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Postgraduate course

IceFinse - Arctic climate research and fieldwork

Main content

ECTS Credits


Teaching semester

Spring.The course runs last time springsemester 2023

Limited number of spaces. More info:


Place of Instruction

UiB, Department of Earth Science & Finse Alpine Research Center.

Objectives and Content


The course gives an introduction to Arctic climate research methods and safety. The main purpose is to give the students insight into all parts of the research process, from planning to data collection, analysis and communication of results. The course will give the students a starting point in order to proceed with a research-based master's theses.


The course consists of several components: Planning, data collection & analysis and communication of results.


Through scientific seminars and group work the students will prepare for the field work. Students are divided into groups, and each group prepares a 20 min presentation of 1-2 scientific papers related to the course content and the planned field work. The presentations will be given in plenum at the beginning of stay at the research station.

Fieldwork - Data collection & Analysis

This is the practical field-based part of the course and will take place at Finse Alpine Research Center. The students will work on research projects in groups.

Based on current climate research, students will learn to design and work with relevant research questions. The students will gain insight into modern research methods by collecting data and analyzing these and comparing them with existing data & models. The students will give a presentation of their project work with a special focus on research methods and data collection at the end of the field work.

The training and practical field work will include a focus on safety in cold weather, camp setup, crevasse rescue and glacier travel.

Communication of results

The course concludes with peer-reviewed research reports. Each participant will deliver a 10-page project report from the field work. Each draft project report will be peer-reviewed by two participants, before revisions and submission of a final report for evaluation.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student should be able to:

  • Understand the different steps of a research process, from planning to communication of results.
  • Describe the concepts of glacier dynamics on modern and paleo timescales.
  • Understand how climate archives such as ice cores provide unique knowledge of past and present climate change.
  • Describe how research-based field work can provide new knowledge on glaciers and climate change.


The student should be able to:

  • Formulate and execute a plan for data collection of snow and ice in cold climate conditions.
  • Contrast data and models and assess strengths and weaknesses.
  • Interpret research data and discuss their application to study climate processes.
  • Identify safety issues when conducting fieldwork in the Arctic.

General competence

The student should be able to:

  • Present and discuss research strategies and critically evaluate methods to analyze results.
  • Use critical thinking and physical understanding to demonstrate interdisciplinary links between different research areas.
  • Communicate the research results in verbal and written form.

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

Background in geoscience, climate dynamics, glaciology and numerical methods will be an advantage.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

Open to all students at the University of Bergen.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching is given in the form of classroom teaching, fielt work and colloquia work. In addition, the students wll present a presentation of a submitted scientific article that will be presented on the course, as well as deliver and present a written assignment/report of a chosen topic withing the course. An overall work effort is expected with lessons, field work and report writing of approx. 125 hours.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

All assessment components of the course must be completed. Attendance to at least 80 % of the learning activities as well as the Finse field work is recuired.

Forms of Assessment

Portfolio assessment consisting of following parts

Review and presentation of journal articles

Presentation of field project

Peer-review of written project report

Final written project report

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Fall. Assessment only in semester with teaching.

Reading List

Will be made available at the start of the course

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

Course Administrator

The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program


The student coordinator can be contacted here:


Exam information