Programme for the Polar Night Week 2024

The sixth SIOS Polar Night Week will take place in Longyearbyen, 22-26 January 2024 - with a possibility to participate remotely in most of the sessions.

Venue: Svalbard Science Centre (& Virtual), if not otherwise stated.

Please find the programme below. We will add more information as the planning progresses.

Are you in need of data management advice?

Make an appointment with our data managers at registration and get a tailored guidance!


Monday, 22 January 2024

16:00 - 17:00 - Arrival and registration

Registration desk in front of the SIOS offices in Svalbard Science Centre.

17:30 - 18:30 - SESS report release (Hybrid)

Release of the State of the Environmental Science (SESS) report 2023

Location: Svalbard Folkehøyskole 5 minutes walk from registration

More details about the event:

This session will be live-streamed on youtube: 

19:00 - 20:30 - Icebreaker

Location: Helenstua

  • Finger food and mingling

Tuesday, 23 January 2024

08:00 - 09:00 - Arrival and registration

Registration desk in front of the SIOS offices in Svalbard Science Centre.

09:00 - 09:30 - Welcome to PNW 2024 (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

  • Welcome by the SIOS Director Heikki Lihavainen
  • Welcome address by Harald Steen (NPI), Chair of the SIOS Board of Directors
09:30 - 10:30 - Updates from SIOS-KC and working groups (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

  • SIOS Knowledge Centre and the working group chairs will inform about achievements in the past year and plans for 2024.
10:30 - 11:00 - Coffee break

Location: Canteen

11:00 - 12:30 - Strategy session (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

  • Summary of the first working group days, September 2023 (Heikki Lihavainen)
  • Introduction to the ICARP IV process (Gerlis Fugmann)
  • Contribution from the IPS-2023 workshop to ICARP IV (Jacek Jania and Ewa Lupikasza)
  • Launching the call for a SIOS chair (Hanne Christiansen)
  • Introduction to the ICARP IV session after lunch
12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch

Location: Canteen

Don't forget to bring your vouchers.

13:30 - 15:00 - ICARP IV session (Hybrid)

Locations will also be announced in the plenary and at registration desk

  • A workshop on how the working groups and SIOS in general can contribute to the ICARP IV process.
  • Breakout rooms
    • SOAG: Møysalen
      • Topic area 1: The Role of the Arctic in the Global System
      • Topic area 2: Observing, Reconstructing and Predicting Future Climate Dynamics and Ecosystem Responses
    • BoD and IAG: OPS room
      • Topic area 4: Scientific cooperation and diplomacy
      • Topic area 6: Preparing present and future generations through Education, Outreach, Communcation, Capacity Building and Networking
    • RSWG: Computer Lab 2 (Data Lab, 2nd floor)
      • Topic area 2: Observing, Reconstructing and Predicting Future Climate Dynamics
      • Topic area 7: Technology, Infrastructure, Logistics and Services
    • SDMS/RICC: meeting room at Radisson hotel
      • Topic area 3: Understanding the Vulnerability and Resilience of Arctic Environments and Societies and Supporting Sustainable Development
      • Topic area 7: Technology, Infrastructure, Logistics and Services

This is an endorsed ICARP IV activity.

15:00 - 15:30 - Coffee break

Location: Canteen

15:30 - 16:30 - CRIOS - open session (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

  • The CRIOS (Cryosphere Integrated Observatory Network on Svalbard) project aims to modernize, harmonize and expand an automated monitoring network focused on the cryosphere of Svalbard as a calibration/validation system for indirect research. We sought to establish a network based on a fast data transfer to the open repositories for researchers and stakeholders, following the FAIR principles. During this open session, we will share the current status of the installation process, show the challenges we have met and present primary results. Finally, we will open a discussion about joint ideas for the near future.
16:30 - 18:00 - Side meetings
  • CRIOS steering board meeting (closed)
    • Location: Templet classroom
  • Marine Infrastructure Task Force (closed)
    • Location: OPS room
18:30/19:00 - Project dinners (by invitation)

Note: For invited participants only!

Wednesday, 24 January 2024

09:00 - 09:45 - Keynote: Kim Holmén - SIOS: Vision, dream, misunderstanding, and grasping real opportunities? (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

Speaker: Kim Holmén, Special Advisor, Norwegian Polar Institute
Kim Holmén is one of the founders of SIOS and one of the main forces behind its development since the beginning. He has been SIOS Board of Directors chair from 2018 - 2023.

Abstract of the talk
Already at conception the shaping of what we today call SIOS was based on an eclectic mix of visions, dreams, scientific creativity, pragmatic attraction to funding mechanisms and some misunderstandings. In this keynote some highlights through the years are elucidated. The main focus will be on the opportunities Svalbard provides for a change in thinking in how long term multi-disciplinary monitoring is performed. In the extension of innovative monitoring there is great promise for enhanced research too. The labyrinthine and colorful history of SIOS provides strengths in the organization going forwards. SIOS is reaching maturity but must remain dynamic to retain a position at the forefront of shaping science in Svalbard.

