SCANNET Newsletter No 3

Editorial

Despite the intense summer fieldwork activities at the SCANNET sites, SCANNET’s unscheduled meeting at the Danish Polar Centre was very successful. The enthusiastic and constructive participation of SCANNET members at this non-obligatory meeting shows the coherence of SCANNET and the value – and pleasure – of working together. As always, the Danish Polar Centre provided excellent facilities and hospitality, although we might need to review the obligatory evening rides at Tivoli!

SCANNET is clearly making good progress. Individual work packages are accumulating information as planned, although I would remind everyone to respond to requests for information as quickly as possible – we all depend upon each other for the success of SCANNET. In the minutes of the Copenhagen meeting, available on the SCANNET web site, there is a table of information that is required for our web site: SCANNET partners should look at this and please try to provide missing information quickly. In addition to our progress, there has been new spin off which is an important development. The possibilities for remotely controlled digital camera networks to monitor snow conditions and phenology are being developed.

Since the meeting at the Danish Polar Centre, it has become clear that the International Arctic Science Committee’s project on dynamics of the tundra-taiga boundary would like to join SCANNET’s application to AMAP and possibly CAFF for funding for equipment, training and development. This is important as, if successful, we would have a circumpolar network. Even more importantly, the indigenous peoples organisation of the Russian Far North (RAIPON) would like to join the network to set up monitoring of their “changing living conditions”. The path is now clear for the final application to be drafted and this is a high priority.

At the last meeting, information was presented on SCANNET-related letters of interest that were being sent to the EU for consideration in the 6th Framework. SCANNET has much to gain by knowing what research is being planned and by having individual sites, groups of sites and even the whole of SCANNET involved at an early stage. The minutes of the meeting (available on our web site) list relevant letters of interest. It is good to see that SCANNET is explicit in some of these applications. Clearly, the relevance of SCANNET to the research user community is becoming acknowledged.

It is a pleasure to congratulate the Sornfelli group for securing funding for future research at their site and we look forward to continuing collaboration with them. Finally, we also look forward to our next meeting in Iceland and learning of new, exciting developments around the North Atlantic region.

Terry Callaghan
Co-ordinator SCANNET

SCANNET Newsletter No 2

Editorial

Since the last SCANNET Newsletter, we have held two successful meetings and there have been important new developments at some of the SCANNET sites. We also have a new member of the SCANNET team. It is a pleasure to welcome on board Toke Thomas Høye who will work on the work package dealing with “Reviewing Species Performance and Phenology” in collaboration with the Danish Polar Centre. We look forward to meeting Toke and to working with him. Toke will need support from all the sites and I am sure that the SCANNET sites will offer their help to him. Please read Toke’s comments in the “Forum” section.

One of SCANNET’s important assets is the diversity of environment, science and culture among its sites. SCANNET explicitly seeks to represent this diversity in its activities and to experience the particular features of individual sites by holding meetings at different SCANNET sites. Since the issue of the last Newsletter SCANNET has held two meetings at very different locations. We attended one meeting organised by the Norwegian Polar Institute at Ny Ålesund, Svalbard and experienced the high Arctic polar semi-desert environment. We held another meeting in the green Faroe Islands, where we learned about Faroese environmental research and experienced a long cultural history and landscape. Both meetings were a great success because of the hard work of the local organisers, and the friendly and positive contributions of the SCANNET participants: I thank both the local organisers, and all SCANNET participants for making these meetings fruitful and enjoyable. Please read the “Activities” section for more details of the meetings.

One tangible outcome of the meeting in the Faroe Islands was the establishment of a SCANNET co-ordinated action on remote recording of snow conditions and hopefully phenology also. Our Danish friends and colleagues kindly shared their expertise on the use of digital cameras in the field and thanks to their initiative, cameras have been ordered by Several SCANNET sites and will be deployed in a co-ordinated way (see the article by Morten Rasch in the “Activities” section). I thank Morten and others involved and ask that we all seek to identify similar visions that will enable SCANNET sites to invest in the future for environmental recording.

It is a pleasure to congratulate our friends at Kilpisjärvi and Kevo Stations on important developments that are taking place there. The Kilpisjärvi Station is being extended, which gives extra security for long term research, while both stations belong to a consortium of Finnish research facilities that have been awarded funding by the EU – well done and good luck!

