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Institute of Marine Research opens office on Svalbard

The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the University Center in Svalbard (UNIS) will enter a formal agreement of cooperation when the IMR opens its new on Svalbard this week.

By having an office in Longyearbyen, the IMR hopes to strengthen its presence in Svalbard, says IMR research director Harald Loeng. Climate change means that the Arctic Ocean is an increasingly important element in the management of the ecosystems, according to him.

“The IMR is the largest polar research institute in Norway and it is important for us to have a close and fruitful cooperation with UNIS”, Loeng says in a press release.

UNIS students gain knowledge about the Arctic oceans within a number of fields.  “They study oceanography, marine biology and fish biology – all important fields for the IMR. With an office in Longyearbyen, it will be easier for the IMR scientists to contribute to the teaching at UNIS, in addition to the added benefits of research cooperation and data exchange. We expect that closer cooperation with UNIS will result in a better understanding of the polar marine ecosystem”, says Loeng.

UNIS Director Ole Arve Misund believes the IMR office will open up possibilities of developing new courses for his students:

“We see possibilities in Arctic biology, especially within ecosystem-based research, management and industry”.

The strengthened cooperation will ensure UNIS student participation in the IMR scientific cruises in Arctic waters.

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