After the rather lonely (albeit extremely interesting and fruitful) 10 days in Longyearbyen, it was quite a relief to be part of a group, and have others to share experiences with, an added benefit I didn’t realize I’d be so grateful for. Indeed, my original motivations for barging in on the field trip were more a mixture of logistical (finding a way to safely spend more than a couple of hours in my case study site of Pyramiden) and methodological (gaining some insights in the educational value of Svalbard) than social.
After the safety briefing (including a few hairy polar bear stories and the news that there was a mum and two cubs within the area we were headed to) and low down on how the transport and set up of camp would work (we had a LOT of stuff to get ashore in a limited time slot), combined with a very wet morning, spirits were somewhat dampened and nervous aboard the cramped tourist boat. However, along way the mist and rain lifted, course leaders were eagerly pointing out interesting features from the boat, everyone pitched in to cart things around and no one fell off the heavily loaded zodiacs. Avangostad, complete with 4 communal tents, 4 private abodes, kitchen tent and toilet suburb (only to be visited with armed escort), was raised pretty quickly.
There’s so much more I could say about this week, but perhaps I’ll leave some of the rest to other people… our one channel to the outside world was through a series of group blog posts (the English titled ones on this page), only some of which made it through the solar–powered satellite link, so there is more from me and the other students there, a post from Annika Nillson who joined us for some of the week, and one of the students (Tim Artman) has also made a great little video collage of the whole trip!
 Tomczyk, A., Ewertowski, M. (2010) ‘Changes Of Arctic Landscape Due To Human Impact, North Part of Billefjorden Area, Svalbard’, Quaestiones Geographicae, 29(1), 75–83.