Field Courses & Summer Schools

Arctic Frontiers Research Workshop (UoT)

Will provide Arctic-focussed training complementary to the more generic UDUR-led skills workshops. We anticipate that Fellows are likely to attend the Arctic Frontiers workshop towards the end of their projects in order to gain maximum benefit. This event is a research proposal-writing workshop for PhD students and Postdocs run parallel to the annual Arctic Frontiers Conference. The workshop is open for all students interested in the pan-Arctic region. This is an approved interdisciplinary PhD level course at the UoT, and consists of an intensive 5 days seminar including scientific as well as historical, cultural or social science lectures. The main objectives for the workshop are proposal writing skills and networking of young Pan-Arctic scientists. More specifically, the students will work in groups to prepare a project proposal for a (imaginary) research council, based on a given call. The “exam” will consist of a Powerpoint presentation of the proposals from each group, with feedback from a panel of senior scientists. The integration of culture and art with science is an important aspect of the Young Scientist Forum, and this is prominent also in the workshop.

Summer School – Svalex (UNIS, UoB, UoT, STATOIL ASA)

Svalex was initiated in 2001 and is a successful, multidisciplinary integration of students attending petroleum-related courses at the Norwegian Universities UoO, UoB, NTNU, UoT, UoS and UNIS and is sponsored by Statoil’s partnership agreements with these universities. Svalex focuses on Arctic geology, geophysics and petroleum technology, and provides three main arenas for learning: The UNIS campus in Longyearbyen, Svalbard; the cruise liner M/S Expedition, conveying the participants across Isfjorden and surrounding fjords of Svalbard; and the seismic vessel M/S Håkon Mosby, which will carry out seismic acquisition. Students, instructrs and guest speakers follow the annual course comprising lectures, group work, e-learning units, Svalbard geology flight simulation (Svalsim), practical fieldwork and training in HSE. A precourse (1 week) qualifies the students for the field course (2 weeks in the end of August); the whole course is finished by an oral exam. The students are grouped in multidisciplinary teams consisting of students with geology, geophysics and petroleum technology as background.

Impact: The students gain enhanced insight in their own and related research fields, learn new working methods and become trained in HSE issues. The cooperation between Statoil and universities with complementary expertise provides a unique setting to expose the students to activities at the intersection of education, research and industrial entreprise. Svalex won the prestigious “Uglepris” at UoB for 2010, given to a university course, which has shown high quality performance. Svalex is also nominated for NOKUT’s national price 2011 for excellent education (pending).

Summer school -Marine Geology and Geophysics Cruise (UoT)

This course consists of a short seminar and a research cruise (usually around 10 days) with the UoT RV Helmer Hanssen in the waters of the Barents Sea, Svalbard, the Fram Strait or Svalbard. Teaching methods will cover a stimulating mix of fieldwork, lectures, and tutorials, supported by computer-aided learning, and independent studies. Modern instruments for acquisition of acoustic data and sediment sampling will be demonstrated, including multibeam echo sounder; piston and multi core systems, and seismic equipment. Following discussions in the trainee school and specific preparation for specific topics, the students will have daily lectures on board, be supervised during the fieldwork and have continuous, daily discussions about the obtained results. Assessment method: Each student must give a presentation at the seminar and write a cruise report (10-20 pages), which will both be evaluated. The final grade (pass/fail) is based on the seminar (20%), participation in cruise (20%) and written report (60%).

Impact: the students will gain proficient in marine geology and geophysics. The students will present their results in a report at the end of the cruise or some time after.

Short Field course on the Quaternary Glaciation of North-East England and western North Sea (Durham)

The aim of this field trip is to introduce participants to the range of glacial sediments and landforms along the northeast coast of England and in the Pennines. The region boasts a superb glacial record and can be used to illustrate a wide range of issues, such as recognition of onshore and along-shore glacial flow, relative sea-level fluctuations, complex stratigraphical sequences, glaciotectonics, till classification, use of geophysical remote sensing for landform mapping and flow reconstruction, and provenance studies. The trip will be based around the largely Durham-authored ‘Field Guide to the Quaternary of North-East England’, ensuring that the participants will have clear and copious documentation of what they are seeing and debating.

Short field course on the Weichselian glaciation and its imprint along southwestern Norway (UoB)

This field excursion will be at Jæren on the southwest coast of Norway. This region represents a key area for studying a boarder zone between a marine based ice stream, i.e. the northward flowing Norwegian Channel Ice Stream, and a westward moving terrestrial based inland ice sheet. The field participants will be familiarized with geomorphological imprints, such as drumlinoids, Rogen moraines, eskers and melt water channels from these two ice regimes as well as Weichselian glaciation history, sea-level changes and marine paleoenvironments.

Short Field course on the Quaternary Glaciation of Western Ireland (UoU)

The aim of this field course is to explore the subglacial system and to examine the processes by which ice sheets deliver sediments to the continental margin via basal processes. The course will be based in Westport, County Mayo where an impressive concentration of subglacial bedforms converge offshore forming a spectacular drowned drumlin field in Clew Bay. This system is one of the best preserved records of offshore directed ice flow onto the continental shelf from Ireland and will be used to investigate a range of issues relating to subglacial processes and sediment transport. Participants will analyse this system using remote sensing, field mapping, sedimentary analysis and marine geophysical data to develop models of sediment flow from the terrestrial landscape onto the continental shelf. Published field guides of the Quaternary history of the region will be used to provide in-depth context to course participants.