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