Programme for the Polar Night Week 2021

This year's Polar Night Week will be held online and all the sessions will be streamed through zoom. Registration is now closed.

The programme is still subject to change and more details will be published periodically.

Monday, 11 January

09:00 - 10:30 Welcome and SESS report 2020 release

Welcome address (SIOS Director Heikki Lihavainen)

Introduction to the SESS report (Marta Moreno-Ibáñez, Editorial Board, SESS report 2020)

Presentation of the State of Environmental Science in Svalbard report 2020 (Authors of the SESS report)

Reflections and the way forward (Kim Holmén, Chair of the SIOS Board of Directors)

This session will be lived streamed and open to all. For details of the live stream, see the event on Facebook.

11:00 - 12:30 Workshop: The SESS report as tool for communication and facilitator for Earth System research

The intention with the SESS report is two-fold

  • Convey knowledge about the state of environmental science in Svalbard to scientists, stakeholders and the public;
  • Use the report as main driving force for the science-based development of the observing system by putting the recommendations by the authors into action.


During the workshop we will discuss if the SESS report in its current format works as intended, how we can improve its impact, and how we can turn recommendations effectively into action.



Tuesday, 12 January

09:00 - 09:30 What happened since last time? An update from SIOS-KC to the SIOS community

The staff of SIOS-KC will give an update of their work and general SIOS activities in 2020.

09:30 - 11:45 Workshop with panel discussions: SIOS activities and services

SIOS-KC will present an overview of the services and activities currently provided to the SIOS community and how these services are used. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the future of SIOS services.

12:00 - 12:30 Poster Session: Projects from SIOS partners

In this virtual poster session SIOS partners will present some of their ongoing projects. Posters are presented in Padlet, where you may view and comment on the posters:

Wednesday, 13 January

09:00 - 09:40 Poster session: Projects from the SIOS Research Infrastructure Access Programme

Beneficiaries of the SIOS Research Infrastructure Access Programme will introduce their projects with a brief talk about their poster. Posters are presented in Padlet, where you may view and comment on the posters:


More detailed talks about selected access projects will be given during the 7th webinar of our webinar series 'An anchor point to a drifiting world!' in February 2021.

09:40 - 12:10 Workshop: SIOS responses to COVID-19 and the new normal - adapting our strategy for the future

This workshop will facilitate discussion on:

  • Effects of the pandemic on research activities in Svalbard
  • Opportunities created by pandemic 
  • Designing a strategy for the future



Help us to prepare for this session by answering our survey about how Covid-19 has affected your work in 2020.

We may consider writing a collaborative manuscript as an outcome of this workshop.

12:10 - 12:30 Virtual mingling

We will not let a virus keep us from getting to know each other better!

12:30 - 13:30 Virtual Conference Lunch

In order to compensate (somewhat) for the lack of a conference dinner we will have a virtual lunch together. The first 70 registered participants have (hopefully) received a little 'tool box' to get into the right Svalbard mood. What will you have for lunch today?

And as special treat, we plan to take you on a virtual excursion through the Polar Night - entirely without the need of gloves and woolen underwear.

Thursday, 14 January

09:00 - 10:00 Open forum: Coordination of logistics

Do you want to know more about the logistical services available to SIOS members? Would you like to offer a service to other SIOS members? Or do you want to discuss opportunities for sharing field logistics in 2021?

This open forum is the place to discuss all things logistics in relation to fieldwork in Svalbard. Meet and discuss your challenges with the SIOS community, and help us to find better solutions by working together! 

10:30 - 12:00 The SIOS mission in action!

As a part of the renewing of the SIOS strategy process, we wold like to explore with you what the SIOS mission means/implies for our partners. In this session we will have a closer look at the SIOS vision, the SIOS mission and the future ahead.

12:00 - 12:30 Demonstration: SIOS data access portal

We will demonstrate how to use the SIOS data access portal and ask for feedback on how to improve its functionality and user friendliness.


Friday, 15 January

09:30 - 10:00 SIOS Virtual Hangout - special edition

Starting the morning/afternoon with a cup of coffee and virtual tours to SIOS Research Infrastructure.

Read more about our weekly hangout here

10:00 - 12:00 Workshop: SIOS Core Data

The workshop aims to familiarise the community with the idea of SIOS core data (SCD) and present the results of work from previous workshops on the definition of SCD and measurement protocols. A list of variables proposed as the new SCD will be presented.

The workshop will end with a discussion panel.

12:00 - 12:30 Wrap-up

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