The Svalbox2020 project

The recently funded Svalbox2020 project focusses on utilizing digital tools to innovate teaching and outreach on Arctic Geology, with a secondary benefit also for circum-Arctic geological research. The project builds on previous UArctic-funded projects led by UNIS, in particular the functional and actively used Svalbox data portal. Svalbox2020 provides a major step forward that will allow interactive usage of the portal for education, outreach and research. The project is headed by a new Arctic Geology thematic network leadership team (lead Kim Senger/UNIS, co-lead Grace Shephard/CEED-Uni Oslo) and will over the two year project period from Sept 2020 to Aug 2021 provide significant activity within the thematic network. The project’s main goals are to:

  1. Provide innovative teaching and outreach resources on Arctic Geology, including online videos on research efforts (publications and projects), new data types on the Svalbox data portal and an interactive means of generating virtual field trips online.
  2. Make a prototype of a fully online-based course module on ˝Paleoclimate in Svalbard’s geological record˝ to be used in ongoing courses, in particular the annual AG222/AG209 full semester 30ECTS BSc course package on Svalbard geology and integrated geological methods.
  3. Develop the Arctic Geology UArctic thematic network with regular (primarily digital) networking events and exploiting synergies with other relevant Arctic organisations such as APECS and IASC. In addition, we envision increased use of the thematic network to initiate joint geoscientific research projects across the circum-Arctic.

The main project goals are summarized in Figure 1 below. We have target groups ranging from geoscience students based at UNIS, to the general public allured by Arctic exploration. All these will benefit from the project’s activities, which is possible to generate useful resources from the onset as the main foundation – the Svalbox platform – is already in place.

The Svalbox2020 project builds on an excellent team of both Norwegian (UNIS, University of Oslo, University of Bergen, University of Tromsø, NTNU, NORCE) and international (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Dartmouth College, University of St Petersburg, University of Napoli , Unisinos University).