PFTC Svalbard 2018 part 2

Some computer work pre-sampling

My goals for the Svalbard trip was mostly linked to my master’s degree and the research I am doing there, but also to networking with other scientists. For my master’s work I did pick up a few tricks that I will be implementing into my master’s work. One example is how different the datasheets were between my work and the work we did at Svalbard even though I am doing almost the exact same thing in my work. There were some columns added that serves as an additional safety net for the data that was collected, for instance if the data was corrupted or lost in some way. For the second part of my goals I would say I could have been more active myself and perhaps more actively seek other people’s opinions and share ideas this way but then again everyone seemed super busy and we mostly connected with people in our groups and my group consisted mostly of people I already knew from before.

One thing I learned is that I do prefer the heathlands I work in in my master’s over the Arctic. The Arctic was a very pretty place to visit but looked barren and cold. However, the never-ending threat of polar bears is quite exiting.

Most people both locals and tourist mostly accepted that climate change is happening, and that people have a large impact on it. It was interesting to see how the focus on plastic and waste treatment has caused there to be a misconception that it is strongly linked to the climate change we’re seeing. The production of there waste materials can of course be part of it but still nowhere near the major contributors. Another point that was brought up at one point was that very few had mentioned anything about influencing politicians to act more strongly to reduce the predicted climate change severity. This could perhaps be linked to the misconception of waste causing climate change.

I absolutely hate this type of on the street seeking people surveying but luckily wee had people that took responsibility and got the job done. I was sceptical of the value of this survey before we started but seeing the results has made me change my mind and now I think it really has some value. Particularly the discovery of the waste/climate change misconception as mentioned above was enlightening. I don’t know if this is a recent or new discovery, but it certainly was new to me! For the future the type of survey should be more tailored to the people it is supposed to be surveying. Some people have more culture to talk with strangers at any time on the street and can even seek people surveying which can cause some biases I suppose.

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