The first meeting of INTERACT (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic) in 2017 was held in Keflavík, Iceland on January 24th to 27th. The meeting marks the kick-off of INTERACT phase II, but the project has been funded through the Horizon2020 program of the European Union. The project, it’s 9 different work packages and the coordination between them was introduced and discussed during the meeting.
Rif Field Station will take part in three work packages (WP) within INTERACT phase II, no. 3,5 and 7. WP 3 is the Station Manager’s Forum – a communication and consulting platform for station managers. WP 5 is dedicated to Transnational Access of scientists to different stations within the network. Rif has already gotten noticeable attention and interesting applications for 2017 through this package. Last but not least, Rif is part of WP 7, which revolves around improving and harmonising biodiversity monitoring. This project is managed by CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna) and is based on the (Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). Along with Rif Field Station, two other stations participate in this package; the Cambridge Bay station in Canada and the Zackenberg station in Greenland. These three stations will work together on the implementation of the CBMP terrestrial and freshwater monitoring components, with Rif serving as a model on how to successfully build up such a monitoring plan from scratch. The project is very important for the increase and enhancement of ecological research and monitoring, both domestically and internationally. It is also in good harmony with Iceland’s policies and commitments regarding these matters.
Below are pictures from the meeting, but along with discussing the project itself and its components, the group went on an excursion along the Reykjanes peninsula. The facilities and operations of the Suðurnes Science and Learning Centre were also introduced. The centre, which is also a member of INTERACT, hosted the Kick-off meeting in Keflavík.