The Nansen Legacy Project Blog

Work on the ice has started. Ice cores analysed on the spot. 82 North, 28 East. More than 3000 meter of Arctic water below.
Work on the ice has started. Ice cores analysed on the spot. 82 North, 28 East. More than 3000 meter of Arctic water below.

In the Arctic Ocean and on the shoulders of giants

Published

We are off and have been out for almost a week. Steaming north and east we had strong winds and almost -25 degrees. Luckily things calmed down and got a bit warmer before our first ice station. For several days now we have been at 82 degrees N and with more than 3000 meters of water under the keel. We established work on the ice and lowered a variety of nets and instruments both from the ship and from the ice. After a while we had the hang of it and the cruise had really started. What is down there? How much activity is there? Is it advent in the Arctic Ocean?

The Nansen Legacy project is no doubt standing on the shoulders of giants. The pioneering work by Fridtjof Nansen is well acknowledged by the project. More recent pioneers are those that established and ran the Pro Mare project in the late eighties, probably the last major and nationally coordinated effort to study ecosystem processes in the Barents Sea. Pro Mare led to much progress, including better understanding of the large diversity of life inside and below sea ice.

On the shoulders of giants. Brought on board for reflection and inspiration, the seminal textbooks resulting from the Pro Mare project and work that followed.
On the shoulders of giants. Brought on board for reflection and inspiration, the seminal textbooks resulting from the Pro Mare project and work that followed.

A whole generation of young marine researchers were born and raised through Pro Mare. A cohort, as we also say in population biology. The Nansen Legacy has similar aims. We wish to educate the next generation of marine scientists. More than half of the 35 participants on the cruise are taking their PhD or doing a Post Doc through the Nansen Legacy. Bright, happy, and hard working. It is looking good.

Action in the zooplankton lab after net samples have come on board. Sorting to species and groups and freezing material for later analyses, for instance of energy content and organic pollutants.
Action in the zooplankton lab after net samples have come on board. Sorting to species and groups and freezing material for later analyses, for instance of energy content and organic pollutants.

We are extremely well looked after and supported by the friendly and skilled crew on RV Kronprins Haakon. “Heilt konge” as we say in Norwegian, and as well put on one of the paintings on the ship. Looking very much forward to the remaining work. Greetings from two of us on board; too young for Pro Mare, too old for the new cohort, but trying to be part of the bridge.

Welcome to a journey through the Arctic!

This blog is written by researchers and participants linked to The Nansen Legacy Project.
They will share their experiences and knowledge from research cruises in the Barents Sea.
The research vessel F/F «Kronprins Haakon» gives unique opportunities to explore the rapidly changing climate and ecosystems in the Arctic.
To ensure a sustainable management of the Northern Barents Sea and the adjacent Arctic Basin throughout the 21st century a new knowledge base is required.

(Top picture: Christian Morel / www.christianmorel.net / The Nansen Legacy)
Read more blog posts from the Nansen Legacy Project Blog.