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First SSF-funded workshop

Permafrost was the theme of the first workshop ever held with funding from Svalbard Strategic Grants.

As the sun set for the last time this year the participants for the workshop arrived in Longyearbyen. The event was called HYDRO-PERM: Workshop to develop joint future permafrost hydrology research in Svalbard, and was held at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS).

The workshop was developed in close cooperation between Henk Kooi from from VU University Amsterdam and Hanne Christiansen from UNIS, and put local field experience to good use. This also meant cooperation across disciplines, with Henk Kooi representing groundwater hydrology and Hanne Christiansen primarily focusing on permafrost and geomorphology.

Participants at the HYDRO-PERM workshop. Participants at the HYDRO-PERM workshop. (Photo: Hanne H. Christiansen)

The story of this workshop is a textbook example of how the Svalbard Science Forum fosters new and improved collaborations. One year ago SSF presented the Research in Svalbard (RiS) database and funding options at a conference in the Netherlands. Henk Kooi attended the presentation and it got him thinking. He used RiS and other databases to find possible collaborators for an application to the first round of SSF workshop funds. The workshop was one of four that were awarded funding and the planning could begin.

The workshop had participants from eight nations, representing fourteen institutions, five of which were Norwegian. The program included plenary discussions, presentations from all participants and an excursion to several field sites near Longyearbyen. Everyone went along despite temperatures dropping below -20°C and the excursion was both interesting and valuable for all participants. The workshop ended on Friday with a session on future possibilities, funding options, potential joint papers and of course the workshop report.

Excursion to Adventdalen Excursion to Adventdalen (Photo: SSF)

The SSF is looking forward to seeing the results of all the new collaborations and ideas that this workshop has fostered. All in all this was a very successful workshop, highlighting and addressing many of the issues important for the SSF.

Did this inspire you? The next deadline for applying is February 2013. For more info see our funding page.


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Svalbard Science Forum
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