Station Manager:
Otso Suominen

TA/RA contacts:
Otso Suominen


The Kevo Subarctic Research Station is managed by the Kevo Subarctic Research Institute which is based at the University of Turku.


Kevo Subarctic Research Station is located in Utsjoki at the northernmost tip of Finland only about hundred kilometres from the coast of the Arctic Ocean (69°45’ N, 27°01’ E) right next to Kevo Strict Nature Reserve (712 km2). It lies about 60 km north of the continuous pine forest line and belongs to the sub-arctic Mountain Birch Forest Zone close to both the local pine tree line and the birch tree line at the forest-tundra ecotone.


The station is close to a wide range of ecosystems from pine stands at low altitudes to mountain birch forests and low alpine tundra as well as mires (also palsas), lakes, and rivers. Several large-scale outbreaks of birch feeding moth larvae are characteristic for the birch forests. The latest outbreak in 2005-2009 destroyed about 400 km2 of the treeline birch forests in Utsjoki. Grazing by semi-domesticated reindeer is another important factor that shapes the ecosystems. The area is part of the basin of the river Teno/Tana which is one of the top salmon rivers in Europe.


The station was founded in 1958. The station, including a weather station of Finnish Meteorological Institute, consists of several buildings. It has the capacity to accommodate about 40 guests in winter and up to 70 in summertime. It is open year-round, but full-board meals will be offered only during the main field season (from May to September), except for larger groups. The station provides laboratories, a workshop, a lecture hall, and accommodation buildings. During recent years the station has had about 80 Finnish and 60 foreign visiting scientists each year.


Kevo Subarctic Research Station has got a long tradition in manipulative experiments addressing cause-effect relationships of anthropogenic environmental changes. In ecological science it is known for the research on plant herbivore interactions and in geographical science for research on palsa mires. There are long-term field experiments studying the effects of aerial pollutants and the impacts of reindeer grazing. The station has got arboretums with different origins of arctic treeline species. There is monitoring data available on population dynamics of moths, rodents, birds, plant phenology, pollen deposits, and meteorological data. The station also holds up to 50-year old biogeographical mapping data of the surrounding area.


Utsjoki is the only municipality in Finland with Sámi majority for whom the traditional reindeer herding and fishing are still important livelihoods, even though it is in general a normal modern community with modern services. In Utsjoki village (18 km north of Kevo) there are grocery shops, a post office, a library, a swimming hall, accommodation providers, pubs, a bank, and a health centre. Anthropological, sociological, and archaeological studies on the local community have been managed by the research station.


The station is located close to a main road and can be reached by car. Access to the station is across Lake Kevojärvi (250 m, in summer by boat and in winter over the ice) or via a small road (5 km). The closest airport in Finland is in Ivalo with a bus connection from Ivalo to Kevo (c. 150 km). There are also airports in Norway at about the same distance (Lakselv, Vadsø, Kirkenes). Alternatively, a train connection exists from southern Finland to Rovaniemi followed by a bus trip via Ivalo to Kevo (450 km).

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