The field course
The field course takes place in the most northerly mainland field station in Europe. At the intersection of the northern boreal forest and the arctic tundra, this habitat is threatened by the rapidly changing climate.
Location and field station
The field course takes place in Kevo Subarctic Research Station, which is located in Utsjoki at the northernmost tip of Finland (69°45’ N, 27°01’ E), only about hundred kilometres from the coast of the Arctic Ocean and right next to the Kevo Strict Nature Reserve (712 km2). The station, which was founded in 1958 consists of several buildings, including a weather station of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, laboratories, a workshop, a lecture hall and accommodation buildings.
Kevo station gives access to research on the subarctic with wide range of ecosystems from pine stands at low altitudes to low alpine tundra, including one of Europe’s top salmon rivers. Manipulative experiments addressing cause-effect relationships of anthropogenic environmental changes and long-term environmental monitoring at Kevo support each other in a unique way.
Long-term field experiments studying the effects of aerial pollutants as well as the impacts of reindeer grazing on ecosystems are available for research. The station has got treeline arboretums with different origins of circumpolar treeline species. Kevo gives access to long term monitoring data sets: e.g. population dynamics on moths, voles, birds, plant phenology, pollen. There is up to 50 year old biogeographical mapping data. There is also a nearby reindeer research station and a fisheries research station.
The field trip schedule
Plans for the 2019 field trip are ongoing, but will likely include visits to different habitats (palsa mires, birch/boreal forest, tundra vegetation) and to important sites where ecological research and conservation is being carried out, including the reindeer research station and the River Teno Research station. We will also hopefully include a day trip to the Varangan penisular, which is known for its spectacular arctic bird life. As the field trip approaches, more detail will be added here.
What to bring
The field trip is in a northern climate during mid-summer. As such it is likely to be cool, with temperatures likely to be 15-25 degrees Celsius. At these latitudes, there is 24 hours daylight and it has about 40% chance of rain. The terrain is variable, but sturdy walking boots are necessary. Ahead of the 2019 field trip, a full equipment list will be placed here.