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

Internship with SIOS knowledge centre – some thoughts

My name is Maren Christine Hansen and I am currently at the last semester of a bachelor in biology with the University of Bergen. I am originally from Tromsø, but I decided to move southwards because I wasn’t too happy about the cold and dark winters. My original plan was to take one semester in Hawaii to get some sun and warmth, but as I got more into different aspects of biology and climate change my interests gradually moved towards the arctic – especially when I heard about the opportunities on Svalbard and UNIS. This semester I will be joining a research project (AB-207) as well as an internship (AB-208) within SIOS, which is an observing centre for long-term measurements around the archipelago of Svalbard addressing Earth System Science questions.

I try to enter this internship without too many expectations, that way I find it less intimidating to start with something completely new. The SIOS knowledge centre consists of a very international team where everyone has different tasks I’m curious to learn more about. The work tasks range from remote sensing activities to data management to communication and logistics. Because of the situation with the pandemic they are currently working from home, and I have had a “get to know each other” meeting on zoom which has been a new experience for me. This past year I have gotten familiar with online lectures, while working from home with other co-workers is something new that I’m curious about – although I’m hoping we can meet physically in not too long.

During this internship I will get the chance to learn by doing, which is a new way of learning for me since my education has been about learning the theoretical background before getting out in the field or in the laboratory. I believe this new way of learning is going to be helpful both for future studies and jobs, and maybe it will give me new ideas on how to approach new challenges.

I have a lot to look forward to this semester, and by working in a team I hope I’ll learn some new skills I can bring with me in the future. I’m very excited to get some relevant work experience and to learn more about how a future job for me might look like.

Looking down at Longyearbyen from Sarkofagen

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