Dutch SEES expedition postponed

19 May 2020

As a result of the corona crisis, a decision has been made to postpone by a year the second Netherlands Scientific Expedition Edgeøya Spitsbergen (SEES), which was to take place from 3 to 12 August 2020. The SEES will now take place from 6 to 15 August 2021. This decision was made because Spitsbergen, where the Dutch polar station is located, is closed to outside visitors until at least 20 August.

NWO and all other parties involved support Oceanwide Expeditions’ decision. Oceanwide Expeditions, which will facilitate the expedition with their ship m/f Ortelius, has been confronted with difficult logistic and security problems as a result of the coronavirus, which is why a one-year postponement is the sensible option. The Arctic Centre (RUG), organiser of the expedition, has accepted this new option. Due to the timely decision to postpone the expedition, all (preparatory) activities can be moved to next year almost free of charge. The participants, including the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, have been informed of this decision. Of course, they remain cordially invited for the expedition in 2021.

Aim of the SEES expedition

Climate change is rapidly changing the world. This expedition is an opportunity to reinvestigate a previously charted research area that has been left untouched for 40 years. Comparing data from the last visit by Dutch researchers should make it possible to enhance our understanding of the rapid changes taking place in the polar areas. Edgeøya is a remote island on the particularly cold eastern side of the Spitsbergen archipelago. It housed a small Dutch research station from 1968 to 1986.

Source: NWO


Olivier Morot (spokesperson) Olivier Morot (spokesperson) t: +31 (0)6 53175377 o.morot@nwo.nl