10:00 - 10:30 - ICARP IV wrap-up (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

  • Presentation of the results from the breakout rooms on Tuesday
10:30 - 11:00 - Coffee break

Location: Canteen

11:00 - 12:30 - Working group meetings (Hybrid)

SIOS working group meetings. Agendas will be sent out separately to the working group members.

  • Science Optimisation Advisory Group (SOAG): Templet class room
  • Remote Sensing Working Group (RSWG): Møysalen
  • Data Management Service Working Group (DMS WG): Kapp Lee class room
  • Research Infrastructure Coordination Comittee (RICC): OPS room
  • Information Advisory Group (IAG): Van Keulen meeting room
12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch

Location: Canteen

Don't forget to bring your vouchers.

13:30 - 15:00 - InfraNor results (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

15:00 - 15:30 - Coffee break

Location: Canteen

15:30 - 17:00 - Poster session with refreshments

Location: Canteen

Enjoy a surprise soft drink and connect over your recent posters! Online participants are warmly welcome to engage via Padlet. Posters will be available to view HERE from 19 January, and the link will remain open for comments and questions for the whole of Polar Night Week.

Printed posters should be no larger than A0 portrait. The boards will be available to affix posters during lunchtime on 24 January, and presenters must remove their posters from the boards no later than 13:30 on 25 January.

List of physical posters:

ID First author Title of Poster
1 Agata Zaborska Heavy metal concentrations and origin in suspended particulate matter transported with glacier meltwaters (Hornsund, Svalbard)
2 Andraž Janežič Uncertainty evaluation of NDIR spectrometer for measurements of CO2 concentration
3 Benjamin Lange The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute on Svalbard and in the Arctic
4 Benjamin Lange Underwater Hyperspectral Imagery of Arctic Sea Ice: a synthesis study
5 Carmen Rizzo Microbial dataset disclosing diversity of arctic symbionts
6 Frits Steenhuisen Local environmental effects of rocket launches from Ny-Ålesund, Trace metals, POPs and physical debris analysis from one case study  
7 Ingrid Kjerstad Ny-Ålesund Research Station
8 Ireneusz Sobota Changes in the glaciers of Kaffiøyra region, Svalbard, Arctic
9 Ireneusz Sobota Bathymetric and thermal conditions of lakes located in the forefield of Aavatsmarkbreen, Svalbard
10 Joanna Potapowicz Analysis of the concentrations of chemical entities in freshwater in the periglacial area on the example of Lions Rump (Antarctica)
11 Kamil Czarnecki Changes in the coastline in the light of remote sensing methods and using photogrammetric techniques on the example of the Kaffiøyra region, Svalbard
12 Katarzyna Ostapowicz Phenological Shifts in the Arctic Tundra: A Remote Sensing Perspective
13 Krzysztof Senderak Drilling and installation of thermal strings to observe ground temperature changes on Svalbard - preliminary results (the CRIOS project)
14 Maaike Weerdesteijn Designing a permafrost climate change response system in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
15 Maciej Grzymala Estimation of snow characteristics at the Polish Polar Station Hornsund, Svalbard, based on GNSS-IR method
16 Manuel Bensi Weak signs of dense water cascading from the Storfjorden in 2020 in a long and persisting phase of Arctic Atlantification
17 Maria Jensen Classifying coastal change in Svalbard
18 Mateusz Strzelecki Svalbard coastal change - state of the art review and future challenges
19 Matthias Henkies Wind power profile in Adventdalen
20 Piotr Zagorski New concept of permafrost degradation monitoring based on photonics technologies: Case study from Calypsostranda (Bellsund, Svalbard)
22 Ela Lepkowska Outcomes of the IPS-2023: Interdisciplinary Polar Studies Modular Meeting in Svalbard Arctic Amplification - Glaciers - Environment
23 Eleanor Jones SIOS Marine Infrastructure Network
24 Eleanor Jones SIOS Tools for Collaboration

The following poster will only be available via padlet:

ID First author Title
26 Lasse Hertle Monitoring Cosmic Ray Neutron Fluxes near the Geomagnetic Pole


16:00 - 17:30 - BoD meeting (closed)

Location: Van Keulen meeting room

  • Meeting agenda has been published on the intranet
19:00  - SIOS ECR Polar Meet Night (by invitation only)

Location: Game room of MaryAnn Polarrigg (Vinterhagen)

  • Organised in cooperation with APECS
  • Meet your fellow Svalbard Early Career Researchers and join the Svalbard bingo 

Note: This event is open for invited participants only!

18:45  - BoD dinner (by invitation)

Location: Restaurant Polfareren

Note: For invited participants only!

Thursday, 25 January 2024

09:00 - 09:45 - Keynote: Eija Juurola - The ACTRIS research infrastructure (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

Speaker: Eija Juurola, ACTRIS

Dr. Eija Juurola is the Interim Director General of ACTRIS ERIC leading the implementation of ACTRIS. she has more than 10 years of experience in research infrastructure construction, governance, development, and management of operations. She was working in ICOS RI 2010-2018 both at national and European level. Her scientific background is in forest ecology, completed her PhD in 2005 on ecophysiology.

