Arctic expedition Greenland Science

Expedition to the Arctic wilderness

Being a biologist can be a very useful thing. For example, your supervisor can come to your office and ask if you want to go on an Arctic expedition. If you are smart and crazy enough, it will take about two seconds until you say yes and start to smile as if you had a mental disease. At least, that’s the short version of how I’ve got on the Swedish icebreaker Oden aiming for the northernmost part of Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

The research crew on Oden was an amazing blend of scientists, encompassing the fields of oceanography, seismics, glaciology, meteorology and biology. Compared to the guys coring the ice shelf with equipment weighing 15 tons and requiring 20 helicopter flights to be transported to the field, our equipment was very simple and consisted of zip-lock bags, tubes and envelopes. Our task was to simply collect any kind of data on the biodiversity of the Arctic ecosystem around the Petermann Glacier. In many aspects it didn’t differ from the way that biologists used to collect data centuries ago. Standing on board of Oden, heading for the poorly known areas in the far north, I was wondering if Darwin felt similarly on his journey to Galapagos.

The expedition to the Arctic Greenland and Canada was a great collection of experiences and every single day was filled with exciting adventures. Later on, I will share my story piece by piece, but now I’ll at least give you a short glimpse of what an unbelievably perfect trip I had.

A sightseeing flight over the glacier


A bike trip to the glacier


Travelling by the US Air Force aircraft Hercules


Life on board of the icebreaker Oden


Neverending, breathtaking views


Flying by a helicopter


Camping in the true wilderness


Exploring the Arctic wildlife




  • Reply Eshim

    Wow! The perks of being a biologist seem to be incredible!

    September 7, 2015 at 19:24
  • Reply Andreas Muenchow

    Wonderful summary of an amazing 5 weeks in the field. It was a pleasure to be sharing some of the time with you. What is missing, I feel, is the lack of sleep and the high tension to make things work amidst elements of human drama, foibles, and vanities that always come in extreme environments that were allowed to touch.

    September 10, 2015 at 19:12
    • Reply Patricia

      Thank you, Andreas! It was a pleasure for me too. I’ll definitely include the less perfect moments of the trip in the other posts that I’ll hopefully finish soon. I agree that it’s part of the picture.

      September 13, 2015 at 12:50

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