Ongoing NORUS fieldwork activities...


September 2009

Two NORUS Master Students on field work in the High Arctic
Two NORUS Master Students recently participated on a research cruise in the Arctic, around Svalbard, with the research vessel R/V Jan Mayen. Both students, one from Cal Poly (US) and one from NTNU (Norway), participated in the cruise as part of their Master Thesis programme sampling biological material and studying ecological processes of the High Arctic.

Read about the students own experiences here.


Master Student Elen Belseth and supervision Prof. Geir Johnsen measuring photosynthetic activity on the Arctic kelp Laminaria solidungula using a variable fluorescence (PAM) technique, Svalbard August 2009 (photo by Anniken Lydon).














August 2009


The summer 2009 NORUS glider deployment in Isfjorden, Svalbard, turned out successfully!


Two gliders (Slocum type from Webb Research) were deployed, in turn, the “RU07” Rutgers University glider and the “Freyja” owned by Norwegian Institute of Marine Research. The gliders were handled and deployed by an international team of NORUS students and staff at UNIS in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, and operated from the Rutgers COOL operation center in New Jersey.


The collected data of oceanographic and environmental variables (e.g. temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, optical backscatter) is available at the Rutgers COOL site. The data is being possessed in a range of projects, e.g. in several MSc. education programs at the NORUS institutions and served as an important data source for the Rutgers Summer Institute 2009 (Rutgers Research Internships in Ocean Sciences (RIOS). Hence, is NORUS succeeding in providing an international team of students and staff access to modern ocean observatory data from the Arctic pushing forward the training of the next generation on how to use new technologies, how to interpret environmental data and how to participate in the science mission of larger team projects.
To date NORUS activities have initiated and made possible six successful ‘short-ranged’ (<100km) AUV deployments and three ‘long-ranged’ (>100km) gliders deployments in the fjord systems of Svalbard, covering more than 620km of underwater tracks.
All of the deployments have been carried out with the scope of addressing both the core scientific questions of NORUS and to educate NORUS students and scientists how to apply these state-of-the-art technologies towards addressing relevant science questions.


Environmental data from the glider deployment from 30.06.09 to 16.07.09 in Isfjorden, Svalbard, with the Rutgers glider RU07. The glider traversed the distance of the fjord twice (upper figure) during the two week deployment and provided highly resolved vertical slices along the fjord of temperature (middle figure) and Chlorophyll a (lower figure), among other parameters (see the data source). On this mission, the glider traveled 268 km, obtaining 1835 individual casts while being monitored and tasked from shore, in this case Rutgers University.

Data source, Rutgers University



June 30th 2009


The first Rutgers Glider has been deployed in the Isfjorden fjord on Svalbard, June 30th 2009!


After some days with testing and technical adjustments the first Rutgers Glider (RU07) has now been deployed in the Isfjorden fjord, Svalbard, as a part of the NORUS programme. On June 30th 2009.


The RU07 data will serve to improve our understanding of the physical and biological oceanography and ecology in the Arctic and will, in addition, be integrated in the research-based education on workshops and courses taught within NORUS and at the partner institutions.


The Rutgers RU07 glider deployed in the Isfjorden fjord, Svalbard, June 2009. Photo by G. Johnsen.


The glider is programmed to fly transects lengthwise and crosswise in Isfjorden before heading out of the fjord system to fly transects across the Atlantic-water influenced West-Spitsbergen Current (WSC) on the West coast of Svalbard.


The glider mission is

1) to address the net community production of the water masses in and outside of Isfjorden (i.e. West Spitsbergen Current),

2) to detect and monitor small-scale patterns in hydrography and plankton community structure in search for important picoplankton species and communities to address their importance for the arctic ecosystem, and

3) to gain knowledge of the oceanography of the foraging areas of the little auk (Alle alle).


The glider is equipped with temperature and salinity sensors as well as sensors for chlorophyll, cDOM, oxygen and optical backscatter. Visit the Rutgers University AUV fleet deployment site for online data and status of the glider RU07




Check out...


The data from the NORUS glider deployment in Isfjorden, Svalbard, July 2009, e.g. Chorophyll a concentration, cDOM, temperature, salinity and optical backscatter, at the Rutgers COOL site!


The Rutgers University AUV fleet home site.


The Rutgers COOL room


The Rutgers Operation Center





GEarth files


Download the Rutgers fleet-updater (.kml) and active glider tracks (source: Rutgers)


website by
Kasper Hancke, updated October 2009

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