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!