VILLUM RESEARCH STATION is located at the military station, Station Nord, in North Greenland.
The Arctic environment is vulnerable. In combination with an increased focus on the utilization of natural resources in Greenland, there is a need to be able to further understand the complexity of the Arctic environment's ecosystem. There is strong potential for further developing research programs on Arctic environmental problems, and precisely because we are researching the environment and managing the research stations Villum Research Station and Zackenberg, we have a great task here.
- The Arctic is a research area in focus at the Department of Environmental Science (a "Strategic Growth Area", SGA)
One of the great challenges for global society over the coming century is impending climate change driven by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and other climate forcers. In the Arctic, the warming climate has already had strong impacts on ice sheets, sea-ice cover, ecosystems, and biodiversity with additional consequences for local communities, business and industries. These effects are likely to increase dramatically over the next 100 years with strong feedback effects for the rest of the world. As a consequence, the Arctic environment, the abiotic system, the biosphere and the society are under rapid transformation.
The Aim of STAAR is to further develop expertise in Arctic research such that some of the most relevant questions on local, regional and global scale can be addressed. Special attention will be paid towards climate-related research as climate change is a central driver for a rapid changing Arctic which in turn affects Arctic societies. Focus will be on both threats and opportunities.
Basic research on key processes for understanding the vulnerable Arctic environment and on the interaction between the Arctic environment and societies will be most important activities. Both research within pure disciplines and interdisciplinary activities will be carried out and results will be disseminated to the relevant authorities.
STAAR organizes the scientists working with Arctic subjects in the Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University in order to optimize and assemble synergies in Arctic research in the department and promote interdisciplinary research. It is the idea to strengthen the quality of research carried out in the department as well as to increase the visibility of the Arctic activities in Aarhus University internationally. Within the STAAR the Department of Environmental Science will reach out to connect Arctic researchers from all over the world and facilitate bridges between major Arctic projects carried out on different continents.
The vision of STAAR is to form at least one research center at highest international level for Arctic research. This is planned by obtaining a major grant (> 5 mill. € over the next 6 years) within the next one to three years. The center will carry out research in specific Arctic research areas and will be based on a multi-disciplinary approach. The center will include the whole carrier line of researchers from master thesis students to professors and continuously hosting 2-3 visiting scientists and it is anticipated that there will be 15 active senior researchers and about the same total number of post docs and Ph.D. students hosted in the center.