A team of Arctic researchers from Memorial University and the C-CORE Centre for Arctic Resource Development (CARD) have completed an exciting collaborative field program with the University Centre of Svalbard (UNIS) in the Barents Sea, which lies in the high Arctic, north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
Based out of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the program was conducted April 22-29 by an international team of researchers and students from Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Funded through the Research & Development Corporations (RDC) ArcticTECH Program, the Canadian team included Dr. Rocky Taylor, CARD Chair in Ice Mechanics at Memorial Universitys Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; CARD researchers Drs. Eleanor Bailey and Ian Turnbull; and two Memorial graduate students, Doug Smith and Regina Sopper.
Participation in a field program of this scope is a rare opportunity.
It was a great learning experience for students and researchers alike, said Dr. Taylor, team leader. We performed on-ice field tests and completed an intensive data collection campaign in an environment that is rarely visited by researchers.
The data is being used to identify and document different types of ice features and to validate new techniques for interpreting satellite imagery for the purpose of ice environment characterization, as well as to assess the physical and mechanical properties of sea ice and ice ridges.
Collecting and analyzing high-quality field data is a key element of CARDs five-year research plan, said Dr. David Murrin, executive director, CARD, Such data will help improve understanding of the ice conditions in the Arctic and offshore Newfoundland and Labrador and aid the development of new models and technology to support the development of Northern oil and gas resources. This field programs on-ice data collection campaign will support a number of current and new research projects.
It also gave us an opportunity to train both researchers and students in field data collection techniques, helping advance another important CARD goal: to build new capacity among the next generation of Arctic experts.
This unique opportunity for Memorial researchers supports our commitment to increasing Arctic R&D capacity, said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer, RDC. This type of learning opportunity is necessary for the development of highly qualified personnel and world-class expertise in an area of great importance to the province.
The Memorial/CARD participation in the Barents Sea field program was conceived in January 2014, when the program leader Dr. Aleksey Marchenko was hosted as a visiting researcher at CARD. Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research), Memorial University, sees the value for Memorials research community.
CARDs Visiting Researcher Program is fostering increased international collaboration between CARD, Memorial and other Northern universities, he said. We expect Memorials participation in the Barents Sea program to be the first of many opportunities for exchange, research and training with Arctic research projects and organizations around the world.
CARD, the Centre for Arctic Resource Development, is an industry-driven medium- to long-term research and development initiative that brings together industry, academic and technology partners focused on improving Canadas capacity and capability to support safe, responsible, cost-effective and sustainable hydrocarbon development in Arctic and other ice and iceberg prone regions. Hosted by C-CORE, CARD has an additional mandate to develop the next generation of highly qualified personnel required to advance Arctic development. The centre was founded with support from the Hibernia and Terra Nova projects, as well as the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
About the Research & Development Corporation
The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labradors research and development performance. RDC works with research and development stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments to make strategic investments in highly qualified people, innovative R&D infrastructure and research. For more information about RDC, go to www.rdc.org
About Memorial University
Memorial University of Newfoundland, positioned on the edge of the North Atlantic, is the home of 21st-century explorers keen to develop their innate creativity and ingenuity. On four campuses and via distance technology, about 19,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff from more than 90 countries learn, teach, research, create and engage. The Memorial University experience goes beyond pure academics and invites a discovery of self, community and place. At our university, we celebrate our unique identity through the stories of our people the work of our scholars and educators, the ingenuity of our students, the achievements of our alumni and the impact we collectively make in our province, our country and our world. Memorial is the natural place where people and ideas become.