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

Summer around the corner – saying goodbye to the local council

The end

Even though it´s many minus degrees and the snow is still around, summer is just around the corner! It´s the end of the internship course with now only 2 short weeks left of the semester and I can´t really grasp how fast time have past. I remember how nervous I was the first weeks, afraid that I wasn´t qualified enough, not prepared, not knowledgeable enough and couldn’t imagen a time where I would actually feel confident being part of a workplace here on Svalbard. Now however, four months later, this is exactly what I feel: confident. By having the opportunity to follow and contribute to my supervisor’s weekly tasks at the local council (Lokalstyret) I have acquired not only knowledge about how to work with environmental issues in such a special place as Longyearbyen, but also skills in planning bigger projects, holding meetings and be confident in an office setting. Things I before had zero experiences in.

I have learnt so much about how a biologist can actually benefit a workplace like this and contribute with the important understanding about how everything in nature is connected. How changes in one place can affect things somewhere entirely different and see the importance of always having the long-term results in mind, not just the best short-term solutions. I feel so inspired by the realization that we biologists have so much to give, not only as researchers or teachers but in so many different workplaces.

Working at Longyearbyen local council have been many hours of not knowing what I´m doing, then just doing it anyhow. Sitting in the local library (as I never got to be inside the local council building due to the never ending covid-19…) learning about how Svalbard work with sustainability, going on trips to take measures at the landfills, visit the waste station, discussing future projects and even being a big part in projects happening right now. This internship have met all my expectations, and so much thanks to my supervisor´s commitment to include me, his amazing patience and view that I always had something to contribute with – really wish summer wasn’t already here.