Biology student share experiences from internships in the Arctic
Biology student share experiences from internships in the Arctic

One month in – how far can biology take you?

On the way to the landfill out in Adventsdalen.

Time goes so fast here in the Arctic. It´s already the end of February, the sun is so close to get over the mountains and I´ve been at the local government for more than a month now. As mentioned in my earlier blogpost my placement is at the technical department, where I follow one of the people responsible for questions regarding the environment. I really like this concept of having just one supervisor as it gets so much easier to understand and get into the every-day work, have good communication and be able to discuss why and how things are done. So far, we have worked with tasks regarding the waste management in and around Longyearbyen, including going to the landfills outside town and visiting the recycling station. A bit of time has also gone to looking into, discuss and help write applications for future projects around reuse and repair.

So even if I still feel quite new to all of it, just being and thinking like a biologist gets you so much further than I thought it would!

I remember being quite nervous about getting the placement at the local government before I started, as I really didn’t know what to expect or what an intern could actually do here. On the outside all you see of the work being done by the local government is these important decisions being made, projects being started and ended, meetings being held and of course all of that is happening. But I´m so happy to be able to see more with this internship – to see the actual work that is needed before you can take those decisions, the understanding you must have of the municipality you work in and how important it is with the human connections all over, to be able to listen to and consider all different needs and concerns of the public. In other words, be capable of working with individual projects or decisions while always consider the whole picture. Something that I, as a biologist, feel like I have been training my whole education to do – understand connections, processes and investigate how the smallest changes can give consequences in a whole system.

//Emma Djurberg

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