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We have launched our mobile app!

what do you value in nature? Tell us!

Easy and fast! If you are planning a trip to Jotunheimen national park here is your opportunity to tell about your experience through a mobile app.

At UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, we have developed a mobile app to collect visitors’ experiences and benefits obtained from nature. We invite all visitors to Jotunheimen and Utladalen to download our free app “Jotunheimen Tracking”. You can tag liked/disliked areas with a simple screen touch (see Figure 1). Your participation is anonymous. Using this information, we will be able to create maps of use and visitor preferences.

Figure 1. Mobile app screenshot

How do I participate in the study?

You just need to follow three steps:

  1. Download our free app “Jotunheimen Tracking”.
  2. Click “Start” when you go on your next mountain trip.
  3. Mark and tag the places you like/dislike on the way.

Why should I participate in the study?

Visitors to national parks are increasing in the last decades and we all have the responsibility to take care of nature so next generations can enjoy it as we did some day. By participating in the study, you will collaborate not only with a research project, but also with the improvement of future management. Our research will bring managers new tools to incorporate users’ preferences and values in their decisions, thus increasing the effectiveness of management measures.

An important aspect of this study is to encourage visitors reflect upon their use of nature, and be aware of the many benefits they get from it. Creating consciousness among visitors may result in a higher compliance of management measures, and therefore an increase in management effectiveness.

Additionally, we believe that visitors are an integral part of conservation of nature. Thus, including all interested groups will benefit all parties, and also nature (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Flow graph between visitors, managers and researchers.

Where will the study be conducted?

The study will be conducted in Jotunheimen national park and Utladalen landscape protection area. These two parks are frequented by people who may conduct different activities and hold a variety of preferences and values. Visitors will be able to track as many trips as they would like to from a variety of different types of trips (e.g. skiing, walking, running).

Why is this study different from others?

This study builds up on the end users, which are visitors, park managers and tourism businesses. We have developed this mobile app with help from these parties, and our goal is that they will receive the outcomes of the study, either through social media or through direct contact (e.g. email, interviews).

What’s next?

An important goal of this study is to develop methods and tools that ease communication between visitors and managers, which will result in improved conservation effectiveness.

Who is in charge of the study and how can I follow it up?

This project is developed at UiT Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø) by Lorena Munoz (PhD student) and the research team CultEs led by Vera Hausner. Our team is composed by researchers from several disciplines and countries, which help us understand the diversity of visitors and the complexity of ecosystems.

Figure 3. Fieldworker in action!

Do you want to know more?

We can be reached online via our Twitter , Facebook , Instagram  and webpage. You can contact us if you have questions about our study or are interested on participating. We will also post our progress and findings.


We are on our way to Jotunheimen!

We are starting our field season already tomorrow! Our first stop will be Jotunheimen national park and Utladalen, where we are conducting a very interesting visitor study.

New methods, new research and new joy! Stay tuned for the big news the coming days!


New publication on protected area evaluation

Our team has published a new scientific article in Ecological Indicators journal. Have a look at it!

European Ecosystem Services conference in Antwerp 2016

We are very glad to have assisted the European Ecosystem Services Conferences held last week at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Our team leader, Vera Hausner led the only session on alpine and arctic ecosystems entitled “Global changes in local ecosystem services in Alpine and Arctic regions in Europe”. Speakers presented projects from a variety of countries, such as Italy, Norway, Austria and Russia among others. Sigrid Engen gave a talk on “What factors are important in determining the distribution of ecosystem values in Norwegian Alpine areas?”. Interesting discussions followed the talks. It is so nice to share experiences working on such remote environments!

Lorena Munoz won the 2nd prize for best poster presentation. She competed with 80 participants! Team CultEs is so proud!”

We are at the European Ecosystem Services Conference in Antwerp (Belgium)

Part of the CultEs team is participating in the European Ecosystem Services Conference in Antwerp (Belgium) 19-23 September 2016. We are presenting results in the poster session as well as on the parallel sessions. The parallel session “Global changes in local ecosystem services in alpine and arctic regions in Europe” will be hosted by our group leader Vera Hausner.

We are looking forward meeting inspiring people!


Two new publications

Below you can find the two latest publications from the group related to PPGIS and value transfer. Enjoy the reading!

  • Brown, Greg; Pullar, David; Hausner, Vera Helene. An empirical evaluation of spatial value transfer methods for identifying cultural ecosystem services. Ecological Indicators 2016; Volum 69. ISSN 1470-160X.s 1 – 11.s doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.03.053.
  • Brown, Greg; Hausner, Vera Helene; Lægreid, Eiliv Jenssen. Physical landscape associations with mapped ecosystem values with implications for spatial value transfer: An empirical study from Norway. Ecosystem Services 2015; Volum 15. ISSN 2212-0416.s 19 – 34.s doi: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2015.07.005.


We are all settled!

Christopher Monz and Ashley D’Antonio are visiting us to join for the field season in Varangerhalvøya and Jotunheimen national parks. All our fieldworkers are out in the field collecting data for four weeks. Varangerhalvøya will be challenging as our teams have to walk along 20 km transects bringing all their equipment with them. They will find many challenges on the way, such as unpredictable weather, unexpected abrupt changes on the landscape, and difficult terrain. The team in Jotunheimen may have easier terrain, but their sampling is more intensive, and this makes work really tough.

Good luck to all our fieldworkers!

It’s fieldwork season!

The time for fieldwork has arrived, and our first team is already out in Varangerhalvøya national park to collect data. We will map ecosystem services using new technologies in Varangerhalvøya and Jotunheimen national parks. Soon we will be more out there collecting data!

Bye bye Santa Barbara

Our stay in Santa Barbara has come to the end. Sigrid and Lorena are ready to go back to Tromsø, Norway, and continue with the work from there. We have done a lot of progress with regard to the upcoming fieldwork and analyzing the data gathered last summer. We are very happy to have met so many knowledgeable people in NCEAS, Santa Barbara, where they have hosted us for this month. We will soon present some people we met who are now collaborating with us.

Visiting Christopher Monz at Utah State University

We visited Utah State University (USU), Logan. Christopher Monz invited us to discuss our projects CultEs, ESArctic and Connect. We have had 4 days full of work and joy, with a lot of progress on planning our upcoming fieldwork in Varangerhalvøya and Jotunheimen national parks. We had the pleasure to present our project on a guest lecture.

Vera Hausner, our project leader broke the ice and introduced students to the Norwegian context and presented them our project. The PhD student Sigrid Engen talked about her work on analyzing exemptions on protected areas in Norland and Sogn og Fjordane area. Students got an insight on differences between Norway and USA with regard to protected areas and the use citizens do of them. The last presenter was Lorena Munoz, also a PhD student, who talked about spatial mapping of visitors’ values in Norway.

We also learnt from the American protected area system, which is quite different from the Norwegian system. Christopher Monz and Ashley D’Antonio introduced us to the US park system and monitoring approaches using SamplePoint software. Abigail Kidd and Robin Graham showed their work on GPS tracking for tourism monitoring.

Our time in USU was amazing, and we are looking forward to meeting our colleagues again. Big thanks to Christopher Monz, Ashley D’Antonio, Abigail Kidd and Robin Graham for making our stay so wonderful!

Exciting news are coming, stay tuned!