SIOS is an observer in Svalbard Science Forum and attends the biannual forum meetings. The last meeting took place aboard the vessel Polarsyssel, which travelled to Hornsund so that we could visit the Stanisław Siedlecki Polish Polar Station. SIOS was represented by the director Heikki Lihavainen, access and logistics officer Inger Jennings, the chair of the SIOS Board of Directors (BoD) Kim Holmén, and BoD members Harald Ellingsen and Piotr Glowacki.
After a productive start to the forum meeting we travelled across the partially ice covered fjord to the shore at Baranowskiodden. From there we were transported by snow mobile to the Polish Station, where we received a very warm welcome from the overwintering crew. After a presentation from Teresa Biernacka and Piotr Zagórski we were served refreshments and given a tour of the station. On the second day we were taken on a tour of the area surrounding the station, over Hansbreen, Tuvabreen and Werenskioldbreen before returning to the station along the shore. Afterwards we were served a delicious three course lunch. The crew were very hospitable and knowledgeable about the history of the station and the research that is carried out.
Image: Heikki Lihavainen and Inger Jennings, in white-out conditions on Werenskioldbreen (Photo. Inger Jennings)
The station itself is in an excellent location for studies of geology, glaciology, oceanography and ecology. It has a meteorological station that has been part of the Norwegian network since 1978. Other long-term monitoring programmes include geomagnetism, seismology, atmospheric physics, ionosphere research, glaciology, hydrochemistry and oceanography. The station has guest accommodation for up to 24 visitors and is equipped with workshops, geophysical containers and labs for chemistry, biology, geomagnetism and marine research.
For more information about Svalbard Science Forum visit their home page.