Field course: northern biodiversity hotspots, flora of Skibotn and surroundings

Running dates: July 29th – Aug. 3rd, 2024

Application deadline: June 1st, 2024

Application: see practical info

Location: Skibotn ( meet up in Tromsø the first day)


Course leader

Practical info

This course will be on site at the Skibotn fieldstation (see more below).The responsible institution is UiT. UiTs local course code is BIO-8024.

Important! Registration is binding! Do not apply for a course unless you are sure that you can attend.

You must apply the following ways :

  1. UiT students: apply for a seat by registering for classes in StudentWeb before 22nd of June. The registration starts 15th of June.
  2. Non-UiT students: apply for admission through SøknadsWeb before 1st of June. Application code 9301. For applicants who are granted a seat, a study right will be created, and these applicants apply for a seat by registering for classes in StudentWeb before 22nd of June.
  3. In addition, all applicants must fill out this application form. Deadline June 7th, 2024.

The course schedule and description of field excursions will be provided at a late stage to the accepted participants. Participants meet up at the Botany Building, The Arctic University Museum of Norway, UiT 29 July at 12:00 for practical information and transport to Skibotn.

The course is run with financial support from the national graduate school Photosyntech.

Contact Galina Gusarova ( for more information.

Course content

Practical experience with morphology-based species identification is in high demand in both basic and applied biological research. You will study applied taxonomy, acquire identification and field collection skills, as well as learn how to prepare and mount the specimens for preservation in museum collections.

This course will provide training in the identification of Boreal and Arctic groups of flowering plants. The teaching will take place in Skibotn area with a remarkably high species number for such northern latitudes (68-69 degrees N) challenging the general concept that species richness decreases as latitude increases. Daily excursions to both lowland and mountain habitats will be combined with practical work in the class to identify the collected materials using the identification keys and learn diagnostic characters of plant taxa.

This course is accredited by the University of Tromsø as amounting 5 ECTS. Course code Bio-3024 (MSc level) and Bio-8024 (PhD level). See the course description on the UiT pages here

Instructors: Andy Sortland and Galina Gussarova

Required previous knowledge/course-specific requirements

The course is primarily intended for PhD students of the research schools and post-docs. However, it is also open for MSc students and non-students if there is space available.


Performance during the practical parts of the course and a practical exam (pass/or fail), which will be arranged on the last day of the course. The exam will consist of the identification of specimens using keys and documenting the distinct morphological characters of the specimens that are used to classify it to taxa at different taxonomic levels. 

Financial aid

We provide transport from Tromsø (The Arctic University Museum) to Skibotn station. Accommodation and subsistence at the Skibotn field station for the course duration will also be covered for all the participants. There are no course fees. Support to cover travel to Tromsø will be available to (i) Members of Photosyntech who are awarded activity grants and can use these grants to cover their travel expenses. Activity grants are paid out after each semester to members who have been attending courses that year; (ii) ForBio members affiliated with Norwegian universities or research institutes. All other applicants will need to secure their own funding to cover travel to Tromsø.

It is expected that all participants in the course are affiliated or become affiliated with the research schools:

Apply for membership to Photosyntech graduate school (PhD students in Norway only)

Find out about how to become a ForBio member or associate (PhD students and all other applicants).


The maximum number of participants is 15. 

The application deadline is 7 June 2024.

Results will be announced by e-mail on 14 June 2024.



For questions regarding the research schools

For Photosyntech: contact Sunniva Katharina Thode at 

For ForBio: contact Micah Dunthorn at