University Centre in Svalbard

The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is the world’s northernmost institution for higher education and research, located in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen at 78°N. UNIS is an integral part of the Norwegian university system with a mission to provide research-based and field-oriented education and research experience in the Arctic geology, geophysics, biology and technology for the Norwegian and international students.

The department of Arctic Geology comprises 8 associate / full professors, 7 adjunct professors, 5 PostDocs, 6 PhD students and 12 MSc students who conduct research in marine geology and geophysics, petroleum geology and basin studies, sedimentology, Quaternary geology, glaciology and cryosphere studies. Our staff is participating in national and international research and educational programs, such as the Nordic Centres of Excellence on Stability and Variation of Arctic Land Ice (SVALI), Norwegian Research School in Climate Dynamics (ResClim), Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research (CIPR), Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research: Subsurface CO2 storage – Critical Elements and Superior Strategy (SUCCESS) and the ConocoPhillips Arctic Research Program, to name a few. The department has close collaboration with national and international geological research and mapping agencies and hydrocarbon companies that support our research and provide access to industrial data.

The research in the department focuses on Svalbard, its fjords and adjacent continental margins that together offer an excellent opportunity to study a wide range of processes, structures, landforms and sediments related to the development of Svalbard and the Barents Sea, and their palaeo-environmental and climate evolution. A particular advantage for research on glaciers and glacigenic continental margin sedimentation is the geographical location of UNIS in the high Arctic. This makes UNIS an international hub for researchers and students, and facilitates field investigations throughout the year. Integration of field-based and theoretical research in marine geological, oceanographic and cryosphere studies focussing on the reconstruction of the Quaternary ice sheets, glaciological and sedimentological processes at the glacier margins, and the Quaternary and modern environmental change in the Arctic provides an open research environment involving staff and students of all levels at the department.