RUG organises largest polar expedition again

The largest Dutch polar expedition is returning. In 2020, RUG researchers will once again leave for Svalbard in Norway to study the consequences of climate change.
By Giulia Fabrizi / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

Just like in 2015, researchers Maarten Loonen, Frits Steenhuisen, and Annette Scheepstra will travel to the island of Edgeøya, located to east of Svalbard. And just like last time, journalists and paying tourists are invited to join the Scientific Expedition Edgeøya Spitsbergen (SEES).

The expedition will show how fast the ecological effects of climate change are affecting the island.

Global warming

Loonen, Steenhuisen, and Scheepstra, who regularly travel to Svalbard, worked for years to get this second expedition up and running. Statistics and graphs resulting from polar measurements, taken at the RUG polar station in Ny-Ålesund, among others, have shown that Svalbard is experiencing global warming at an increased rate compared to other places in the world.

According to Loonen, the 2020 expedition will be full of opportunities: ‘We’re taking a lot of young scientists and PhD students and post-doctoral students are invited to submit their research proposals.’ Aside from the RUG, Wageningen University, the University of Utrecht, the VU Amsterdam, and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research are also sending people on the new expedition.



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