I would like to thank those of you who have contributed to this newsletter. Please do all that you can to keep us up-to-date with your SCANNET activities and findings and science news from your stations. It is also important that SCANNET is represented whenever possible in the wider community. We have an on-going most helpful dialogue with ENVINET, and we are grateful to Dr Jon Børre Ørbæk of ENVINET for joining our last meeting, and to Margareta for representing SCANNET at the latest ENVINET meeting. In particular, however, I would like to thank Hanne Hvidtfeldt Christensen for setting a great example to all of us by writing an article on SCANNET for “Frozen Ground” (2002, issue 25 pages 39-40)

Our challenge for the future must be to keep the SCANNET collaboration active in the long term and beyond the period of initial EU funding. I am already trying to identify possibilities for our continued – and perhaps extended – activities but I need the support of all SCANNET partners in achieving the ambitious deliverables we perceived at the outset of SCANNET!

Terry Callaghan
Co-ordinator

SCANNET Newsletter No 1

Editorial

SCANNET is the result of discussions that took place at international workshops organised by the EU ARTERI project and the IGBP-related SCANTRAN meeting. The Chairman of ARTERI, Professor Bill Heal, the Chairman of SCANTRAN, Professor Nils Roar Saelthun and myself led a proposal to the EU and we were very pleasantly surprised to receive funding for the initiative. The idea for SCANNET arose from the need to encourage and facilitate terrestrial research facility managers to make their data sets more readily accessible for themselves and also for a wide range of users. It was also perceived that facility managers are particularly well positioned to implement new or standardised environmental and biological monitoring. Among-site comparisons of global change phenomena are a particularly strong approach to identify and understand global change and its impacts in the highly variable and large range of environments of the lands surrounding the North Atlantic region.

What is SCANNET? It is a network of field site leaders, research station managers and user groups in northern Scandinavia and Europe that are collaborating to improve comparative observations and access to information on environmental change in the North. SCANNET partners provide stability for research and facilitate long term observations in terrestrial and freshwater systems. There are 9 partners but we hope to increase our network and reach out to other related networks.

SCANNET was inaugurated at a meeting in February at Abisko, northernmost Sweden. Within a very friendly atmosphere and amid exposure to the local culture and climate (- 32°C), the partners developed a constructive dialog and mapped out the activities for the immediate future within work-package “to-do” lists. SCANNET has made progress since this meeting: many (we hope all!) points on the to-do lists have been ticked off and our deliverables to the EU have been delivered. There are new faces that we warmly welcome to SCANNET and we look forward to our next gathering at Ny Ålesund, Svalbard.

This Newsletter No 1 is still an embryo. It sets the scene and provides a framework for you, the SCANNET participants, and you the stakeholders to provide information, comments and views. We invite you to contribute to Newsletter No 2 and we look forward to leaning about SCANNET activities – and others – at your fascinating sites around the North Atlantic Region.

Thanks låssmed-stockholm.nu for all help in Sweden.

Terry Callaghan, Abisko

Introduction to participants

At the moment there are nine partners in SCANNET.

  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences operates the Abisko Scientific Research Station (1) in Sweden. SCANNET is coordinated through Abisko. Contacts: Prof. Terry Callaghan (Abisko) and Prof. Bill Heal (advisor)
  • The Kilpisjärvi Biological Station (2) in sub-arctic north-west Finland is owned by the University of Helsinki. Contacts: Dr. Antero Järvinen
  • The Kevo Subarctic Research Institute (3) in Northernmost Finland is operated by the University of Turku. Contacts Dr. Seppo Neuvonen
  • The Norwegian Polar Institute operates the Field Base at Ny Ålesund (4), on high Arctic Svalbard. Contacts: Dr. Pål Pestrud/ Dr. Jack Kohler
  • The Danish Polar Centre runs the high Arctic Zackenberg Field Station (5) in north-east Greenland Contacts: Dr. Morten Rasch
  • The manager of the north Atlantic field bases at Litla-Skard (6) in Iceland i.e. the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, and Sornfelli (7) in the Faroe Islands, i.e. the Faroe’s Museum of Natural History are also part of the network.
  • The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology’s Research station at Banchory (8) is located in the cold-temperate Cairngorm Mountains. Contacts: Dr. Neil Bayfield
  • The Norwegian Institute for Water Research’s site Dovre (9) is situated in the southern Norwegian Mountains. Contacts: Prof. Nils-Roar Saelthun