Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla

Press release 01.12.2006

Start-up of LAPBIAT project to enhance research exchange

Northern research units combine forces

The LAPBIAT project provides research possibilities, facilities, equipment and materials, as well as other resources for multi-disciplinary research into the environment and atmosphere in the Arctic EU area.

LAPBIAT (Lapland Atmosphere-Biosphere Facility – Improving the Human Research Potential and the Socio-Economic Knowledge Base) is a four-year project and was started on November 1, 2006. The objective is to enhance research exchange and improve scientific co-operation, and the project is based on a network of seven research units in northern Finland.

Thanks to the northern location and merits in long-standing research into the northern environment, the LAPBIAT organizations can offer topics such as the following: northern populations, the arctic and sub-arctic as well as alpine and sub-alpine environment, the arctic winter and snow conditions, changes and external disturbance in the Earth’s electromagnetic field, and numerous long time-series observations of the aforementioned items and phenomena.

The LAPBIAT organizations can offer visiting researchers a unique opportunity to study and monitor the chemical and physical environmental changes, relating to, for instance, ozone, UV radiation and air pollutants. Scientists can do multidisciplinary research on the different atmospheric layers, their relationships and the ecosystems of the Earth. This is possible with the state-of-the-art technical equipment and excellent scientific achievements provided by the LAPBIAT organizations.

Invitation to visiting researchers

One of the objectives of LAPBIAT is to produce significant scientific information on global environmental change. Throughout the whole northern hemisphere, where climate change, including ozone depletion during the spring, is predicted to increase at accelerating speed in the near future, no other location is able to offer corresponding research possibilities.

Selected researchers will be allowed free-of-charge access to research equipment, facilities, logistics, technical and scientific support and other infrastructure needed for scientific work. Visitors’ travel expenses and subsistence costs will also be covered. Environmental researchers from the EU countries (researchers or organizations in Finland excluded) or the EU-associated states are eligible. Application forms are available from the Internet.

The following organizations participate in the LAPBIAT project: Finnish Meteorological Institute - Arctic Research Centre, Kolari Research Station (Finnish Forest Research Institute), Kevo Subarctic Institute (University of Turku), Kilpisjärvi Biological Station and Värriö Research Station (University of Helsinki), and Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory and Oulanka Research Station (University of Oulu). All units are located in northern Finland around the 66 th latitude or north of it. The project is coordinated by the University of Oulu. Dr Jyrki Manninen, who works in Sodankylä, is the Project Manager and Prof. Tauno Turunen is the project coordinator.

The project’s total funding is approximately 1.5 million euro, of which about 40,000 euro is allocated to the Kolari Research Unit of Metla. Research exchange will be encouraged through, for example, direct contacts, Internet and international meetings.

The work in the LAPBIAT project will be continuance to the 2001-2004 project, when a total of 55 groups of almost 200 researchers visited Finland , and more than a hundred scientific articles were published.

Additional information:

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