Visions from nature Arctic/alpine — 06. Sep 2017 To Svalbard to learn about plants By Anders L Kolstad PhD candidate Anders Kolstad was six weeks on Svalbard this summer to learn more about the arctic plants. Along with the other student in the “Arctic Plant Ecology” course at UNIS, Anders has travelled around the island group and seeing lots of nice plants and places.They even met with the great polar bear! Examples of plants that are rare on Svalbard, but quite common on mainland Norway. From the left: Betula nana, Arabis alpina, Rubus chamaemorus. Photo: Anders L. Kolstad, NTNU University Museum CC BY-SA 4.0. Examples of plants that are common on Svalbard, but rare on mainland Norway. This is gold for botanists visiting Svalbard for te first time! From the left: Papaver dahlianum, Phippsia concinna, Saxifraga hirculus. Photo: Anders L. Kolstad, NTNU University Museum CC BY-SA 4.0 This polar bear was very curious, but not aggressive. The incidence happened on Prinsk Karls Forland, western Spitsbergen. On the picture to the left you can see the bear when it played around with some of our survival suits that we had left on the shore where we were supposed to get picked up by boat. Eventually we had to try and scare away the bear. In the middle you sse Kristine Westergard as she’s shooting the signal pistor so that the granade lands and explodes between us and the bear. Perfect form! To the right, the loud bang is enough to convince the bear that perhaps it should saunter off. Fantastic nature experiences! Photo: Snorre Sundsbø.