Norwegian Polar Institute
Shortlist from Station Catalogue over facilities and science disciplines.
STATION NAME AND OWNER
The Ny-Ålesund Research Station – Sverdrup is owned and managed by the Norwegian Polar Institute.
The Sverdrup Research Station is located in the research village Ny-Ålesund at the northern side of Brøgger Peninsula at the southern shore of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. The infrastructure in Ny-Ålesund is run by the Kings Bay Company. The town hosts many national research stations, and the Sverdrup Research Station is the Norwegian station in Ny-Ålesund. The nearest civilian settlement is Longyearbyen, 100 km south of Ny-Ålesund.
BIODIVERSITY AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Ny-Ålesund is surrounded by Definitions of the Arctic vary according to environmental, geographical, political, cultural and scientific perspectives. Some scientists define the Arctic as areas having a high latitude, long winters, short, cool summers,... More A type of ecosystem in which tree growth is limited by low temperatures. The origin of the word is from from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr, meaning "uplands" or "treeless mountain tract". In the northern... More and river plains, while the mountains in the inner part of the Brøgger Peninsula have many small glaciers. Large A glacier is a large, persistent body of land-based ice that forms over many years where the accumulation of snow is greater than its loss (ablation). The ice in a... More tongues fl ow into Kongsfjorden on the eastern and northern side of the fj ord. Most of the birds living in Svalbard are breeding on small islands or on bird cliffs in Kongsfjorden. Reindeer and foxes are common visitors in Ny-Ålesund. Seals are often seen close to the settlement, and sometimes also walrus and beluga.
HISTORY AND FACILITIES
Ny-Ålesund was a mining town until the 1960s. After the mining was stopped, Ny-Ålesund started to develop into a research town, beginning with the Norwegian Polar Institute that established a permanent research station in 1968. Today, more than 10 nations have a station in Ny-Ålesund and scientists from many more nations visit Ny-Ålesund to conduct research. The Sverdrup Research Station hosts all Norwegian projects and research groups from nations without their own station in Ny-Ålesund. The station provides logistical support (snow scooters, boats, and equipment), workshop, office facilities, and field storage, while laboratory space is available through the Kings Bay Marine Laboratory. One of the main activities of the Norwegian Polar Institute is to run the Zeppelin Station (which is on top of the Zeppelin Mountain (474 m a.s.l.) and accessible by cable car) for long-term atmospheric monitoring. Up to approximately 150 people can be accommodated in the summer peak season.
GENERAL RESEARCH AND DATABASES
The Kongsfjorden area is especially attractive for arctic research since almost any topic can be studied in close vicinity to NyÅlesund. Glaciologists will find glaciers within walking distance, biologists may find bird cliff s and land mammals close by, atmospheric scientists find clean arctic air suitable for their research, and the ocean is easily accessible for marine research of any kind. An overview on research in Ny-Ålesund can be found in the RISdatabase at www.ssf.npolar.no/pages/database.htm
The research village Ny-Ålesund is in general only accessible for researchers, who are accommodated by Kings Bay, which provides boarding and lodging as well as take care of the daily running of the town. During the peak season (July-August) 150-180 persons stay in Ny-Ålesund, but their number drops drastically to 40-60 people in spring and autumn. Only the permanent staff (30-40 people) is present during the winter months.
Longyearbyen can be reached by regular air traffic; from there an air shuttle service twice a week connects Longyearbyen with Ny-Ålesund. The flight takes c. 25 minutes with 14-17 persons per flight. A limited number of researchers arrive by ship, but there is no regular ship transport to Ny-Ålesund except one monthly freight ship during the summer.
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