Seminar | "Managing Italian research stations at the Poles" by Roberto Sparapani | 19 February

Polar areas are an ideal place to study climate change and other research fields. However, living and working at the Poles is a challenge for all the researchers involved. This presentation by Roberto Sparapani, who led the Italian research station Dirigibile Italia at Ny-Ålesund from 1997 to 2014, will take a short trip through the research and history of polar science - with a focus on the human factor, which makes a difference in a natural environment that leaves no room for improvisation.


The seminar will be held on 19 February at 4.30 p.m. in the Main Auditorium. It will be followed by a screening of Paola Catapano’s documentary for RAIWORLD “A Nord di Capo nord” (North of Cape North), in Italian with English subtitles. The documentary was given the "Artistic Direction Special Award" at the Rome Scientific Documentary Festival in December 2014.

Ny-Ålesund is a small international research village located in the northwest coast of the Svalbard archipelago (79° N). Similar to a small "CERN", Ny-Ålesund is a community of 11 research stations and more than 20 countries working in the sunlight for 6 months in a row, and the reflections of the aurora for the rest of the year.

Roberto Sparapani worked for CNR (the Italian Research Council) since 1983, initially with the Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research as a laboratory technician. He soon started taking part in research expeditions to extreme areas as a logistics manager: on oceanographic ships from 1987 to 1990, in Nepal in 1991, the Spitzbergen in 1992, Antarctica in 1994, Greenland in 1999 and the Canadian Arctic (Alert) in 2000. He was base leader of the Antarctic Zucchelli station from 2004 to 2009 and of the Arctic research station "Dirigibile Italia" at Ny-Ålesund since its opening in 1997 until 2014.