Green light for the Nansen Legacy

Sea ice north of Spitsbergen during Outreach 2016 with R/V Helmer Hanssen. Photo: Inger Lise Næss/UNIS

Top image: Sea ice north of Spitsbergen. Photo: Inger Lise Næss/UNIS

The Norwegian Research Council has approved the research application for the Nansen Legacy (Arven etter Nansen). The first research cruise will take place from 19 July 2018 with the new research vessel “Kronprins Haakon”.

14 December 2017
Press release from the Nansen Legacy

The Nansen Legacy is a national research project with a budget of almost NOK 800 million with the purpose of  mapping the northern Barents Sea. Norway has a great need for knowledge about these areas as the sea ice melts and ever-increasing areas become available.

The Research Council of Norway has now approved the research application and given a green light to the project.
– The Nansen Legacy has been thoroughly assessed and has received very good feedback. All factors are pointing to the project becoming of great importance to marine management and the understanding of climate change, says John-Arne Røttingen, managing director of the Research Council.

After six years of planning, partners are now ready to take Arctic marine research a long way further to understand how the climate and ecosystem work in the northern Barents Sea and how the system responds to climate change.

– We have worked hard for this, and we have succeeded thanks to the great national team effort from all partner institutions. The Nansen Legacy will give Norway a good knowledge base and good tools for future management, strengthen cooperation in polar research, and educate a new generation of polar researchers, says project leader and professor at UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Marit Reigstad.

The Nansen Legacy is a collaboration between UiT the Arctic University of Norway, the Institute of Marine Research, the Meteorological Institute, the Norwegian Polar Institute, NTNU, the University of Bergen, the University of Oslo, the University Centre in Svalbard, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, and Akvaplan-Niva.

In September, it became official that the Norwegian government will allocate NOK 30 million each year for the next six years to the project. The Research Council of Norway shall match this grant. The ten partners will contribute a total of NOK 360 million to the project.

The first research cruise will take place from 19 July 2018. The focus is mapping of water currents and water chemistry, and mapping the seabed to prepare upcoming studies in biology and geology. Rigs will be launched to ensure measurements throughout the year. The Nansen Legacy plans a total of 285 research cruise days on board R/V “Kronprins Haakon” in the years 2018–2022.

Contact persons at UNIS:
Professor Frank Nilsen: / +47 926 59 410
Associate Professor Tove Gabrielsen: / +47 79 02 33 42

Contact persons at UiT:
Project leader and professor Marit Reigstad, UiT the Arctic University of Norway: / +47 901 10 092
Senior communication adviser Karine Nigar Aarskog, UiT the Arctic University of Norway: / +47 951 58 407

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