in addition to the 21 mammal and 28 bird species.

UNIS emphasizes the biological studies (taxonomy, diversity, ecology, physiology) of the fauna and flora of Svalbard related to the physical and chemical environment. Easy access to key habitats gives students and staff at UNIS a unique opportunity to identify and quantify environmental threats in addition to basic knowledge of the Arctic.

F ield activities are undertaken year-round in combination with classroom activities and laboratory exercises. This integrated approach provides students with a first-hand experience of the biological processes and the natural history of the terrestrial, limnic and marine flora and fauna in an Arctic environment.

The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) has awarded UNIS, together with University of Bergen and Institute of Marine Research a Centre of Excellence in Higher Education (SFU). SFU is a national Norwegian prestige programme to promote standards in higher education, and implies a focussed and long-term commitment to stimulate the teaching and learning methods at bachelor and masters level. 

Part of the motivation for BioCEED (Centre of Excellence in Biology Education) is to further develop the integration of field-based activities and the link to ongoing research in our education. The first noticeable change is a reorganisation of our bachelor courses. In 2015 the marine biology course (AB-202) will be offered in the spring semester and the Arctic Ecology course (AB-204) in the autumn semester. This will enable us to improve the overall field component of the courses by linking them more effectively to on-going research, as well as giving a tighter link between courses offered in the same semester.

Bachelor Courses

Bachelor courses overview:
  AB-201 Terrestrial Arctic Biology, 15 ECTS, autumn 2014, autumn 2015  
  AB-202 Marine Arctic Biology, 15 ECTS, autumn 2014, spring 2015  
  AB-203 Arctic Environmental Management, 15 ECTS, spring 2015  
  AB-204 Arctic Ecology and Population Biology, 15 ECTS, autumn 2015  
  AB-206 Introduction to Svalbard's terrestrial flora and fauna, 5 ECTS, summer 2015*  

* Preparatory course recommended for students admitted into AB-201

Recommended course combinations:

 

Autumn 2014
Spring 2015
Autumn 2015
AB-206*
AB-203
AB-206*
AB-201
AB-202
AB-201
AB-202
AB-204
* Preparatory course recommended for students admitted into AB-201

 

Recommended workload is 30 ECTS per semester.

Master Courses

 

Master courses overview:

 

 

AB-320 Arctic Marine Zooplankton, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2016  
  AB-321 Ecology of Arctic Marine Benthos, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2015  
  AB-322 Flux of Matter and Energy from Sea to Land, 10 ECTS, autumn semester (summer) 2016  
  AB-323 Light Climate and Primary Production in the Arctic, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2016  
  AB-325 Biotelemetric Methods, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
  AB-326 Arctic Plant Ecology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester (summer) 2015  
  AB-327 Arctic Microbiology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester (summer) 2015  
  AB-329 Arctic Winter Ecology, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
  AB-330 Ecosystems in Ice Covered Waters, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2016  
  AB-332 Arctic Marine Molecular Ecology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2014, autumn semester 2015  
  AB-333 Arctic Winter Limnology, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
  AB-334 Underwater Robotics and Polar Night Biology, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
 

AB-335 Ecosystem-based management of arctic marine systems, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2015

 
  AB-336 Arctic Mycology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2015  
  AB-337 Seminar Series in Arctic Ecology and Evolution, 2 ECTS, spring semester 2015,
autumn semester 2015
 

 



PhD Courses

 

PhD courses overview:
  AB-820 Arctic Marine Zooplankton, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2016  
  AB-821 Ecology of Arctic Marine Benthos, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2015  
  AB-823 Light Climate and Primary Production in the Arctic, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2016  
  AB-825 Biotelemetric Methods, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
  AB-826 Arctic Plant Ecology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester (summer) 2015  
  AB-827 Arctic Microbiology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester (summer) 2015  
  AB-829 Arctic Winter Ecology, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
  AB-830 Ecosystems in Ice Covered Waters, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2016  
  AB-832 Arctic Marine Molecular Ecology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2014, autumn semester 2015  
  AB-833 Arctic Winter Limnology, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
  AB-834 Underwater Robotics and Polar Night Biology, 10 ECTS, spring semester 2015  
  AB-836 Arctic Mycology, 10 ECTS, autumn semester 2015  
  AB-837 Seminar Series in Arctic Ecology and Evolution, 2 ECTS, spring semester 2015,
autumn semester 2015
 

 


AB students on fieldwork in Hambergbukta. Photo: Steve Coulson/UNIS

 

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The University Centre in Svalbard | Pb. 156 | 9171 Longyearbyen, Norway | Tel: +47 79 02 33 00 - Fax: +47 79 02 33 01| Org. 985 204 454 | post@unis.no