Location: Svalbard is an archipelago located midway between the North Pole and Northern Norway, constituting the northernmost part of Norway. It extends from 74°N to 81°N and from 10° to 35° E. The land area is 61,022 km2, of which more than half is the island Spitsbergen. Research is performed in different parts of the island with a focus on the areas around Longyearbyen, Svea, Ny Ålesund, Barentsburg and Hornsund. The University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS is located in the administrative center in Longyearbyen. The population is about 2500 persons. The Spitsbergen Treaty of 1920 recognizes Norwegian sovereignty, and the 1925 Svalbard Act made Svalbard a full part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Governor of Svalbard is the Norwegian government's supreme representative in the archipelago.
Mean annual temperature: -4 ºC
Mean annual precipitation: 190 mm
General Research: Research is carried out within several natural science disciplines in Svalbard. At UNIS the focus is on Arctic Biology, Arctic Geology, Arctic Geophysics and Arctic Technology. The key study area around Longyearbyen consists of the Adventdalen valley area, in which basic biological, geophysical, geographical and geological data are being collected as part of basic research largely at UNIS, but also by several Norwegian and international research partners. The EU ESFRI project Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observation System, SIOS, which is in its preparatory phase, are aiming to develop an overall research data system, providing better access to the research data, which so far is stored in different national and international databases. As an example the permafrost data can be accessed in the Norwegian Permafrost database, NORPERM.
How to get there: There is daily direct commercial air service operated by Scandinavia Airlines (SAS) to mainland Norway. Either via Tromsø in northern Norway to Oslo in southern Norway in winter, or directly both to Oslo and Tromsø in summer. Local transportation and logistics can be organized via the University Center in Svalbard, UNIS or the Norwegian Polar Institute using various types of boats, helicopters, renting camping equipment and obtaining safety courses. There are several private company accommodation possibilities in Longyearbyen, a student accommodation company, just as UNIS will be opening a Guesthouse for guest researchers from autumn 2011.
For logistics: Martin Indreiten, Coordinator of logistics services at UNIS
Phone: 0047 79026432 (direct) or UNIS reception 0047 79023300
Fax: 0047 79023301
For UNIS guesthouse booking: Trine Fjerdingøy, UNIS booking officer
For general information purposes:Eva Therese Jenssen, Information officer UNIS
For scientific DEFROST purposes: Hanne H. Christiansen, Professor, Arctic Geology Department