Dark Ecology Curated Walks

Thursday 9 June

13:30 - 17:00

NIBIO Svanhovd

The five guided walks on Thursday – occasionally using other means of transportation to reach more remote areas – explore different aspects of the Pasvik Valley: the pollution, the river, the brown bears, the archaeology, and the insects. There are a maximum number of participants for most walks, which are in principle only open to participants of the Journey. The Curated Walks can only be attended by Dark Ecology participants. Tour 1 Exploring Pollution Guide: Tore Flatlandsmo Berglen This tour first visits Height 96, a watchtower 5 kilometres south of Svanvik, which offers a good view of the Nikel smelter and the city of Nikel. We will discuss the history of Nikel and how the emissions and dispersion of SO2 and heavy metals from the smelter affect the air quality in the city and the environment. Afterwards the tour visits the area where scientists conduct the fieldwork to detect and measure both local (e.g., heavy metals) and long-range pollution (e.g., mercury).   Tore Flatlandsmo Berglen (NO) is senior scientist at NILU – the Norwegian Institute for Air Research – and is project leader of the monitoring program in the Russian–Norwegian border areas where the aim is to quantify pollution from the nickel smelters in Northwest Russia. He has a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry from the University of Oslo (2006). Tour 2 Pasvik River Tour I – Where Politics and Nature Collide Guide: Julia Schregel The tour takes participants to the shores of the Pasvik River, to explore its fascinating history as a border and how its special status affects its wellbeing and that of its inhabitants. The Pasvik River is not only a stream of water, but also one of the most surveilled borders in the world. It is the frontier of the Schengen area and connects three countries that each have different takes on environmental protection and the use of natural resources. What does that mean for the river? Who is really responsible for its protection? How can we achieve a joint effort to secure a living stream? These questions and more will be discussed around a campfire on the riverbank. Julia Schregel (DE) has a PhD in population genetics. Her work is strongly related to species conservation and management. Tour 3 Pasvik River Tour II – The Power Perspective Guides: Tor Beddari & Frode Berg The tour takes participants to Skogfoss to explore the Pasvik River with regard to military and electric power in the area. The Pasvik River is a stream of water with seven hydroelectric power stations (two on the Norwegian and five on the Russian side). The group will visit the power station Pasvik Kraft in Skogfoss, which supplies big parts of Finnmark with electric power. The river that sources the plant also forms the Norwegian-Russian border, a Schengen frontier. The former border commissioner will share insights into the river through the history of territory and surveillance. Please note: This group will depart from Svanhovd at 13:00. Tor Beddari (NO) is the director of the Pasvik Kraft station at Skogfoss. Frode Berg (NO) is a former border inspector, and is still involved in the Border Commissariat. Tour 4 Brown Bear Tour Guide: Siv Grethe Aarnes A guided walk to a bear den, where participants hear about the research into the brown bears in the area and how different samples can be used for bear identification and bear management. On this trip, you can collect scat samples that you can take back to the research lab for identification. Siv Grethe Aarnes (NO) has worked at the genetic laboratory at Svanhovd for 10 years, and has extensive experience in genetics and bear management. Tour 5 Prehistoric & Dark Heritage Guide: Bjørnar Olsen This fieldtrip will explore archaeological sites in the beautiful upper part of the Pasvik Valley. The trip includes visits to recently excavated twelfth-century Sami sites, as well as to a vestige of the Valley’s dark heritage: a WW2 prisoner-of-war camp in the wilderness not far from Vaggetem. The Sami sites are located close to the starting point, but the POW camp is a 20 to 30-minute walk from the main road, so comfortable, sturdy footwear is recommended. Svend Randa (NO) is from the Pasvik Valley, and has lived at Vaggatem since 1964. He has a great interest in local history and has spent a lot of time in the forest, working as logger among others. Tour 6 Insects and Extremes Guide: Snorre B. Hagen Insects play a vital role in the ecosystem. In the north – almost in the Arctic zone – the climate is characterised by wide temperature fluctuations with very cold, dark winters and warm summers with midnight sun. How do insects survive in these conditions, and who are their foes?   Snorre B. Hagen (NO) is a researcher and ecologist, and has been working at Svanhovd for 6 years.  

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