Arctic NorwayWeek-Long Study Tour | Environmental Science of the Arctic Program

Required Course(s)
Polar Biology

This week-long Study Tour to northwestern Norway will give students a hands-on and very close encounter with the Arctic climate and see magnificent wildlife as well as experience how a modern Arctic society is living.

We will learn about species adaptations to the high Artic environment through field studies to bird colonies, tundra, and forest plant study sites. We will also boat or kayak in the fjords to discuss fish and whale dynamics and competition with fishing industry. During the week, we will study how the dynamics between glaciers and plants are influenced by climate variations, and identify different indicator species on land and at sea.

We will also get to experience how the local Sami lifestyle is dependent on reindeer herding, and their challenges due to reduced areas for reindeer to feed.

The chosen destination provides us with the opportunity to conduct fieldwork while at the same time talk with researchers who are specialists in their fields, as well as gain a cultural experience and have time to socialize.

Tour Objectives

  • Obtain a first hand experience with the Polar environment and to conduct basic field studies on land and at sea in the area of Tromsø
  • Explore the wildlife and unique sub-arctic environment north of the polar circle and the history of Arctic explorations from this area
  • Understand how human activity has impacted the environment and biodiversity of Northern Norway

Possible Activities

  • Visit Tromsø University (UiT), Framcentret (Norsk polarcenter) and Tromsø Museum for guest lectures and examples of how terrestrial and marine research is carried out in the areas
  • Whale spotting
  • Wisit research sites of plant-glacier dynamics through walking a transect on Kvaløya