The Nansen Legacy
The Nansen Legacy is a Norwegian multidisciplinary project (2018–2023) to understand and predict the natural and human influences on ice-covered Barents Sea ecosystem beyond the present ice edge. The Nansen Legacy will improve the scientific basis for future sustainable management of a region characterized by rapid and unknown change and unidentified potential for the harvesting of marine resources. The vision of the Nansen Legacyis to establish a novel and holistic Arctic research platform and provide an integrated scientific knowledge base required for the sustainable management of the Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Basin through the 21st century. The Nansen Legacy is led by UiT the Arctic University of Tromsø and Akvaplan-niva as well as 7 other Norwegian research institutes are partners to the project. Anita Evenset from Akvaplan-niva is on the board of the project.
Communication with user groups
With development and natural resource utilization on the rise in the Arctic, there is a need to bridge new ecosystem understanding with decision tools to achieve sound environmental risk assessment and management. Meeting this challenge requires continuous focus on creating partnerships with industries, governments, NGO's and other stakeholders to transfer research-based knowledge into environmental best practices. Akvaplan-niva by JoLynn Carroll is responsible for establishing and running a reference group to insure good dialogue with the potential users of the knowledge generated in the Nansen Legacy project.
The Nansen Legacy will investigate several components of benthic biology, including benthic community process and Akvaplan-niva by Paul Renaud will contribute to this work. Akvaplan-niva has considerable experience in studying Arctic faunal communities and food webs and is currently contributing to the development of an Ecopath with Ecosim model for the Barents Sea through the CoArc project. Akvaplan-niva has also considerable experience in studying carbon cycling, oxygen consumption, bioturbation, and nutrient cycling by epifauna, infaunal macrofauna, and infaunal meio-/micro- fauna. An ongoing collaboration between Akvaplan-niva and the University of Oslo on benthic foraminiferan work will be extended in the Nansen Legacy.
Collaboration with Russia
Akvaplan-niva has 30 years of experience of collaborating with Russian partners from science and government. Akvaplan-niva, by Director Salve Dahle, is presently partner to a Russian research consortium that has been awarded by Ministry of Education and Science of Russia. This 4 year project focuses on ecology, oceanography and contaminants of the Barents Sea. The project will undertake several cruises in 2018 and 2021. These cruises will cover Russian part of the Barents Sea, including waters of Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya. Akvaplan-niva will participate in these cruises, joining the general Russian scientific program, and carry out additional sampling that will complement the sampling that will be done in the Nansen Legacy (i.e. parallel sampling in Russian and Norwegian waters).