Expedition Svalbard

16 - 28 July 2017

Martine van den Heuvel-Greve of Wageningen Marine Research travelled to Svalbard in the Arctic once again to research the various effects of human activities on marine life. She investigated various factors that may affect marine life including the toxicity of oil and pollution from a local coal mine.

She also tested a new method to determine the presence of newly arrived species. Accompanying her were Frits Steenhuisen, environmental scientist of the Arctic Centre of Groningen University, and two assistants; Michiel Klaassen (research assistant) and Mare van den Heuvel (Martine's daughter). Martine, Michiel and Mare all wrote blogs about their experiences and the research.

Expedition Svalbard

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  • July 25, 2017 How much mercury do we find in bottom-dwelling organisms of the Arctic fjord? After a short and beautiful flight over the glaciers to the research station Ny-Ålesund, in the northwest of Svalbard, we settled in our house, one of the yellow houses of the Dutch Arctic station. We were happy to find out that all our research equipment had arrived safely, so we could move into our ecotox lab straight away. For the next day we had already booked the Teisten work boat, so everything needed to be prepared for a first sampling day out on the water.
    How much mercury do we find in bottom-dwelling organisms of the Arctic fjord?
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  • February 3, 2016 Guest blog Arctic: Sketching with sunlight by Udo Prinsen Guest Blog by artist Udo Prinsen, who made very special pictures during the SEES expedition to Svalbard with "solargraphy". He describes the work of the scientists and adds unique images to the stories. In solargraphy, solar tracks can be directly recorded through a lensless pin-hole camera and ‘written’ on to light sensitive paper. The images in this project have been exposed from several hours to just over 2 months and a few as long as 6 months. In June 2016, an exhibit will be on display in the City Hall in the centre of Utrecht.
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  • September 3, 2015 Blog Expedition Svalbard: Counting seabirds and cetaceans from the bow During the SEES expedition to Svalbard, almost continuously seabirds and marine mammals were counted from the box on the front deck of research vessel Ortelius. Researcher Steve Geelhoed reports in a blog how the counting is done.
    Blog Expeditie Spitsbergen: Zeevogels en zeezoogdieren tellen vanaf de boeg
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  • September 7, 2015 Blog Expedition Svalbard: Effects of pollution from ballast water on plankton During the SEES expedition to Svalbard, researcher Andrea Sneekes gathered zooplankton to investigate the effect of chemicals in ballast water on these microscopic organisms.
    Blog Expeditie Spitsbergen: Effecten van biociden in het Noordpoolgebied onderzocht
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  • August 29, 2015 Walruses studied at Svalbard SEES expedition During the SEES expedition to Svalbard, Sophie Brasseur, Roger Kirkwood and Geert Aarts studied the spatial distribution of Walrus at sea and their diet.
    Walrussen bestudeerd tijdens SEES expeditie Spitsbergen
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  • August 28, 2015 Photo Series SEES Svalbard Expedition The researchers of SEES expedition to Spitsbergen, are back ashore in Longyearbyen. Below, you can find a first photo series of the research. The coming days, the researchers will be on Dutch radio and television regularly, to tell about their experiences.
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  • August 24, 2015 Blog Expedition Svalbard: The work has started! After we left Longyearbyen on Wednesday 19 August 2015 we started our work straight away. We set up our lab on board together with our colleagues of the NIOZ. We now have 4 lab tables with a designated wet and dry work space.
    Blog: Expeditie Spitsbergen aan de slag met tellen en bemonsteren
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  • August 19, 2015 Blog Expedition Svalbard: We started our expedition! Early in the morning we, the eight scientists of IMARES, gathered at Schiphol airport on Monday 17 August 2015. We were not the only ones. More brightly blue coloured expedition coats were spotted at the airport. Around twenty fellow expeditioners were on the same flight, travelling from Oslo to Longyearbyen, the capital of Spitsbergen. Prior to and during the flights we got acquainted and exchanged research ideas and plans. What an enthusiastic group and this way we already started our expedition!
    Blog: Expedition Svalbard: We started our expedition
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  • May 18, 2015 All hands on deck! - Expedition vessel is being prepared The expedition vessel that will bring the researchers to Svalbard, the Ortelius, is currently docked in the harbour of Hansweert, a small village in the south western part of the Netherlands. There is a lot of buzz in the harbour with work men, trucks riding in and out, and continuous work meetings on board. This is all needed to prepare the vessel for the upcoming summer season in the Arctic.
    The expedition vessel is docked in the harbour to be prepared for the upcoming summer season in the Arctic.
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  • May 11, 2015 Marine biologists are preparing for the expedition to Svalbard Preparations are being made for the expedition to Svalbard that will take place in the summer. In April 2015, the marine biologists of IMARES prepared some elements of the expedition, such as research planning, fieldwork locations, workwear and permits.
    Marine biologists are preparing for the expedition to Svalbard
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Previous expeditions to Svalbard and/or the Arctic: