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Gathering from all corners of the world

Kent Roskifte, Alex Burns, Anita Titmarsh and Moritz Siebert gathered with Frode Koppang and Susana Garcia Espada. FOTO: Eirik Palm

Gathering from all corners of the world

A German, an Australian, an American and a Norwegian represents the staff at the Earth Observatory in Ny-Ålesund.

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In addition, there is a Spaniard about to end a stay in Svalbard. Susana Garcia Espada, who came from Madrid, was in the process of packing up when the ground pole for a new Earth observatory was driven into the soil at Brandalslaguna, a few kilometers beyond the current observatory. While Espada is moving to Colette to work at a similar station, Anita Titmarsh is coming from Tasmania in Australia to benefit from six months in the north.

"I worked with the same thing in Australia," she said. "My boss told me about the job here and I applied."

Alex Burns came from the Boston area Sept. 15. Kent Roskifte from Norway and base commander Moritz Sieber from Ravensburg in Germany are veterans.

"It is very fascinating if you think about what the data is used for. It is very motivating," said Sieber, who came to Ny-Ålesund six years ago to work at the Alfred Wegener Institute's research station. When the first year was over, he enjoyed it so well he wanted to continue. Then a job became available at the Norwegian Mapping Authority.

"One can imagine that it might be a little boring to do the same thing every day, but it's a question of what you make out of the job," he said.

The occupational field of geodesy is small, but the four are part of an international network of geodetic Earth observatories that have, among other things, seminars and visiting work opportunities.

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