Sustainability Fellow: Olivia in Svalbard, Norway

Olivia sitting at table, playing game in dim lightingHi, I’m Olivia! I come from Bend, Oregon and I’m a Geology major in the class of 2020. This semester I’m studying in the archipelago of Svalbard, Norway at the northernmost university in the world (located at 78° N, which is about 650 miles from the North Pole). My courses here are focused on Arctic Geology, and in my free time I’m doing lots of skiing!

As a Global Sustainability Fellow, I will be exploring the topic of modern food systems in polar conditions. By conventional standards, Svalbard is a pretty uninhabitable place for human populations, so I’m therefore curious if and how any amount food sustainability can exist in the high arctic areas such as this one.



Olivia’s Posts

  • Intro: Food Sustainability in the Arctic

    Intro: Food Sustainability in the Arctic

    2/15/2019 Hi! I’m Olivia, Class of ‘20 and I’m a Geology major from Bend, Oregon. This semester I’m studying at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, which is about halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. UNIS is focused exclusively on Arctic studies, and by definition the school cannot teach any courses that are taught on mainland Norway. This basically means that all of the courses incorporate a ton of field work, which …
  • Energy and Waste Management in Svalbard

    Energy and Waste Management in Svalbard

    Hi again! I’ve now been in Svalbard for a bit more than 3 months, so I’m just over halfway done with my time here. In the span of the last month there has been a major transition from no sun shining down in Longyearbyen, to now having sun during all hours. The weather is starting to get a bit warmer too, and we’ve had a nice string of completely blue-sky days. Life up North is pretty sweet! However, with all …
  • Food Supplies in the Arctic

    Food Supplies in the Arctic

    Greetings again from the far north! I’m now down to about one month left on Svalbard, so classes are wrapping up and we’re moving into the project and exam period. The sun is shining lots and the snow is still sticking around, but the lack of blooming flora (or basically any flora for that matter) makes it feel like a rather untraditional spring. My last few blog posts have been fairly broad explorations of sustainability here on Svalbard, so the …
  • My Carbon Footprint in Svalbard

    My Carbon Footprint in Svalbard

    Hi again! I left Svalbard about two weeks ago, so I am now writing this fourth and final blog post from a hotel in Wyoming, as I make a pilgrimage across the country in a caravan of other geology students from around the US. I’ve been launched back into the readjustment processes of non-Arctic life; however, while driving through Yellowstone National park today we saw about an inch of snow accumulation and balmy temperature at freezing— so maybe home isn’t …

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