Abisko in North Sweden holds a special place in the heart of Umeå University during its Arctic year in 2017. The Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) and its collaborative partners bid you a warm welcome to the inauguration of a research trail aimed at the public and the Abisko Research-based Teaching Platform. The press is invited to experience Arctic climate research with a guided tour of the Nuolja research trail and a chance to enjoy the midnight sun.
Umeå University takes a leading position in Arctic research. Photo: Ive van Krunkelsven
The focal point for Umeå University in 2017 is the Arctic. The geographical area is facing huge challenges as world temperatures are rising – threatening the entire planet. And with its northern position and its important Arctic research spanning across all scientific fields – Umeå University is taking a leading position in Arctic research.
The Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) forms a scientific platform for research, education and communication, and holds a key position in the Arctic operations at Umeå University. The Centre conducts most of its research and educational activities at the Abisko Scientific Research Station.
CIRC is launching two projects this June that will involve the general public and students in climate research projects, and simultaneously as data is sampled, researchers can also communicate methods behind climate research.
Nuolja research trail (citizen science)
The nature in Abisko has changed remarkably over the 100 years that have passed since the Abisko Scientific Research Station and STF Abisko Mountain Station were established. Temperatures are rising, permafrost is thawing and tree lines are moving up the mountains. In 1917, researcher Thore C. E. Fries conducted a three-year field study on the Nuolja mountain with the hope to better understand the relationship between temperatures, snow cover, altitude, distribution of plants and their phenology – that is, the seasonal shift in nature.
Now, researchers at CIRC, together with the Abisko Scientific Research Station, Naturens kalender and Naturum Abisko, will conduct the same study again, 100 years later, to see how climate change has affected plants in the Arctic. This study offers a unique experience for the general public to participate in a historic study as so-called citizen scientists. Naturens kalender has developed a citizen science app that visitors can download and use to collect data on plant phenology along the Nuolja slope when visiting Abisko national park.
“What’s also important about this project is that members of the public who take part will also learn more about how climate research is conducted,” says Keith Larson, project leader and researcher at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University.
The Arctic Research-based Teaching Platform
Education at Abisko offers great opportunities for both students and researchers. The courses that the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science holds, offer young researchers teaching experience and the strong link to research provides excellent opportunities for recruitment of further doctoral students. Particularly, field-based education in Abisko gives our students a good introduction to the important future challenges we are facing, such as climate change, by directly participating in active long-term research projects. In Abisko, students are working on climate research projects and in an environment where the effects of a warming climate are evident.
“The development of a research-based teaching platform in Abisko will further strengthen our Arctic teaching,” says Tom Korsman, head of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University.
The Arctic Days in Abisko are organised by Umeå University in collaboration with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat/the Abisko Scientific Research Station, Naturens kalender (SLU) and Naturum Abisko.
Abisko is located 95 kilometres west of Kiruna in North Sweden. The distance from Umeå is 690 kilometres. The distance from Stockholm is 1,330 kilometres. You can get to Abisko by train or bus, or by airplane to Kiruna and connecting train, bus or rental car to Abisko. Overnight stay in Abisko is possible.
Tuesday 27 June
9:00–10:00 Introduction of CIRC with partners in Naturum Abisko.
10:00–10:15 Opening speech by Dieter Müller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University
10:45–12:00 Presentation of the citizen science app and guided tour of Nuolja research trail
12:00–13:30 Lunch at your own cost at STF Abisko Mountain Station
13:30–14:30 Tomas Kuhmunen, Gabna sameby: 100 years of climate and environmental change, a reindeer herder’s perspective
14:30–17:00 Time for photographs and interviews
17:00–19:00 Popular science lectures in Naturum Abisko
23:00–24:00 The midnight sun from the top of Nuolja. The tour is organised by STF, the Swedish Tourist Association
Wednesday 28 June
9:30–11:00 Presentation of the citizen science app and guided tour of Nuolja research trail
11:00–12:00 Guided botanical tour. The tour is organised by STF, the Swedish Tourist Association
17:00–19:00 Popular science lectures in Naturum Abisko
Journalists are welcome to attend in the inauguration of Nuolja research trail and the Arctic virtual learning environment in Abisko. If you want to participate in the introduction and the guided tour of the research trail, please register by 21 June. For questions and registration, please contact communications officer Ingrid Söderbergh, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 70 604 03 34.
The Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) conducts research, education and outreach with focus on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic and alpine environments. The aim is to integrate new knowledge in ecology and biogeochemistry to get a better understanding of current conditions and to make projections for the future. The operations are based in the Abisko Scientific Research Station, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden (68.35° N, 18.82° E).