Hola¡ Staying more than two weeks in Svalbard has been one of the best experiences of my life, in fact, I’m still dreaming of Longyearbyen.
The objectives I had for the course were, first, to improve my understanding of the ecology with a focus on functional traits, as I commented in my presentation, I am passionate about the Andean flora in a taxonomic approach and to understand the behavior of Andean plant communities (Paramo and puna) with a focus on traits obsesses me, therefore another of my objectives was to improve my skills in the measurement of functional traits of plants, to know much more, about the applied methodologies, the use of specialized tools, learn to analyze and interpret the data, to understand how plants respond to global changes such as climate change, global warming in relation to different environmental gradients such as altitude and nutrients and then predict the impact these changes have on ecosystems. I can say that I satisfactorily and successfully fulfilled my objectives, I am eager to return to my country and start my thesis project because I feel confident that I can do it.
The Course helped me to have more confidence in myself and in a certain way to move towards what I want, I really like to work in the field (even if I’m tired) and even more in Grasslands (I do not care if it is a polar ecosystem or tropical, I love feeling the outdoors on my face). Sharing with different colleagues from different countries gave me a better perspective of the world and of science, in a way it opened my mind and my eyes. Cultural immersion was priceless! I learned a lot from each of them, about different topics, tips on how to be a better and more productive researcher. Sharing this time with them was very inspiring.
Regarding the public perception of climate change in Svalbard, I had the impression that the people of Longyearbyen understood Climate Change better at least much more than in Peru, participating in the interview and seeing results from Peru and Longyearbyen, allowed me to know that Peruvian people have similar levels of consciousness.
Most people in Svalbard know very well the consequences of climate change, although the minority still confused with pollution, at least 90% of people interviewed are aware that the planet is warming. In addition, they agree that this is happening through Human activities.
The information gathered was interesting and relevant to get a quick overview of people from different cultures who know about climate change, I almost never spoke about climate change with people on the street, it made me think a lot, it is a duty to inform, transmit, correct all kinds of people from this problem. I think the survey was very long, most people did not understand the objective some questions and took them as repetitive, I suggest asking a few specific questions but they generate important information.