This blog tells the story of Fjord (NOT Rudolph!!) - a little reindeer going to Svalbard with 3 scientists to study glaciers. The team will be in Ny Ålesund for three weeks in July and August. To find out where Svalbard is, what research the scientists are doing, how Arctic fieldwork is conducted, and to ask Fjord and the scientists questions, just have a poke around the site!

September 21, 2010

Want more NotRudolph?

In case we've still got any readers here, since we're back in Cambridge we've stopped blogging. But, if you still want to get your Polar fix, try our new glaciers/outreach feed on Twitter.

August 25, 2010

Fieldwork Slideshow


As I think we mentioned before, Longyearbyen is the main city on Svalbard. With a population of a bit over 2000, it supports research at the University Centre, coal mining in the region, and a lot of tourism. The town isn’t huge, but it’s a great place to look around and there are lots of places to walk. Svalbard protects its cultural history, so there are lots of relics from past eras everywhere you look! So, here are some photos for in/around/near Longyearbyen from our visit there as well as the time I spent there in March while taking a course at the university.

Flower Correction

Hey all, I’m settled back in Cambridge. And so I have a few more things to blog about. But first, a correction. On the trip to Ossian Sars with Inger, I mistakenly wrote that we were looking for a buttercup. In fact, we were searching for a cinquefoil.

Back at home, Inger was able to more closely analyse the samples we took under a dissecting microscope in the lab. The beautiful flowering sample we saw was in fact Potentilla x insularis, but a smaller plant was the Potentilla nivea ssp. Nivea that we were looking for.

August 11, 2010

Safely Home

Just a quick post to let you all know the team (and the FieldSpec) made it safely back to the UK. Fjord is currently resting (he didn't get back to Cambridge until almost 3am!), but he will post a couple stories about Longyearbyen and the trip home soon.

August 8, 2010

Arctic Stonehenge?

Whilst out searching the tundra for a tasty evening snack - to be honest I'm not a fan of the chocolate cookies that Allen likes so much - I came across a large area of these strange rock circles and wondered how they got here. Was it the holy site of an ancient tribe? The footprints left by extraterrestrial visitors?

In fact these landforms are completely natural and are produced by the annual cycles of freeze and thaw that take place in the arctic soil, which lift larger rocks to the surface then push them outwards until they gather in rings. I also found these distinct stripes which form by a similar process on shallow slopes.