A new research and education partnership between the University of Manitoba, Denmark’s Aarhus University, and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources brings together more than 200 of the world’s leading Arctic researchers.
This summer, David Barnard, University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor, met his counterparts from Denmark and Greenland to sign the Arctic Science Partnership (ASP) in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital.
“The Arctic is faced with enormous changes. Its climate is changing dramatically, while at the same time, interest in exploring for oil, gas and minerals in the Arctic regions is increasing,” Dr. David Barnard said. “To deal effectively with the new challenges these changes present, it is critical that we are at the forefront of research in these areas and are able to educate the public about the consequences.”
ASP brings together the scientific expertise, knowledge and infrastructures of these three countries, making a number of laboratories, research vessels, field equipment and field stations mutually available to the researchers, and providing exciting opportunities for employees and students to work across all three research institutions. The ASP will ensure synergy in research, education and dissemination of results to public, industry, policy makers and northerners.
The researchers’ work covers a wide range of topics, from health sciences to socio-economics, to environmental and climate related issues.
The University of Manitoba has committed to ASP through the work of its Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS) and the recently announced Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change.
In 2010, when the CERC funding was announced, The University of Manitoba transformed its sea ice research group into the world’s most comprehensive and innovative climate change institution: In addition to the new chair and the 17 researchers already involved in the sea ice research, the University invested in new laboratories, three new tenure track faculty positions, post-doctoral and research associate positions, graduate students and support staff, increasing the size of CEOS to more than 100 people.
The CERC Søren Rysgaard and CEOS director David Barber lead the ASP collaboration in Canada and are both are convinced that the ASP will quickly become recognized internationally as a preeminent force, attracting students and researchers from around the world who want to contribute to a large-scale, international effort at the highest scientific level.
“Through the recently established ASP, we will have an enormous, very valuable, logistical platform, which will offer our employees and student’s easy and low-cost access to icebreakers, research vessels and research stations in the Arctic area – something, which is usually not easily attainable,” says Søren Rysgaard.