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

Returning of the sun

Returning of the sun

Hello again!

Since the last blogpost, silently and far too fast (yes, this is my opinion), the sun has returned 🙂

I’ve been mostly working on my research project since then. For those who don’t know – I am working on a project connected to Silene acaulis, a moss cushion plant that we are not growing in the Polar Garden, because it grows on its own outside in the field. This work involves many hours in my room and in the library, working with the statistical data managing program R and daily pictures of different cushions. I am mainly annotating (and thereby counting) flowers. It is the first time I’m doing research in a serious setting and it is a nice feeling being responsible for the tasks I do in connection to the desired outcome. Even though, when being stuck it can be frustrating, but sometimes it is very much worth the final outcry-”I got it!”- inside the quiet zone of the library…

So far, my biggest challenge up here on Svalbard is to deal with the very much triggered FoMo – Fear of Missing out. Connected to the fact of being in charge of time management for almost all my tasks this is challenging. But I am grateful for these challenges, as they are real but still in a very accepting setting of fellow students, supervisors, and my colleagues at the Polar Permaculture.

The Polar Permaculture as a company is going to change a lot, I’m curious in what way. I got the possibility to take part in a workshop for the Folkehøyskole, a very practical oriented after-high school class from Norway. The different stations were interesting, also for myself. It is the first workshop of this kind and for my part it was a lot of fun talking to all those different people from all around Norway (and Sweden). I taught them how and why to grow microgreens and we talked about (non-)sustainable life in the Arctic as well as future study plans. I felt a little proud being able to be able to do all it in Norwegian! One other part of the workshop series was an introduction into food that is local Arctic/Tundra food like cloudberry, reindeer liver, mushrooms with algae and lingonberry jam. From this perspective – why does the polar garden even exist? Couldn’t we all live on these tasty AND local arctic grown fruits? But here the arctic, generally slow growing terrestrial ecosystems come in, they couldn’t sustain all the inhabitants of Svalbard (~3000) – to say nothing about all the touristic activities.

I enjoyed the work with the different groups surprisingly much – despite my general nervousness when talking in front of more than 4 people! I’m looking forward to workshops of a similar kind.

The next time you’re going to hear from me, the sun will have stopped setting here!

Until then, stay safe!


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