Svalbard Field School


A group of students took part in a two week field school in Svalbard in October 2021. Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, and is covered  by 57% glaciers. Its unique location and accessibility have made it an international base for research.

With the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, I launched an open call to invite students and researchers accross disciplines to submit proposals for fieldwork in the Arctic. 

Projects ranged from virtual reality for remote geological exploration, to new mapping algorithms for both underwater and planetary science robotics, to emergency plant support systems for harsh environments.

Cody Paige measures the height of a pingo (a permafrost feature) to first gather data using traditional geological field methods.

Cody Paige tests a rover from the MIT Resource Exploration and Science of our Cosmic Environment (RESOURCE) project.

Five researchers accross different departments are selected to be part of the MIT Svalbard Expedition in October 2021.  

Cody Paige

Jessica Todd

Somayajulu Dhulipala

Sana Sharma

Joe Kennedy

Somayajulu Dhulipala's AgriThrive plant habitat.

Somayajulu Dhulipala's AgriThrive plant habitat.

Researchers: Cody Paige, Jess Todd, Somayajulu Dhulipala, Sana Sharma, Joe Kennedy
Logistics: Sean Auffinger

Supported by: MIT Space Exploration Initiative

Special thanks: 
Trond Storm Johansen
Czech Arctic Research Station
MIT Media Lab
MIT Space Exploration Initiative