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How to take best care of your Arctic research station

Seventy-one research stations in the Arctic and the northern alpine areas have pooled their knowledge and experience on the operation of these research facilities that are often located in the most remote and trackless areas in the northern hemisphere.

Sverdrup research station
Sverdrup research station on Svalbard, owned and operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute, is included in the manual, which like the previously published station catalogue can give interested parties a fascinating insight into the life and research at the stations. Both publications are richly illustrated. Photo from the manual: Linda Bakken

The result is a handbook for station managers - also with tips for those who plan to create new Arctic research stations.

The 71 research stations are contained in the EU-funded network INTERACT that has previously published a comprehensive catalogue of existing stations with detailed information on each station about research facilities, logistics, infrastructure etc.

Like the station catalogue, the new manual, "INTERACT Management Planning for Arctic and Northern Alpine research stations – Examples of good practices", is published by DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University, with Elmer Topp-Jørgensen, as main author and editor.

Elmer Topp-Jørgensen, who is a member of INTERACT's Station Manager Forum, says that the book is divided into 11 themes, each of which describes the deliberations to do as manager of a research station.

"The book is peppered with examples from stations in the network and other sources and is primarily intended as a reference book for existing stations that plan to revise their practices," says Elmer Topp-Jørgensen. "But it can also be used as inspiration in connection with the establishment of new research stations."

Every year, the INTERACT network research stations - in the northern European countries, Russia, USA, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scotland – accommodate thousands of researchers within areas such as glaciology, permafrost, climate, ecology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry.

Special consultant Morten Rasch, University of Copenhagen, who coordinates INTERACT's Station Manager Forum, says that the book's substance is the result of a committed collaboration across the many research stations.

"In INTERACT we want to provide the best framework for Arctic research. A very large part of the Arctic research is done at the research stations. Therefore, it makes perfect sense when we together produce publications that may both be of benefit to polar researchers looking for the right place for their particular research as well as ensure the best possible service to scientists, when they arrive at the stations," says Morten Rasch.

The handbook is published both electronically and in a printed edition of 500 copies. The publication is funded by INTERACT, the EU Commission and Aarhus University.

Contact: Elmer Topp-Jørgensen, INTERACT - Station Managers' Forum
             Tel.: +45  3018 3111, jetj@bios.au.dk
             DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy
             Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University

INTERACT 2014. INTERACT Management planning for Arctic and Northern alpine research stations – Examples of good practices. Ed.: Topp-Jørgensen, E. et al. DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University, Denmark. 324 pp.  

INTERACT – Management planning

INTERACT – homepage

INTERACT - Station Catalogue