Abstract of the talk

The Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS) is a pan-European research infrastructure, established as legal entity in April 2023. The goal of ACTRIS is to produce high-quality integrated datasets in the area of atmospheric sciences and provide services, including access to instrumented platforms tailored for scientific and technological usage. The presentation includes introduction to the development of ACTRIS governance structure, financial model, organization of operations, services and development activities.

10:00 - 10:30 - Talk: Collaboration in Svalbard (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

Speaker: Bo Andersen, University of Oslo
Bo Andersen has a doctorate in astrophysics and have from the middle of the seventies worked for a decade at University of Oslo. Thereafter three years in the European Space Agency. In the period 1988-2020 he was employed at the Norwegian Space Agency where he was Director General for twelve years.He has been chair of both the Space Science Committee and the Council of ESA. He has published more than hundred scientific papers. He has chaired the Norwegian Polar Committee and was among the initiators of SIOS. Currently he is the chair of the Steering Group of the Fram Centre Collaboration in Tromsø as well as being the vice chair of the board of directors of the Kings Bay company.

Talk: Different scientific collaborations concerning Svalbard    

The talk will shed light on following questions - using SIOS, the Fram Centre and NySMAC as examples:

  • Why do we need this type of collaboration?
  • Different types of collaboration.
  • What makes a collaboration successful?
10:30 - 11:00 - Coffee break

Location: Canteen

11:00 - 12:15 - Polar Night Seminar (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

Time Title, Presenter, Affiliation
11:00 The surge of Borebreen: Preliminary results from in situ observations and satellite image analysis
William Harcourt, University of Aberdeen

Assessment of the inorganic pollutants discharged by Adventelva river
Agata Zaborska, Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences

11:30 Analysis of submicron aerosol particle mixing state in the Arctic
Stefania Gilardoni, National Research Council

Cosmic Rays ay High Latitudes: Cosmic Ray Neutron Sensing on Svalbard
Lasse Hertle, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research

12:00 Reindeer on the Rocks: A Close Look at Seasonal Habitat Suitability of a High-Arctic Ungulate
Barrett Zimmermann, The University Centre in Svalbard

*denotes online presentation

12:15 - 13:30 - Lunch

Location: Canteen

Don't forget to bring your vouchers.

13:30 - 13:50 - Introducing new member institutions (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

The Norwegian Geological Institute (Benjamin Lange)

13:50 - 15:00 - Data session with quiz (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

Time Title, Presenter, Affiliation
13:50 Introduction to the session and SIOS datasets + SIOS core data
Ilkka Matero, SIOS-KC

SIOS Data Access Portal: Search and access data
Lara Ferrighi, Norwegian Meteorological Institute

14:20 Preferred Data Formats for use with SIOS datasets: Darwin Core Archive and NetCDF4
Luke Marsden, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, The University Centre in Svalbard

Kahoot! -quiz on SIOS data and data infrastructure

15:00 - 15:30 - Coffee break

Location: Canteen

15:30 - 16:30 - Early career and senior researcher networking event

Location: Møysalen

  • Organised in cooperation with APECS
  • Speed dating between ECRs and senior researchers
19:00 - 22:00 - Conference dinner

Location: Funktionærmessen restaurant, Funken Lodge

Friday, 26 January 2024

09:00 - 09:45 - Keynote: Prof Miyase Christensen - Science Diplomacy (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen

Miyase Christensen is professor of Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University and guest Professor at the Division of Philosophy and History of Technology, Science and Environment — Department of Philosophy and History, KTH the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Prof. Christensen is also the Director of the Leading Research Environment in Global Media Studies and Politics of Mediated Communication at Stockholm University.

Abstract of the  talk
On Thinning Ice: Geopolitics and Mediation of the Arctic Today on a Global-Local Axis

As the melting ice in the Arctic continues to yield new commercial and naval routes. New alliances come to the fore and new and overt geopolitical rivalries on the global as well as publicly less visible undercurrents on the local/regional scales take shape.  There are many transformative phenomena that mark the Arctic today. Added to these are the crucial shifts in the global communication landscape. The growing infrastructural connectivity of the Arctic (e.g. the Arctic Fiber fiberoptic communication lines project) and the region’s visibility through both legacy and new media have engendered a new discursive and material terrain for debating the future(s) of the region. Against this backdrop, and taking the current conjuncture in politics as a departure point, the aim of this talk is to offer fresh perspectives on the Arctic region and the multitude of changes that have occurred on a global – local axis. 

9:45 - 11:00 - Panel discussion on ICARP IV and wrap-up (Hybrid)

Location: Møysalen


  • Eija Juurola, ACTRIS
  • Miyase Christensen, Stockholm University
  • Kim Holmén, Norwegian Polar Institute
  • Bo Andersen, University of Oslo
11:00 - 11:30 - Lunch (Take away)

Location: Helenstua