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NOMAD has been approved as an activity of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 and shares the IPY commitment to education and outreach. IPY helps NOMAD team members to present their work to a broad audience, including the media, teachers, researchers of all disciplines, and generally everybody who is interested in the North and the Arctic.
In order to give regular updates on the research activities and fieldwork conditions, we are starting to operate the NOMAD Blog and Forum in spring 2007. Here you will find photographs and the latest entries from the fieldwork diary. Through the Forum you can get back to the NOMAD team. You can also get in contact with the team by email (write to habeck [at] eth.mpg.de).
The researchers plan to involve at least one school teacher (in biology or geography) from an EU country in the NOMAD camp for six to eight weeks in autumn 2007. This teacher will support the project through additional observations, concerning, for example, the local vegetation cover, predators, or other ecological aspects. Moreover, there is the plan to include several vocational-school and university students from Murmansk Region at various stages of the project who will provide support in running the camp and conducting observations. In this way the researchers hope to contribute to the advancement of higher education in the Barents Region.
The project would be impossible without the help of local reindeer herders and other employees of the agricultural co-operatives of Lovozero and Krasnoshchel'e. The team has established stable, long-term working relations with them during previous journeys and is looking forward to co-operation during 2007 and 2008. In particular, the success of the project depends on the reindeer herders' willingness to share their knowledge, and on the willingness of local organisations to provide logistical support.
(Yulian Konstantinov and Joachim Otto Habeck, February 2007)