Programme for the Polar Night Week 2022

The fourth SIOS Polar Night Week took place ONLINE, 24-27 January 2022.

Venue: Zoom

Monday, 24 January 2022

10:00 - 10:30 - Welcome to Polar Night Week 2022
  • Welcome by the SIOS director Heikki Lihavainen
  • Welcome address by Kim Holmén, Chair of the SIOS Board of Directors
  • Welcome address by Jon Børre Ørbæk, Research Council of Norway

This session will be live-streamed on youtube:

10:30 - 11:30 - SESS report release
Release of the State of the Environmental Science (SESS) report 2021
  • Welcome - Christiane Hübner, SIOS-KC
  • Introduction to the SESS report - Josefine Feldner, Editorial Board
  • Presentation of SESS chapters by the authors
    • Introduction to the SESS report - Josefine Feldner
    • Temperature and salinity time series in Svalbard fjords. - 'Integrated Marine Observatory Partnership' - Finlo Cottier, UiT/SAMS
    • Climate-Ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra - Adaptive system for long-term terrestrial monitoring - Åshild Pedersen, NPI
    • Improving terrestrial photography applications on snow cover in Svalbard with satellite remote sensing imagery - Roberto Salzano, IIA-CNR
    • The extreme Arctic ozone depletion in 2020 as was observed from Svalbard - Boyan PetkovISP-CNR/Ud'A
    • Update to Scientific Applications of Unmanned Vehicles in Svalbard - Richard Hann, UNIS/NTNU
    • SIOS Core Data - Ilkka Matero, SIOS-KC
  • Outlook - Heikki Lihavainen, SIOS-KC

More information about the SESS report 2021 here.

This session will be live-streamed on youtube:

11:30 - 11:45 - Break
Stretch your legs
11:45 - 12:00 - Update from SIOS Knowledge Centre
The staff of SIOS-KC will give an update on the activities in the previous year
12:00 - 12:30 - Update from the working groups
The SIOS working groups will give an update on the activities in the previous year

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

09:00 - 9:45 - Keynote: Anne Beaulieu (University of Groningen)
Socially relevant infrastructures from the inside out
Knowledge infrastructures (KI), like the SIOS Earth System Science observing system, are built with objectives and users in mind. Some of these are explicit, but many assumptions remain in the background and are never discussed or justified. When we try to make more socially relevant, or to bring in new kinds of users—whether from new disciplines or new kinds of stakeholders—many of these assumptions can become visible. In this process, we can learn about our KI and become more aware of how we build our systems to privilege some data, to facilitate certain methods, and to foreground certain questions. We can also discover the ways in which some users and some kinds of knowledge are not served by our KI.
If knowledge infrastructures are to become more socially relevant, three questions can guide such transformations: Which new relationships can be created around the data? Which approaches to data gathering, processing and circulation could support these relationships? What is the balance between interaction, accountability and appropriation in data practices? In this talk, I will raise these three question, explain why these questions are helpful to explore new ways of engaging through infrastructures, and explore with Polar Night Week participants what are possible approaches to making KI more socially relevant.

PDF  Video

9:45 - 10:00 - Break
Drink a glass of fresh water
10:00 - 11:00 - SESS recommendations synthesis workshop

This work aims to synthesize the recommendations put forward in SESS reports into one document.
There have been numerous recommendations set forward in the SESS chapters, and SOAG has appointed a task force for analyzing the recommendations. The goal is to produce a synthesis of these recommendations to support decision making in research planning and further optimisation of the research infrastructure in and around Svalbard. The task force has initiated this work in Q4/21 and is currently working within thematic groups composed of the SESS chapter authors and SOAG representatives to provide insights into the recommendations from the viewpoint of the 'Spheres' (Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Upper Atmosphere, Terrestrial & Marine).
In this session, we'll present the synthesis process, its status and our future plans. In the latter part of the hour, the floor will be open for comments and feedback from the community. 

11:00 - 11:10 - Break
Take a look out of your window
11:10 - 11:55 - Keynote: Jasmine Zhang (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

Seeing the bridges: Insights from interview studies with natural scientists and technicians on Svalbard
In this short talk I want to share some insights emerged from the interviews with natural scientists and technicians who have worked on long-term monitoring and research on Svalbard, as part of the project SVALUR. When asked how they find long-term monitoring and research relevant for society, some of the scientists talked about how their research ideas were indeed influenced by other societal actors’ observations, experiences and interests. The seasonal migratory scientists find these influences informative and directive to ask new research questions, whereas the scientists who reside in Svalbard tend to integrate local influences into their knowledge making process based on daily mundane practices. Such connections and bridges among science and society have therefore always been there, though not always visible or reflected upon. By sharing these insights with the SIOS and Svalbard scientific society, we hope to open some interesting and productive discussions on what they mean to us and what we could do about them. Perhaps seeing the bridges that have always been there can be a good point to start talking about societal relevance of our research?

