Rif Field station is a self governing institution established in 2014 to promote, increase and enhance ecological research and monitoring in Melrakkaslétta peninsula in Northeast Iceland based on its unique natural environment. In addition, the station aims to collect, keep track of and share information on the area’s natural environment and support the local community.
Melrakkaslétta peninsula is easily accessible and defined as Low Arctic (Panaractic Flora Checklist, 2011). Rif provides access to housing and research facilities in the village of Raufarhöfn. In addition, the station is in charge of a specific research area – the Rif property in Melrakkaslétta, which is the norhern-most land area in Iceland and lies only 3 km south of the Arctic circle. This provides endless opportunities for research and monitoring within the field of natural science, e.g. regarding the Arctic vegetation, abundant bird life, vast costal area with its brackish lagoons and salt marshes, numerous freshwater lakes and ponds and so forth. The research area lies 15 km northwest of the Raufarhöfn village.
The station is supported by the Norðurþing municipatlity and six icelandic research institutions; Agricultural University of Iceland, Icelandic Institute of Natural history, Northeast Iceland Nature Research Centre , Stefansson Arctic Institute, University of Akureyri and University of Iceland.
Rif is a member of INTERACT (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic) and has been chosen by the network as one of the stations to implement the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). CBMP is one of the cornerstone programme of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Arctic Council Working group.