UNIS to lead two new UArctic network projects! 

Kim Senger and Hanne H. Christiansen have received grants totalling 800,000 NOK from the Norwegian UArctic Network funding to support their collaboration projects on Arctic climate archives and on developing closer inter-university collaboration.

Hanne Christiansen giving a lecture in Svalbards geology at Akseløya, Svalbard. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS.

Senger’s project aims to submit a full proposal for an International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme (ICDP) project focusing on deep-time paleoclimate dynamics in Svalbard, while Christiansen’s project will establish a Nordic collaboration to bridge the research within the Arctic aiming at submitting an Erasmus application for funding a joint interdisciplinary master programme.  

Filling the knowledge gaps 

Svalbard has a rich sedimentary tracking dating back to when Svalbard had a subtropical climate. Since then, Svalbard has been through some major events, such as a shifting climate, a move in latitude and a divide from the Greenland archipelago.  

Kim Senger´s project aims to conduct high-resolution coring of the strata to model critical events and detect gaps in the timeline, supplementing the existing data and research for a comprehensive overview. The results will have global relevance and provide insight into how the climate reacts to events as well as predict the consequences of global warming. 

This will connect UNIS with leading European institutes and collaborative partners, aiming to send the study in new directions by focusing on knowledge gaps. The findings will contribute to an ICDP proposal and a review article on deep-time paleoclimate, covering millions of years of geologic time. 

When operating in the Arctic, there are some important considerations to address, and the impact on nature is one of them. The project recognises the environmental hazards of drilling in fragile areas, balancing the cost and benefits of research. 

EduFramStrait project  

Svalbard and Greenland are both of enormous global importance in understanding the climate changes we face. In the new EduFramStrait project, researchers aim to bridge Svalbard and Northeast Greenland research and education together.   

There are two main future ambitions: The first is to develop an overview of relevant higher education programs and courses, and use this  to create a joint interdisciplinary master’s degree using the high-Arctic gradient. 

By developing an Erasmus Mundus grant application, where students can take classes and join fieldwork in the collaborating Universities, the students will better understand and make use of the entire  research area from Greenland to Svalbard. The EduFramStrait project  builds directly on the Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG) output  ending now in 2023. The SSG aimed to enhance the collaboration and data sharing between Svalbard and Greenland through SIOS and GIOS.  

About UArctic 

UArctic is a cooperative network of universities, research institutes, and other organisations concerned with education and research in and about the North, committed to sustainable development. Both projects align with the UArctic strategic plan and values, including being circumpolar, inclusive, respect

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