Have you ever dreamt of sailing into the Arctic and taking part in a research cruise? Have you ever wondered how scientists live and work when out at sea? Have you ever wondered how the R/V Kronprins Haakon looks like inside?
If so, then look no further and check out the new AKMA project virtual research cruise!
Text: Mariana Esteves
The pandemic affected us all globally and so, when many of the participants for the first AKMA (Advancing Knowledge of Methane in the Arctic) cruise were unable to join the cruise Covid-19 restrictions, the idea to develop the virtual research (VR) cruise was born. Students and researchers from AKMA project, CAGE and UiT worked together to film and create an educational tool that can be used by anyone who wants to know what it is like to be a scientist on an Arctic research expedition.
“We all know that real expeditions are unique, but the virtual one can be used for teaching, outreach, to prepare participants in getting familiar with the environment on-board, and for people with disabilities that differently could not join an expedition.” Says Giuliana Panieri, the leader for the AKMA project and cruise.
The VR cruise on-board the R/V Kronprins Haakon can be explored both online through the web browser or with a virtual reality headset. A total of 10 virtual reality headsets are available for schools to borrow, and they have already ventured around Europe and the world allowing students from several schools to explore the R/V Kronprins Haakon and virtual cruise. This is a unique experience for people of all ages, from school children to adults, to experience being on a research cruise and feel inspired for polar research.
To find out more information on the virtual research cruise and how your school or research institute can get involved with this initiative, click here.
To read the reflections of a project leader during the AKMA cruise, click here.