Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 2, 2016


Norwegian researchers say Svalbard not cited enough
Norway is maintaining its position as the world’s fifth-largest polar nation and third largest in the Arctic, in terms of publishing volume, but is cited less than the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia and Denmark, according to The Research Council of Norway. “Although we are above the world average, we located behind the other large polar nations,” said Camilla Schreiner, the council’s department director, in a prepared statement. “We must look at what is causing this and what we can do to raise the citations.” One-third of Norway’s polar research is linked to Svalbard, a total of 303 full-time equivalent jobs.

UNIS names acting president, 17 apply for permanent post
Frank Nilsen, head of the Arctic geophysics department at The University Centre in Svalbard, has been named the acting director of the university. He is filling in for Ole Arve Misund, who resigned as of Feb. 1 to become director of the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research in Bergen. Seventeen applicants – including Nilsen – are being considered for the permanent post. Among the other local residents are Kim Holmén, international director of the Norwegian Polar Institute; and Hanne H. Christiansen, head of the Arctic geology department at UNIS. A new president is expected to be named this summer.

Last-minute deal continues flights to Svea, Ny-Ålesund
Store Norske and Kings Bay AS have reached an agreement with Lufttransport for the airline to continue providing flight to Ny-Ålesund and Svea through April 1, 2017. Store Norske stated late last year it was ending the agreement because it was too costly in the wake of massive downsizing. Kings Bay consequently stated it was also ending the agreement because the airline would be forced to raise its fares. But the companies reached an agreement after about a month of discussions, with Lufttransport stating it will enact some restructuring and cost-cutting measures.