PDF  Video

11:55 - 12:05 - Break
Eat a carrot
12:05 - 13:00 - SIOS core data event

Update on SIOS core data status and future plans from SIOS-KC, followed by discussion and chance for feedback from participants.   

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

09:00 - 9:45 - Keynote: Steve Coulson

In 2013 the Arctic Council working group Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) produced the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (CBMP). In May 2021 the follow-up State of Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity (START) report was released. This report is based on 15 articles considering the state of Arctic terrestrial biodiversity appearing in an Ambio special issue (2020). Key findings of the report include increased growth and encroachment of shrubs and trees in parts of the low Arctic, while moss and lichen cover more typical of a high Arctic environment has decreased. More than half of all shorebird species are declining (with great variation across flyways), and nearly half of geese species are increasing. The circumpolar populations of caribou/reindeer have declined since the 1990s, especially for migratory tundra and forest caribou/reindeer populations although some island or mountain populations remain stable.

In this presentation I will present the main conclusions of the START report, focusing on the arthropods but also covering the three other species groups. Chief amongst the findings for the arthropods is that while they are highly diverse, serve as important connections between trophic levels, and while being important indicators of climate change, they are also grossly under-studied. The START reports on six focal ecological components (FECs): pollinators, decomposers, herbivores, prey for vertebrates, blood-feeding insects, and predators and parasitoids. However, only a few localized trends can be identified due to high interannual variability and lack of long-term monitoring. Among the trends so far described are the decreasing abundances of some Diptera species involved in pollination services. Improved knowledge of the responses of these key communities to environmental change is required to better understand an ecosystem in flux. To resolve this and provide the data required to determine trends in populations and communities the START makes several recommendations. This presentation will outline the current state of knowledge of the monitoring biodiversity in Arctic regions and the START recommendations.

PDF  Video

09:45 - 10:00 - Break
Stand on one leg and stretch your shoulders
10:00 - 12:00 - Polar Night Seminar

Science talks from the SIOS community

  • Developing a permafrost and meteorological climate change response system to build resilience in Arctic communities (PermaMeteoCommunity) - Hanne H Christiansen, Marius O. Jonassen, Aleksey Shestov, Graham L. Gilbert, Knut I. L Tveit
  • Status 2022: Climate-Ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra — An adaptive observation system for long-term terrestrial monitoring in Svalbard - Åshild Ønvik Pedersen, Eva Fuglei, Jean-Charles Gallet, Ketil Isaksen, Jesper Madsen, Jesper Mosbacher, Ingrid M. G. Paulsen, Stein T. Pedersen and Virve T. Ravolainen
  • Impact of river runoff on heavy metal concentrations in bottom sediments of West Spitsbergen fjords in the era of climate change. - Paulina Rudnicka and Agata Zaborska
  • The HERMOSA initiative: Harmonising Environmental Research and Monitoring of Priority Pollutants in the Svalbard Atmosphere. Krystyna Koziol, Roland Kallenborn, Adam Nawrot, Anna Nikulina, David Cappelletti, Catherine Larose, Vladimir Nikiforov, Krzysztof Zawierucha, Bartek Luks, Beatrice Moroni 
  • --- BREAK ---
  • Arctic ozone depletion and its impact on mid-latitudes - Boyan Petkov, Vito Vitale, Piero di Carlo, Mauro Mazzola, Angelo Lupi, Oxana Drofa, Daniele Mastrangelo
  • Multi-sensor observations of calving activity at Hansbreen, Svalbard, in summer 2021 - Harcourt, W.D., Robertson, D.A., Macfarlane, D.G., Rea, B.R., Spagnolo, M., Benn, D.I., James, M.R., Gajek, W., Pearce, D., How, P.
  • Ridge statistics and sea ice thickness probability density function changes in Fram Strait over three decades from IPS data - Divine, D.V., Sumata, H., de Steur, L., Pavlova, O., and S. Gerland
  • Polar Research as a vehicle to raise interest in science and awareness of environmental changes in the Arctic – EDU-ARCTIC.PL and EDU-ARCTIC2 case studies - Agata Goździk, Piotr Głowacki
12:00 - 12:30 - Logistics event

The SIOS community is invited to share their field plans for the coming year and find opportunities to collaborate.

12:30 - 13:00 - Closing session

Summary of PNW 2022 and outlook

Thursday, 27 January 2022

09:00 - 11:00 - Working group meetings 1

SOAG meeting

Science Optimisation Advisory Group

RICC meeting

Research Infrastructure Coordination Committee

12:00 - 14:00 - Working group meetings 2

SDMS WG meeting

SIOS Data Management System Working Group

RSWG meeting

Remote Sensing Working Group

IAG meeting

Information Advisory Group

15:00 - 16:30 - Business meetings
Marine Network - harmonisation paper meeting