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Expedition Lapland for Dutch secondary school children

The Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam annually organizes a final year project report contest for secondary school children to get the school youth interested in arctic ecology, specifically in global change impacts at high latitudes.

The prize winners (2 in total) win a one-week trip to Lapland. They join in with excursions and ongoing climate change research in Abisko, N Sweden and adjacent Norway. They participate in an expedition team with Vrije Universiteit teachers Dr. Hans Cornelissen and Dr. Matty Berg who both conduct IPY research in the area.

The days in Abisko include

  1. a brief but genuine participation in actual current research on global warming impacts on peatlands, centred on our long-term climate manipulation experiment;
  2. visits to other global change manipulation experiments in the vicinity;
  3. excursion up Mount Sloahtta, with altitudinal shifts in vegetation composition and fauna illustrative of potential climate warming impacts and
  4. a 3-day trip from Abisko westward into adjacent Norway, as far as the island of Andoeya, to follow a natural climatic gradient from continental to maritime, which will also illustrate aspects of climate change. Marine birds and mammals, and their link to climate, are also an important aspect of the Norway component of the trip.

In the past two years, the participants published enthusiastic reports and photos on the VU Amsterdam website (follow link from www.reisnaarlapland.nl ) and there has been much positive response from school children and teachers on this. With support of IPY this annual contest will be continued in June 2007 and June 2008. The next Lapland-trip will take place in July 2007.

More information and contact: see the IPY NL website

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