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

Thoughts before my internship with SIOS knowledge center

My name is Ingvild Lande Sørensen. I am a bachelor degree student in my last semester of “Biology, climate and environment” at the University of Tromsø. I have been an exchange student at UNIS since July, taking terrestrial Arctic biology and Arctic population ecology. Now I am enrolled in the internship along with a course in environmental management. I have a special interest within terrestrial ecology and nature management, so the courses at Svalbard fit perfect with my interests.

I have much “people skills” from before which always is helpful when communicating with others at a workplace. This through working at a tourist cabin in Trollheimen and at the University museum of Tromsø. At the museum I also did some teaching for school classes about biology-related themes. The most relevant work experience within biology is working as a field assistant at Bjørnøya for a month last summer, gathering data on seabirds for the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Through the internship I expect to get a more practical approach to biology. I will find out what parts of my mostly theoretical biological background that is most useful in working life. Earlier in my education I have always learned the theoretical background before maybe testing it out in field. This internship will give the chance to learn by doing where I can reflect upon experiences afterwards, contra the opposite way of traditional biology education.

The SIOS knowledge centre consists of personell having quite different work task, and I hope to get to learn what each of them is doing, and maybe try out some of their work tasks. This to learn more about what an actual biology job can consist of. Workplaces within biology can be very different, but through this internship I hope to get a glimpse of what a future job for me can include.

The different work tasks at the knowledge centre range from communication and logistics, to data management and remote sensing activities. Data management is something I have learned a bit about throughout my degree, but I have a lot more to learn regarding this. As this is a field within biology which is becoming more relevant, this experience might be very helpful for later jobs. When it comes to the other aspects of SIOS work I have little experience, and expect to learn a lot.

I am really looking forwards to get more practical experience and learn more about SIOS!

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