Greenland Science Week 2023
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Greenland Science Week 2023

Lina Rasmusson, Susse Wegeberg and I participated in the Greenland Science Week in Nuuk, Greenland. Here Lina presented the results of the first year of our NAPA-funded IKKA-project “The Ikaite columns – past and future, and prospects in a changing Arctic”. Focus of Lina’s talk was on the biological changes we observe on the surface of the ikaite columns of Ikka Fjord compared to 1995-96 when we had our first expeditions to the fjord. There is a decline in all of the species inhabiting the column surfaces, except for the sea urchins where we see a minor increase in number. This of course is a worrying observation and the reason why we have worked out a monitoring program for Ikka Fjord and its columns. The monitoring plan will be implemented next summer during a field campaign to Ikka Fjord with biologists and divers. From this work we will hopefully be able to say something about the reasons for the decline in marine biodiversity, e.g., whether it’s due to heating of seawater, collapse of mineral substrate, and/or overgrazing by the sea urchins. We stayed all of last week in Nuuk in a wonderful house in the old part of town, the perfect accommodation. It was close by the conference centre Katuaq and in walking distance from the University of Greenland and the Institute of Natural Resources, where some of the conference activities took place. All in all, we thought it was a really good conference. Impressive how they managed to translate talks in Greenlandic to English through headphones. In addition, we were really happy we got a chance to meet with people at the Government of Greenland handling the protection of Ikka Fjord and the columns and discuss the state of the columns and mining prospects of the area. Thanks to Susse, Lina, and Elmer Topp Jørgensen for being excellent company the whole week, to Peter Barfoed for the coffee and extended conversations, and to Katrine Raundrup for serving a fantastic dinner with Greenland lamb meat. For me personally, it was great to be back ‘home’ in my childhood city of Nuuk.

Photo: Gabrielle. Lina Rasmusson getting ready to present her talk at the Greenland Science Week 2023.
Photo: Gabrielle. An excellent presentation by Lina, which led to several questions from the audience.
Photo: Peter Barfoed. The culture house Katuaq (created with Peter Barfoed as architect), where the Greenland Science Week took place.
Photo: Gabrielle. Our home in Myggedalen in Nuuk during the week we stayed there. Rented through Airbnb. We can really recommend this house!
Photo: Gabrielle. View over Nuukfjorden.
Photo: Gabrielle. The old hospital of Nuuk said to haunted by ghosts when I was a child in Nuuk, which is why we kids always stayed away from the house.
Photo: Gabrielle. On the walk to university for the Icebreaker in beautiful sunset.
Photo: Gabrielle. View towards the mountain ‘Sermitsiaq’.
Photo: Gabrielle. The old harbour area of Nuuk now mainly accommodating the Greenland National Museum and Archives.
Photo: Gabrielle. A sculpture of ‘Havets moder’ – mother of the sea.
Photo: Gabrielle. Downtown Nuuk.
Photo: Gabrielle. Sculpture of missionary Hans Egede – the first Norse priest to return to Greenland in search of the Norse inhabitants. They were gone but instead he met the inuit, which he started christening. And he established a settlement in Nuuk.
Photo: Gabrielle. My childhood home on Radiofjeldet, blok 14.
Photo: Gabrielle. My childhood home on Radiofjeldet, blok 14.
Photo: Gabrielle. My old school ASK, which was a really good school.
Photo: Gabrielle. The view from our house in Myggedalen.
Photo: Gabrielle. The old church ‘Godthåbskirken’ in the old part of Nuuk.
Photo: Gabrielle. The old church ‘Godthåbskirken’ in the old part of Nuuk. My class mate Malîna Steenholdt lived in the house next to the church as her father was the priest of the church.
Photo: Gabrielle. Sunset over the old harbour.
Photo: Gabrielle. Sunset over the old harbour.
Photo: Gabrielle. The new cemetery of Nuuk where our friend John Arsuk is buried.
Photo: Gabrielle. John Arsuk’s grave where we laid flowers and cards on behalf of members of the IKKA project.