The Greening of the Arctic (GOA) IPY initiative is comprised of four projects each contributing to documenting, mapping and understanding the rapid and dramatic changes to terrestrial vegetation expected across the circumpolar Arctic as a result of a changing climate.
CAFF is the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council and consists of National Representatives assigned by each of the eight Arctic Council Member States, representatives of Indigenous Peoples' organizations that are Permanent Participants to the Council, and Arctic Council observer countries and organizations.
CAFF´s mandate is to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and to communicate its findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources. It does so through various monitoring, assessment and expert group activities.
The International Tundra Experiment is a scientific network of experiments focusing on the impact of climate change on selected plant species in tundra and alpine vegetation. Currently, research teams at more than two dozen circumpolar sites carry out similar, multi-year plant manipulation experiments that allow them to compare annual variation in plant performance with respect to phenological response to climate conditions.
The Shrub Hub is a network of researchers investigating changes in woody vegetation in Arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems. This network was established to foster communication between researchers working in tundra ecosystems around the Arctic and to promote data synthesis.
Explore the Shrub Hub Webpage.
The IPY-Arctic Predators project is a network of Norwegian and Russian scientists dedicated to run a large-scale monitoring of terrestrial arctic predators. The final objective of this initiative is to develop reliable predictors of the tundra ecosystem functioning in the context of climate change. The IPY-Arctic Predators is a part of the IPY-ArcticWOLVES project.
Ecological research in polar regions explores interactions between various groups of organisms, as well as relations that they have with respect to their environment. Despite the apparent harshness of the Arctic and Antarctic, many creatures are well adapted to living "at the edge". Ecosystems of the tundra biom are not as simple and primitive as it may seem!
Polar organisms are now facing a threat much more difficult to cope with than extreme cold, drought and darkness - a rapidly changing climate. Increasing air temperature causes melting of glaciers and permafrost, changes in water relation and growing season. These changes affect all ecosystem components. New ecosystems are forming in areas uncovered from under the ice, whereas at the southern borders of the Arctic shrub and tree expansion is underway, reducing the extent of the tundra. Great research effort is put to monitor the speed and direction of these changes, to provide effective conservation of the fragile tundra ecosystems.
This page was put together by Maja Lisowska.
The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is the world's northernmost institution for higher education and research, located in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen at 78°N. UNIS offers courses at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level in four fields: Arctic Biology, Arctic Geology, Arctic Geophysics and Arctic Technology. Thanks to location in the High Arctic, field classes are an important part of many courses, so students have an opportunity to experience the nature of Svalbard, not only to learn about it in the classroom.
Several courses focused on Terrestial Biology or Terrestial Ecollogy are tought at UNIS, including Arctic Terrestial Biology and Arctic Plant Ecology. For more information, please visit the UNIS webpage.
Centre for Polar Ecology (CPE) is part of the Department of ecosystem biology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. The main purpose of CPE is ensuring regular university courses of Polar Ecology and similar science topics. The second equally important purpose is the research itself, which is held in both biological sciences and Earth sciences.
CPE ensures the Polar eEcology Course consisting of both biological section and Earth sciences section. The course itself consists of 1 week intensive theoretical preparation in respective fields of interest and then especially 10 days field work on the station in Svalbard. The field base for the Polar Ecology Course is Petuniabukta station, located in the central part of Svalbard in the northernmost part of the Billefjorden, Isflorden in Petunia bay.
The course is offered by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL.
The effect of global warming on arctic and alpine environments is more and more in focus of plant science and especially of dendrochronology. The anatomical structure of arctic and alpine plants as well as their structural variability caused by environmental changes is yet not well known. the aim of the course is to set a base line for future anatomical and dendroecological studies beyond forests.
The main focus is set on trees, shrubs, dwarf shrubs and herbs growing in the boreal and arctic, as well as in the subalpine and alpine zone of the northern Hemisphere.
Looking for advice on research ideas or career paths? Ask a mentor!
APECS mentors in the field of terrestial ecology include:
- Andres Barbosa (Senior Researcher, Natural History Museum, CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
- Greg Henry (Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
For more information, go to the Mentor webpage