Longyearbyen - University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice (JUCB) opened the first Czech research polar station in Svalbard today.
Jihočeská univerzita 24. června na Špicberkách otevřela svou polární stanici (na snímku), která je vůbec první českou arktickou základnou. ČTK Jihočeská univerzita
JUCB built it from a purchased house in Longyearbyen that is the administrative centre of the northernmost Norwegian archipelago.
Until now, the JUCB scientists have only worked in a leased terrain station.
The new building and equipment cost 30 million crowns.
"I am happy. It is the northernmost town in the world. When one comes here, there is the Norwegian Polar Institute, lots of people from the whole world and, suddenly, a repaired white house with a Czech flag and a flag of Ceske Budejovice," Ceske Budejovice Mayor Juraj Thoma has told CTK.
The scientists mainly want to use the station between June and September when there are the best conditions in Svalbard.
However, the station, that includes two laboratories and accommodation for 20 people, can be used throughout the year.
The JUCB Polar Environment Centre focuses on the impact of climate change on the environment and organisms. JUCB has at its disposal an area measuring about 100 square kilometres in the central bay near Billefjorden.
($1 = 20.197 crowns)