FACE-IT Kick-off Meeting

Four days full of information and getting to know new colleagues! The FACE-IT kick-off meeting took place from 23 to 26 November 2020.

Day 1: Executive Board Meeting

First get-together of the FACE-IT kick-off meetings. The Executive Board and the International Scientific Advisory Board introduced themselves to each other.

The Executive Board of FACE-IT consists of six scientists:

  • Kai Bischof (University of Bremen, Germany)
  • Grete K. Hovelsrud (Nordland Research Institute, Bodø, Norway)
  • Lill Rastad Björst (Aalborg University, Denmark)
  • Geir Wing Gabrielsen (Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway)
  • Jean-Pierre Gattuso (Sorbonne Université, Villefranche sur Mer, France)
  • Pedro Duarte (Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway)

The whole project will get helpful advice by four widely recognized scientists which form the International Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Karina von Schuckmann (Mercator Ocean International, Ramonville Saint-Agne, France)
  • Carina Keskitalo (Umeå University, Sweden)
  • Katrin Iken (University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States)
  • Michel Gosselin (UQAR – Université du Québec à Rimouski, Canada)

Day 2: Introductions and Plenaries

The second day of the FACE-IT kick-off meeting started with a short introduction to the project by Prof Kai Bischof and some welcome words by the Vice President Research of the Universität Bremen, Prof Jutta Günther.

Kai Bischof welcomed the consortium members virtually in Bremen…
…reflected briefly on the beginning of the project ideas…
…and explained the structure of FACE-IT.
Vice President Research of the University of Bremen, Prof Jutta Günther during her welcome address.

Alberto Zocchi from the EU Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) provided us with extremely helpful information on the policy context and the implementation aspects of EU-funded projects like the FACE-IT project.

The EU Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises EASME…
and the project adviser Alberto Zocchi are responsible for FACE-IT from the EU-side.

All EU-funded polar projects are organized and working together in the EU Polar Cluster, which was introduced to the FACE-IT project consortium by David Velazquez.

The EU Polar Cluster is the umbrella for all EU funded polar projects…
…and was introduced by David Velazquez.

One important aspect of the FACE-IT will be the proper handling and storing of huge amounts of data. We will be supported by the data repository PANGAEA. Janine Felden provided an introduction to the platform and its broad spectrum of possibilities.

PANGAEA is a data repository which…
…cooperates with FACE-IT. It was introduced by Janine Felden.

After these introductions, the single work packages of the FACE-IT project were presented by leading scientists of the work package. The project will be covering so many aspects of Arctic research, it took several hours to introduce all work packages to the whole group.

WP1 was presented by Robert Schlegel (Sorbonne Université, Villefranche sur Mer, France): “Identify key drivers and data management”
WP 2 is called “Biodiversity changes”, is led and was presented by Sebastién Descamps from the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway
Lars Chresten Lund-Hansen (Aarhus University, Denmark) introduced the consortium to WP3: “Ecosystem function changes”
The important field of “Food provision and livelihoods” (WP4) was presented by Lill Rastad Bjørst (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Work package 5 carries the name “Nature-based tourism” and is led by Halvor Dannevig from the Western Norway Research Institute, Sogndal, Norway
All results of WP 1 to 5 ultimately feed into WP6 “Transdisciplinary synthesis”, which was introduced by Grete K. Hovelsrud from the Nordland Research Institute, Bodø, Norway
“Policy dialogue and outreach” (WP7) was jointly introduced by Annika E. Nilsson (Nordland Research Institute, Bodø, Norway) and Simon Jungblut (University of Bremen, Germany)
The organizational aspects of the FACE-IT project are covered by WP8 (“Project management”) and WP9 (“Ethics requirements”), which have been introduced by Kai Bischof (University of Bremen, Germany)

Day 3: Group Discussions and Colloquium

The third day of the kick-off meeting of the FACE-IT project consisted of discussions in changing group constellations in the morning and a public colloquium on “The new Arctic” in the afternoon.

Day 4: Plenum Discussions

To conclude the kick-off meeting of FACE-IT, the whole project consortium came together to discuss on the results and implications of the single events of the meeting. Furthermore, the International Scientific Advisory Board gave some recommendations and food for thought.

Overall, the members of the FACE-IT project are enthusiastic to get into action mode and look forward to working together.

Group photo part 1
Group photo part 2

„The new Arctic“ – public lectures to start FACE-IT

Right at the start of the FACE-IT project, the wide public was invited to attend a colloquium: “The new Arctic: Ecological and societal transitions in glacial fjord systems”. On 25 November, from 3:15 pm CET, experts from Greenland, Norway, Denmark and Svalbard reported on effects of climate change on glacier and fjord systems, marine vegetation, marine mammals and indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic. Afterwards, study programs on Arctic biology on Greenland and Svalbard were presented.

The online lectures were open to everyone to attend and were, at the same time, the annual “BreMarE Day”, the anniversary colloquium of the Bremen Marine Ecology Centre for Research and Education of the University of Bremen, Germany.

Welcome address and introduction by Kai Bischof (University of Bremen, Germany), the project leader ot FACE-IT
Thomas Juul Pedersen (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk, Greenland): “Greenland fjords – Convergence zones between glaciers and the ocean”
Dorte Krause-Jensen (University of Aarhus, Denmark): “Imprint of climate change on pan-Arctic marine vegetation”
Sebastien Descamps (Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway): “When the Arctic gets boreal: ongoing shifts in a high-Arctic seabird community!”
Maiken Bjørkan (Nordland Research Institute, Bodø, Norway): “Fisheries in the Arctic”
Børge Damsgård (The University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen): “UNIS – educating tomorrow’s Arctic experts”
Thomas Juul Pedersen (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk): “Arctic Science Study Programme (ASSP) – International graduate courses on climate, environment and communities of the Arctic”

Official Start of FACE-IT

On 01 November 2020, the EU-funded project FACE-IT officially started. FACE-IT will be corrdinated by Prof. Dr. Kai Bischof and Dr. Simon Jungblut from the University of Bremen. In total, 14 institutions from eight countries work together on the following mission:

The overarching objective of FACE-IT is to enable adaptive co-management of social-ecological fjord systems in the Arctic in the face of rapid cryosphere and biodiversity changes.

The two project coordinators Kai Bischof (left) and Simon Jungblut (right) on the day of the official start of FACE-IT