How to assess the unassessable?
Including students in field-based research activities requires more planning and resources than ordinary teaching. However, learning outcomes are completely unique. The Department of Arctic Biology (AB) at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) wishes to develop a high-arctic, interdisciplinary field laboratory for research and teaching. One wants to establish measurement stations for obtaining a variety of parameters, biotic and abiotic, that are relevant when understanding both single components and relationships in an ecosystem. Such a field laboratory will create a cost-effective research synergy between employees, authentic research experiences for the students, and form the basis for initiating new projects with national and international partners who can contribute with further instrumentation and data capture. In this way, one can embrace the interaction in the ecosystem as a whole, and over time separate seasonal and mid-year variations from more lasting climate change.
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The project is financially supported by the Olav Thon Foundation.