Glaciology Field Course at Tarfala Research Station, Northern Sweden.


March 27-April 3, 2003


The course is Part 5 of an EU EuroLab (GlacioEuroLab5) in Glaciology.  As an EU programme we can offer travel and subsistence support to young professional researchers, especially to Ph.D. students but only for citizens of the EU, and associated states under Fifth Framework rules.  Participation is limited to 15 for safety and accommodation reasons.  The course is worth 3 ECTS credits or 2 Finnish study weeks.


Tarfala Station has a unique place in the history of glaciology and has been the focus of continuous glaciology work since 1946.  Storglaciaeren in the immediate vicinity has the longest continuos series of mass balance measurements in the world.


Accommodation at the station is rustic but pleasant, with beds in heated huts and sleeping bags will not be needed.  Morning and evening meals will be taken in the station dining room.  Travel by rain and air travel to Kiruna, the nearest town about 90 km from Tarfala.  Transportation by bus will be arranged to Nikkaloukta from where a 30 km trail starts to the station.  We will take snowmobile transport from there to about 5 km from the station then people will have to travel by ski uphill the remaining way.  Return will be similar meeting snowmobiles 5 km from the station.  The luggage can be transported by snowmobile the whole way.  The terrain is fairly demanding but moderately experienced skiers can manage with the right equipment.  It is essential to have skis with broad bases and metal edges - telemark or alpine touring skis.  Cross country skis and skinny skating style skis are useless in those conditions.  Participants should be reasonably fit and have at least a little experience of skiing before the course starts.


Tarfala Station costs are Euro 100 per participant per day for meals and accommodation.  Snowmobile transport costs will be covered by the organizers.  Basic safety equipment will be available, but students are expected to bring their own ski equipment.


The workshop will include a variety of field techniques, plus lectures to explain the broad theoretical background in glaciology and the context of the filed measurements that will form the core of the course.  Most of the time is planned to spent outside working on the ice, but of course this is entirely weather dependent. 


Students are expected to bring a presentation of their work to give to the course during an evening.  Students are also expected to write a field report of good standard on the techniques and data used during the course.  Previous reports are available. 


The course programme is now available.


Initial training will be given in glacier safety techniques such as use of avalanche transponders, ropes, harnesses, ice axes and crampons.  Much of the work is practical in nature, the students will be split in to small groups accompanied by a lecturer who will give extensive guidance to all groups of students.  The groups will rotate around the various topics on each day, or as weather permits.



John Moore, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland

Members of the University of Stockholm Department of Geography who are at the station during the course.



Send a brief description of your experience and how the course would benefit you, before February 15 2003. Students will be more likely to be selected if they find cheap methods of travelling.




Dr. John C. Moore                    phone            +358 16 341 2757

Arctic Centre                    telefax          +358 16 341 2777

University of Lapland

Box 122                          email  

96101 Rovaniemi