NEWS: Launching a new era of Norwegian polar research.


Leading the way for a new era of Norwegian polar research, Kronprins Haakon arrived at the first Norwegian harbour, Bergen, the 30th of December 2017. As the Norwegian Polar Institute, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) and Havforskningsinstituttet reports, the ship was displayed at the harbour today.

Kronprins Haakon is built to perform research under demanding ice conditions. It can go further north and further south compared to other Norwegian research vessels. Kronprins Haakon is equipped with state-of-the-art advanced equipment that will help us make more complex studies. The boat is big and will withstand all possible weather conditions, and we are planning research cruises to both the Arctic and Antarctica,” says the principal of UiT, Anne Husebekk.

This icebreaker will cover both existing and new needs for monitoring and data collection in both ice and open waters. With Kronprins Haakon, Norway will have a fleet of research vessels that make it possible to carry out vital but logistically challenging fieldwork: simultaneous collection of data related to climate and ecosystems throughout the Barents Sea – in both summer and winter. This research vessel owned by the Norwegian Polar Institute and operated by the Institute of Marine Research, will have UiT Norway’s Arctic University as the largest user.

Kronprins Haakon will be the largest and most advanced platform that the Nansen Legacy will operate from.

The vessel is a floating laboratory and a research platform with the best technological equipment and an important addition to the existing fleet of research vessels. It will have capacity of 55 people onboard. Thus, it will contribute largely to the 370 days of ship time planned throughout the duration of the Nansen Legacy project.

Kronprins Haakon
Kronprins Haakon arriving at the first Norwegian harbour, Bergen (Photo: Kjartan Mæstad)

The bow hanger accommodates two helicopters and is equipped with complex instrumentation for exploration of marine ecology, morphology and geology of the seabed. The icebreaker, designed by Rolls-Royce, is additionally able to go through an ice thickness of one meter.

“With Kronprins Haakon we are now launching a new era of Norwegian polar research. As the owner of Kronprins Haakon we are proud to be able to manage our nation’s research infrastructure. The new research vessel is a long-awaited asset – and the start of a new era for Norwegian polar research,” says the director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Ole Arve Misund.

For more information about Kronprins Haakon explore Havforskningsinstituttets page HERE or follow the stern wave of Fram HERE.


21.12.17 Do you want to become a part of the Nansen Legacy group?

A three-year PhD fellowship position in fish genomics/population genomics is available at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), in collaboration with UiT the Arctic University of Norway.

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Here you have the chance to work interdisciplinary within the assigned sub-project “Climate change and fisheries: Spatial, environmental variables and genomics” – with the overarching goal to implement and use genomic data into population dynamic models. Research questions will focus on how adaptation to the environment shapes the spatiotemporal dispersal and genetic connectivity of key ecosystem fish species in the northern Barents Sea, i.e. the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), the polar cod (Boreogadus saida) and the capelin (Mallotus villosus).

Want to learn more click HERE.


13.12.17 Green light for the Nansen Legacy

Polar cod
Polar cod between the ice (Photo: Peter Leopold).

The Norwegian Research Council has approved the research application of the Nansen Legacy. After six years of planning, the Nansen Legacy is now ready to take Arctic marine research a long way further in understanding how climate and ecosystems interact in the northern Barents Sea.

We have worked hard for this, and we succeed thanks to a great national team effort from all partner institutions. We will give Norway a good knowledge base and good tools for future management, strengthen cooperation within polar research, and educate a new generation of polar researchers.

-says project manager and professor at UiT Norway’s Arctic University, Marit Reigstad.

This national research project with a total budget of almost NOK 800 million will map the northern Barents Sea. Norway has a great need for knowledge about these areas as the sea ice melts and areas become available. The first research cruise will begin the 19th of  July 2018 with the new research vessel Kronprins Haakon.


11.12.17 The first Nansen Legacy research cruise with Kronprins Haakon is set

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(Illustration: Norsk Polarinstitut)

The first research cruise of the Nansen Legacy with the new Kronprins Haakon is scheduled for departure from Longyearbyen on July 19th. The focus of this trip will be mapping of the water masses and water chemistry along the climate gradient from the central Barents Sea and into the Arctic Ocean, as well as a survey of the seabed to prepare biology and geology investigations on subsequent expeditions. In addition, rigs will be installed with sensors that will provide observations throughout the year.


09.12.17 Arctic Frontiers 2018

The Nansen Legacy is responsible for one of the scientific sessions on the Arctic Frontiers 2018 – The New Arctic in the Global Context – together with several other major new international research initiatives.

Sebastian Gerland is a member of the organisational committee, and Bodil Bluhm will be session chair and leading the discussion of the rapid changes taking place in the Arctic due to global climate change. Thus, how to better understand polar climate and ecosystem processes; how to understand and forecast weather and environmental changes in the Arctic; how these affect global ocean and atmospheric circulation, ecosystems, and what are future societal impacts and requirements both in the Arctic and mid-latitudes.