I wanted to go to Svalbard for several years and now it is finally going to happen. I have already tried to go there during my bachelor but unfortunately I was not accepted as a student at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). Back then I was planning to go there for 6 months. I kind of gave up on the dream till I found out that they provide a course that would fit my master (Aquaculture and Marine Resource management) perfectly. This course would only take 5 weeks meaning I would not be there during the winter (which I do not mind since during the winter the sun does not rise and temperatures of minus 20 are not strange).
The name of the course that I will attend is ecosystem based management of artic marine systems, and part of the course is a 10 day cruise along the fjords of Norway (starting in Tromsø) going all the way back to Longyearbyen (the city were UNIS is located). During that time we will take part in the Institute of Marine research’s regular surveys in the waters of Svalbard. Therefore, we will test novel methods as part of the EBM concept. I can not wait to get some hands on experience with this.
I am very curious about the fjord because I have never seen one. I am also looking forward to staying on a research vessel with other students and the different wildlife we might encounter like whales, walruses and maybe even polar bears.
Besides the survey, I will also spend some time in Longyearbyen the city in Svalbard, following lectures and a mandatory safety course. This will give me a chance to see how people live in such an harsh environment. During this time I will stay in a barak about three kilometers from the University centre with other students.
It is all very exciting for me and I cannot wait till it starts!