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!

Santa Barbara, there we go!

We are on our way to NCEAS in Santa Barbara, California. Sigrid Engen and Lorena Munoz are meeting Vera Hausner and Per Fauchald in Santa Barbara to spend a month working intensively on our project. We have lot to do, summer season is approaching!


Ecosystem services and management preferences in protected areas in Poland and Norway

Ecosystem services and management preferences mapping by inhabitants performed both in Poland and in Norway formed the basis for a comparison between the two countries. In Poland the mapping concentrated on the most visited national park Tatra and in Norway data from Jotunheimen national park in the south and Saltfjellet-Svartisen national park in the north was used. The main differences between the two countries are that Norwegians map more harvesting-related ecosystem services and the local inhabitants show stronger preferences for resource use whereas in Poland the preferences are more in favor of stronger protection. Ecosystem services tied to beautiful scenery, biological diversity and clean water are mapped in Poland to a larger degree than in Norway. Cabins were very important in Norway, but not in Poland.

For more details see:

Our field season is over!

This summer we launched an online survey to hear about visitors’ experiences in several national parks in Norway. The survey consists of a few questions and a map where visitors can use different markers to tell us about values, experiences and preferences in national parks.

During July and August we recruited visitors in Saltfjellet-Svartisen, Sjunkhatten, Breheimen and Jotunheimen national parks to participate in our online survey. Eight fieldworkers took part in the work. We met 1941 visitors, of which 60% were Norwegians and 40% foreign tourists. The visitors generally showed a high interest in our project and we had many delightful conversations.

We would like to thank all the participants and everyone we met during our fieldwork! Also a big thanks to park managers, accommodation venues and tourism companies who helped us with tips on improving the recruitment.

If you have visited any of the parks mentioned above, but haven’t participated in the study, you still have time until the 30th September 2015! Go to the following links and tell us your experience:

For Jotunheimen and Breheimen à

For Saltfjellet-Svartisen and Sjunkhatten à

Some pictures from our field days:

Sjoa river in Jotunheimen

Sjoa river in Jotunheimen

River in Saltfjellet

River in Saltfjellet

Lake below Svartisen glacier

Lake below Svartisen glacier

The relationship between ecosystem services and land cover has been analyzed in the areas Jotunheimen, Breheimen, Sognefjorden and Midtre-Nordland

The study shows that areas at higher elevation are especially important for untouched and beautiful nature, whereas areas at lower elevation in proximity to settlements as well as forested areas are important for local identity and place attachment. Forested areas are significant for a great diversity of values linked to recreation and provisioning. The study also shows that to transfer values from one area only based on land cover do not provide valid results.


For more details see:

Norwegian environmental research towards 2015 (MILJO2015)

Our PhD student Sigrid Engen participated in the Norwegian Envrionmental Research Towards 2015 (Miljø 2015) meeting  in May 2015. Read more on the link below (only in Norwegian):

Land tenure is more important than protection when it comes to the spatial distribution of ecosystem services

That is what a recent analysis of the ecosystem services mapped by local inhabitants in the area Jotunheimen, Breheimen and Sognefjorden shows. Recreation and beautiful scenery were the most frequently marked values in the area, but they were not associated with tenure or protected areas. Village commons was especially important for hunting and fishing opportunities, state commons was more associated with biological diversity and wilderness; values generally associated with protected areas, whereas private land was tied to a diversity of values, where especially areas close to settlements were associated with culture/identity and the gathering of mushroom and berries. The most frequently mapped preferences for future development of the areas were to increase predator control, increase fishing opportunities, reduce snowmobile use and increase tourist facilities.  The highest potential for conflict was found on private land whereas village commons, that is also protected, demonstrated the lowest conflict-potential.

For more details see: