Longyearbyen

The Svalbard Science Center is at the heart of Longyearbyen, an administrative center with approx. 2,000 inhabitants.

The Svalbard Science Center is the largest infrastructure ever built in Svalbard and houses the University Center in Svalbard (UNIS) and parts of the Norwegian Polar Institute, which are the two main research institutions in the archipelago. A number of other institutions also have offices here, including EISCAT, the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), SINTEF, Svalbard Museum, and the Svalbard Science Forum (SSF).

Significant research infrastructure in the Longyearbyen area includes EISCAT Svalbard radars and the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO) on the outskirts of Longyearbyen as well as the Longyearbyen CO2 Lab in Adventdalen. The EISCAT Svalbard radars are run by institutions from China, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, whereas KHO and the CO2 Lab are run by UNIS.

One of the newest additions to research infrastructure in Longyearbyen is the Czech Research Station, opened in June 2014 by the Center for Polar Ecology at the University of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic.

The University Center in Svalbard
UNIS staff (with families) make up one quarter of the population in Longyearbyen. The institution offers classes for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students in Arctic Biology, Arctic Geology, Arctic Geophysics and Arctic Technology. A total of 690 students from 44 different countries enrolled in classes in 2015.