Jean-Pierre Lanckman demonstrates the GPTN database system

On Thursday October 13th, the Arctic Portal hosted a group of American students studying with the School for International Training (SIT) study abroad program in Iceland and Greenland. The program is affiliated with the University Centre of the Westfjords (Háskólasetur Vestfjarða).

Accompanied by the in-country SIT program assistant, Jennifer Smith, the group of 21 students studying environmental sciences and geology spent the day meeting staff at Arctic Portal and learning about the organization’s activities.

The students began the morning attending a lecture at the Kea Hotel in Akureyri given by Jean-Pierre Lanckman, the data manager at Arctic Portal responsible for putting the award-winning Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost Database (GTN-P) together with partners at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. Mr. Lanckman lectured about the GTN-P as a sueful tool for scientists and climate modellers, and also highlighted the importance of proper data management, including collecting and sharing data in line with international standards.

Students visit the Arctic Portal office

After lunch, the students visited the Arctic Portal office, where they listened to a presentation of Arctic Portal’s activities from the Arctic Portal’s Senior Project Manager, Kamil Jagoziński. The students asked thoughtful questions about the organisation and the projects the portal is involved in to Mr. Jagoziński and Arctic Portal Director, Halldór Jóhansson. It was a real pleasure to host such a bright and intellectually curious group of students!

During one academic semester, the students, most with backgrounds in environmental science and geology, are participating in the “Iceland and Greenland: Climate Change and the Arctic” SIT program. They spend 15 weeks living in Iceland, with an excursion to Nuuk, Greenland. During their semester abroad, they study climate models, methods of carbon management in Iceland and Greenland, and the impact of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and society. The students also take part in excursions to research institutions, universities, organisations, renewable energy facilities, glaciers, and other sites of natural beauty in the host country.

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