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ARCTIC BLOG: Students learn skills required for polar science

26 August, 2015

Hello! This is the first blog about the upcoming NERC Advanced Training Short Course run by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) between 26th August and 8th September 2015. We are a group of early career environmental scientists who all have one thing in common: we do Polar research but have never been to the poles!

This year, BAS is training students and postdoctoral researchers in the practical skills that are required for effective fieldwork on the ice. The course involves 3 days of theory at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, and then we head far north to put this into practice. In fact Ny-Ålesund, which is located at over 78°N, is one of the most northerly towns in the world and is where the UK’s Arctic Research Station is located.

The UK’s Arctic Research Station is at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

The Arctic environment is undergoing rapid change and the station was set up to take advantage of BAS expertise in areas such as oceanography, atmospheric chemistry, sea-ice and ice-sheet dynamics, hydrology and terrestrial biology…to better understand the threats of climate change. Our course is equally diverse, with lessons on fieldwork planning as well as various survey techniques in the field, such as in glaciology and ecological field surveys.

Over the next few days we have a packed schedule learning about fieldwork planning, logistics, budgeting, mapping, scientific techniques and other important skills that will no doubt come in handy when we start to plan our own field seasons. We will keep you up to date with our progress through blogs and tweets via @BAS_News using the tag #ArcticCourse.

For more information about the UK Arctic Programme, see https://www.bas.ac.uk/about/the-arctic/