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INTERACT annual meeting in Iceland

The last week of September, INTERACT held its annual meeting in Keflavík, Iceland. 71 participants from 16 countries met for the General Assembly and the fourth Station Managers' Forum in INTERACT 3. Presentations from the meeting can be found on our website.

INTERACT at Arctic Circle

INTERACT had a booth at the Arctic Circle assembly in Reykjavík, Iceland. The booth was very popular and INTERACT managed to disseminate over 130 kilograms of our beautiful publications (along with some yummy candy).

INTERACT co-organizer of The Future of Research Infrastructure in the Arctic

Together with ARICE, EPB and FARO INTERACT organised an event called: "The Future of Research Infrastructure in the Arctic" on 27 October 2022 in Brussels. INTERACT was presented in various ways: INTERACT as a one-stop-shop to the terrestrial Arctic; how to access arctic infrastructure; how drones and artificial intelligence can be used for polar research, how arctic and northern alpine research stations can serve as long-term platforms for addressing local, regional and global societal challenges; and also what future challenges there are and the need to focus on solution-driven research. Many thanks to the speakers, moderators and panel participants from both INTERACT as well as our organizing colleagues.

INTERACT TA/RA call successfully closed

INTERACT TA/RA Call for s/s 2023 closed on November 15. Overall, over 90 user groups from 25 countries applied for a total of 4000+ person-days of access. Project proposals will now be reviewed and evaluated, and results on granted TA/RA access will be out in mid-March 2023.

Field season completed

The field season is almost behind us, and most of the TA researchers have completed their studies at the stations. Reflecting the past field season, some of the INTERACT TA users have shared their experience and adventures with us. Read about polar bears, microplastics in the Arctic, animal adaptation to climate change, Inuit traditional celebrations and much more on the new blog posts published on INTERACT Arctic Research Blogs!

Survey on Transnational Access

WP 5 (Connecting the Arctic – Transport and Communication) has assisted WP 2 (Station Managers' Forum) with conducting a survey regarding transnational access focussing on the ‘Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Science Cooperation’ at the INTERACT GA in 2021. The results of this survey are used to write a report (D5.1) on the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Science Cooperation. Due to the changes in geo-political realities, the survey will be conducted again to reflect the current situation in the report, which is due February 2023.

INTERACT Data Portal is expanding

Virtual Access provision through the INTERACT Data Portal is increasing, thanks to new partners joining the program. More than 1500 datasets from 14 stations are currently available via the INTERACT Data Portal. The latest addition to the data portal is the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) that offers virtual access to the datasets from the Italian Arctic station “Dirigibile Italia” in Svalbard. New data is also available from the Sonnblick Observatory in the Austrian Central Alps. Visit the INTERACT Data Portal and unleash the potential of Virtual Access data for your research!

Upcoming INTERACT TA User Community Meeting

INTERACT TA User Community meeting will take place in Vienna on February 20, 2023, during the Arctic Science Summit Week 2023. The meeting will highlight the concept of access provision to the Arctic, boreal and northern alpine research stations offered by the INTERACT network, and showcase the world-class research conducted with support from INTERACT Transnational Access. It will also reflect on the legacy, feedback and lessons learnt from the ten years of experience on access provision in INTERACT, and look into the future possibilities. More information on the TA User Community meeting will come soon. If you are attending the ASSW2023, we look forward to meeting you in Vienna!


News from the stations

Kevo research station

The laboratory building of Kevo research station including the lecture hall, storage and some accommodation facilities will be under renovation (complete overhaul) for several months in 2023. This means that it is most likely not in use at all during the summer season 2023. The basic laboratory equipment will most likely be moved to temporary facilities in other buildings. The building was originally built in 1974 and enlarged in 1986. In addition to that, the station’s canteen will probably be closed during most of the summer. This means that the visitors should be prepared to cook their own food.

Bylot Island Research Station

The Bylot Island Research Station in Nunavut, Canada was during the summer 2022 finally back for the first full field season since 2019. Some highlights from this past summer include a late spring which delayed snow melt and prevented several species and especially snow geese from nesting in high numbers. Lemming populations had crashed since the record high of 2021 and predators like foxes turn to bird eggs, leading to very high predation rates on goose nests. As predator movements are key to understanding the functioning of the tundra ecosystem, 21 Arctic foxes were equipped with GPS collars. Furthermore, two PhD students witnessed an erosion event leading to the formation of a previously hidden pond, likely due to high temperatures in early July. The roof above this newly exposed pond eventually collapsed after a rainfall event. For more information on Bylot Island's long-term research projects, visit www.cen.ulaval.ca/bylot/.

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

The summer in West Greenland has in general been very wet and with little sunshine. At our station in Kobbefjord especially the extreme amount of rain caused serious havoc to the infrastructure. The bridge crossing the river close to the station was completely destroyed in late September. The massive amounts of rain also caused tremendous runoff from the terrain into the freshwater system. It will be very interesting to follow the effects in the coming years. GINR is planning to build a new bridge early in the spring, to have easy access again when the next field season kicks off.

Tarfala Research Station

 Tarfala Research Station, TRS is now closed for the season. TRS´s staff is back at Campus Frescati, Stockholm to handle the off-season work, which includes processing the data from the field work, evaluate the season and plan for next year. In mid-November, TRS also arranged a workshop to exchange ideas, share experiences, find new inspiration and discuss possibilities to conduct field work at TRS and its surroundings. This workshop will be a yearly event from now on, and Tarfala Research Station invites everyone interested in performing field work in this area to participate in the coming years. Information about coming workshops will be published at www.su.se/tarfala-research-station.


Milestones & Deliverables

Deliverable from Work Package 6

From Work Package 6 there is D6.4 – Report on Future Strategy and Planning for the Area of AI and ML to be Applied in Arctic Research.

All INTERACT deliverable reports can be found on our website and this specific report can be downloaded here.

Deliverables from Work Package 2

Work Package 2 has submitted two deliverables since the last newsletter was published: D2.12 - Pocket guide on how to handle effects of tourism at research stations and in adjacent local communities; and D2.13 - Pocket guide for tourist on how to behave around research station, incl. their study areas and local communities.