Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

Photo: H Tornberg

About Sweden’s National Antarctic Program

COMNAP Representative (MNAP): Katarina Gardfeldt​, Director-General
(DMNAP): Magnus Augner, Deputy Director

The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is a government agency that promotes and co-ordinates Swedish polar research, to follow and plan research and development, as well as to organise and lead research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Sweden is also dedicated to protecting the Antarctic environment and has been a signatory to the Antarctic Treaty since 1961.

To carry out our scientific goals, Sweden operates two seasonal stations, Svea and Wasa. The larger of the two, with a 16-person capacity is Wasa Research Station built in 1988 in Dronning Maud Land. The Svea Research Station was built in 1987 in the Heimefront Range about 40 miles from the coast. It is primarily used as a seasonal station for summer field camps. The icebreaker Oden has been a part of the Swedish Polar Program since in 1989 traveling in both hemispheres. There are also helicopters and ATVs (all terrain vehicles) to provide logistical support.

Wasa Research Station

Svea Research Station

About the Organizational Structure of the Swedish National Antarctic Program

The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is a government agency under the Ministry of Education and Research that promotes and co-ordinates Swedish polar research. Specifically in the Antarctic, the program is known as SWEDARP (Swedish Antarctic Research Programme). For research planning, the Secretariat co-operates with the Swedish Research Council.

The Swedish Polar Research Secretary has a staff of about 30 in various units: research ­­management, research infrastructure, communications, and administration. The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is a single-council-authority, which means that the head of authority, (i.e. the Director-General) is completely responsible for all activities. The Government has appointed an Advisory Council that will provide public insight in the organization and give the Director-General advice.

The annual budget for the Swedish Antarctic programme varies from year to year, depending on current activity. In 2011 the costs for logistics and operations were 3 600 000 Sek while in 2012 it was 8 900 000 Sek. This is for operations and logistics only as science funding is provided by Universities separately.

Our Science Program

Sweden participates in numerous science programs. Some main topics for the 2011/12 season were: fossils in Victoria Land, atmospheric radar, the cardiovascular systems of fish and reptiles and physical oceanography. Any Swedish citizen wishing to apply for funding can do so. Resources are also available for citizens of other nations.

Wasa Research Station is not far from the Finnish Aboa Research Station making collaboration with the Finnish Antarctic Program easy. The icebreaker Oden has been used in a Swedish-American partnership during 2006-2011, as well with the US icebreaker, Nathaniel B. Palmer, to conduct marine research and provide logistic support to the US McMurdo Station.

Beyond the science, there is a strong education programme, supporting Swedish teachers and teachers from other nations, including Chile, Germany and the USA since 2000. The programme cooperates with organizations such as the US National Science Foundation, PolarTREC and ESSAC/IODP.

The Secretariat is upholding the tradition by allocating space for artists on Swedish research expeditions, as do several other nations. The arts is interpreted in the broad sense and is not limited to the visual arts.

Science in Antarctica is under obligation by the Government to implement an environmental management system. The Secretariat is driven to uphold best practice, use environmentally friendly technology and have continuous monitoring programs. This includes looking at long-term impacts of Swedish stations and Initial Environmental Evaluations of larger science projects. Environmental work in Antarctica is carried out with close cooperation from Finland and Norway resulting in the Nordic Environmental Handbook. This includes monitoring of stations.

You can find further information in the Nordic Environmental Handbook.

Our Contact Details

Postal address
c/o Luleå University of Technology
SE-971 87 Luleå

E-mail: office@polar.se
Phone: +46 70 550 23 93
Fax: +46 8 450 25 99