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Strategy

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The Scientific Foundation “Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre” (Nansen Centre, NIERSC) vision is to understand, monitor and predict climate and environmental changes in the high northern latitudes for serving the Society.

The overall strategy of NIERSC has been always targeted at a challenging task to develop the Nansen Centre to be a significant national and international contributor to the studies of climate and environmental changes in the high northern latitudes.

NIERSC focuses on the following related research areas:
• Climate Variability and Change in High Northern Latitudes
• Atmosphere- Ocean Interaction
• Aquatic Ecosystems in Response to Global Change
• Applied Meteorological and Oceanographic Research for Industrial Activities
• Socio-economic impacts of climate change

These research areas are outlined below
Research area 1: Climate Variability and Change in High Northern Latitudes
Understanding recent and current variability and changes in the Arctic climate system and assessing the impact of climate change on high northern latitude areas, with emphasis on Russia. The following topics are in the foci:
Arctic sea ice
Understanding the Arctic sea ice mass balance dynamics, with emphasis on a multiyear ice, based on the analysis of numerical model simulations, available historical data and satellite remote sensing data derived by improved algorithms for sea ice classification, its concentration and thickness retrieval as well as drift and area flux estimation
Greenland Ice Sheet elevation change and mass balance
Improving assessment, interpretation and understanding of the Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance change using data of advanced satellite sensors and numerical models
Arctic atmosphere water climatology
Assessing variability and trends of the integrated atmospheric water vapor and cloud liquid water over the Arctic Basin using data of numerical model simulations, available historical data and satellite remote sensing data in order to contribute to the understanding of the recent and future changes in the Arctic Climate
Thawing permafrost and wetland methane emission
Assessing the wetland methane emission growth rate due to thawing permafrost under the climate warming using space-borne measurements of column-integrated CH4 as well as data of the global wetland dynamics and chemical transport models

Research area 2: Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions
Understanding the physics of the coupled turbulent atmosphere and ocean boundary layers as well as exchange processes at their interface. The following topics are in the foci:
Physics of the ocean surface and radio-wave scattering
Developing advanced models describing dynamics of the wind-generated waves, statistical properties of the sea surface, wave breaking and evolution of surface waves in non-uniform medium for solving radio-wave scattering problems
Radar imaging of oceanic and atmospheric phenomena
Developing the state-of-the-art models for SAR imaging of major oceanic and atmospheric phenomena including ocean currents and fronts, wind fields with emphasis on marginal land/water and ice/water zones, disastrous wind conditions, oil spills and biogenic films, wind waves including break waves

Research area 3: Aquatic Ecosystems in Response to Global Change
Understanding the behavior of the aquatic ecosystems in response to global change. The following topics are in the foci:
Primary production in ocean and inland waters
Quantifying primary production and understanding trophic interactions inherent in marine and fresh water bodies of different geographical areas, morphology, local/regional climate and watershed characteristics
Climate change impact on marine and lake environments
Detecting climate-driven changes in the ecology of marine and freshwater bodies through synergistic use of Earth observation data and 3-D biogeochemical model simulations
Monitoring and prediction of harmful algal blooms
Operational surveillance of origination and proliferation of harmful algae blooms based on synergistic satellite data, 3-D hydrological and biogeochemical modeling and ship-borne control measurements

Research area 4: Applied Meteorological and Oceanographic Research for Industrial Activities
Applying the knowledge developed within three above research areas for the benefit of government and economic operators. In view of the perceived demands NIERSC focuses on the following:
MetOcean data, products and services for users
Creating a comprehensive MetOcean Database using available historical, in-situ and remote sensing data. Developing products, natural processes simulation/forecasting tools and services for potential users
Supporting navigation in the Northern Sea Route and other ice-covered seas
Providing for a contribution to the navigation in the Northern Sea Route and other ice-covered seas based on the sea ice monitoring and forecasting using satellite data and numerical models
Supporting oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the Arctic and other ice-covered seas
Providing for the meteorological and oceanographic support for the oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the Arctic and other ice-covered seas based on monitoring coastal currents, wind and wave fields, oil spills, sea ice and icebergs using satellite data and numerical modeling tools
Assessment of marine environment contamination
Assessing and monitoring pollution in the Arctic marine environment in order to support the management of environmental risks associated with man-made changes and influenced by Global Change using available in-situ and satellite data as well as the Generic Modeling System

Equipment and Technology:
• Modern powerful personal computers to the staff and PhD-students
• Access to the more extensive computing power in Russia and abroad
• Sufficient Internet connection
• Office equipment required for a productive work
• Advanced software for satellite image and data processing
• Advanced Geographic Information System (GIS) software
• State-of-the-Art algorithms for Earth Observation applications (own and adopted)
• Access to simulation runs of state-of-the-art global and regional numerical models
• Efficient information system for real-time data exchange and dissemination
Center’s Culture
• Inspiring and comfortable office environment
• Open, honest and friendly relationships between the Center’s personnel
• Loyalty to the Nansen Centre, its founders and colleagues
• Open and respectful collaboration with the Nansen Group, affinitive institutions and funding agencies

Annual goals:
• At least one publication by each scientist in a refereed international journal
• Successful defense of at least one PhD thesis
• Oral and poster presentations at the most important international conferences and symposia
• Budget income growth by 5-10%, based on more efficient proposal activity, involving more founders, getting more funds from oil/gas and other industry, Russian public and private sources
• Staff growth by 5-10%

Implementation Tools:
• Further development of the Centre management and accounting efficiency
• Cultivation of the team spirit, good internal cooperation and communication
• Providing good possibilities to personnel for further education, training and scientific growth
• Further development of the Nansen Fellowship Program
• Development and implementation, jointly with the Nansen Center in Bergen and Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, of three-year Descartes Research Program
• Giving responsibilities to younger co-workers
• Bringing basic science results to applications for the benefit of governments and economic operators
• Effective participation in the national and international research programs
• Further development of the cooperation with the institutes of the Nansen Group as well as other national and foreign universities and research centres including those from the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union
• Increase of share of Budget income provided by the Russian agencies and commercial companies
• Promotion of exchange of scientists and PhD-students between the Centre and the Nansen Group institutes as well as other institutions
• Public outreach and media

 
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