We are Timeless Arctic, a five-year project about the human impact on the environment in Svalbard. Ask us anything!
** DEAR ALL; HOWEVER ADDICTIVE IT IS TO READ AND ANSWER YOUR COMMENTS, AFTER ALMOST 3,5 HRS WITH YOU, IT IS TIME FOR US TO GO! THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTERST IN OUR PROJECT. TUNE INTO OUR WEBSITE! **
Hi Reddit and fellow ice-lovers,
We are Frigga Kruse, Franziska Paul, and Linus Müller-Hillebrand of the Timeless Arctic Project and we are part of the Timeless Arctic Project. Over the course of five years (2018-2023) we are assessing the impact humans had on Svalbard - a formerly pristine environment until it was discovered by European whale hunters.
Also in the team, we have a drone pilot, a scientific illustrator, a nature photographer and filmmaker, a specialist in plastic waste, a psychologist, a bacteriologist, and an archaeologist.
The project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation as a Freigeist Project since 2018. That basically means that we've got a nice pot of money and can work on a project, which the foundation deemed to be inventive and original. In our case, we want to quantify the human presence and the commercial hunting in the formerly pristine ecosystem of Svalbard.
Frigga is our team leader. She has a PhD in Arctic Archaeology, specilised in Svalbard (which she has visited many times), and this is her project. Svalbard was first documented by Willem Barents in 1596. Soon afterwards, Europeans voyaged to the North to hunt bowhead whales, polar bears, Atlantic walrus, Arctic foxes, and Svalbard reindeer. The populations of these "Arctic Big Five" got diminished to the point of almost-extinction. In the 20th century, protective measures were implemented in hopes of recovering the populations. Now Frigga wants to quantify the number of animals killed and study the human-animal-interactions of 420 years of Svalbard history.
Franziska is doing her PhD in Archaeozoology. Her goal is to study the remaining walrus bones left by European hunters. She will count the number of dead animals, quantify the age structure and look for marks on the bones, which will tell her how the animals were killed. This way, she will find out more about hunting techniques of past times.
Linus is the EOC Officer (Education, Outreach, and Communication) and is responsible for PR. Besides working for TA, he is doing a M.Sc. in Environmental Management.
Us three are here today to answer your questions about the Arctic, Svalbard, the project itself, and whatever else comes to your mind.