About Zackenberg
Zackenberg Basic
ZERO Site Manual
Access Permit
Home ZERO Home DPC


ZERO Site Manual 2002


The Danish Polar Center appreciates that you have decided to allocate your High Arctic field research to the facilities at Zackenberg or at the Daneborg branch. The designated study area is located around 74°30'N / 21°00'W within the National Park of North and East Greenland and it comprises the entire catchment area of the river Zackenbergelven.

The objective of the station is to facilitate ecosystem research in the High Arctic. According to the framework programme of ZERO ('Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations') this includes:

  • Basic quantitative documentation of ecosystem structure and processes.
  • Baseline studies of intrinsic short-term and long-term variations in ecosystem functions.
  • Retrospective analyses of organic and inorganic material to detect past ecosystem changes.
  • Experimental studies enabling predictions of ecosystem responses to Global Change.

This is done by:

  • Providing facilities, logistic services and accommodation in Zackenberg and Daneborg.
  • Offering logistic support for transport to and from the area.
  • Providing access to a wide range of both biotic and abiotic data from the long-term terrestrial monitoring programme, Zackenberg Basic.

During the summer field season (June, July and August) the Zackenberg station is staffed with 1 station manager, 1 logistics manager, 1 logistician, and 1 cook. During the rest of the year, there will be a logistician based at Zackenberg only in periods with resident researchers - and only when previously arranged for through agreement with the Danish Polar Center.

The study area is in the zone of continuous permafrost with an active layer thickness varying from 20 to 100 cm. A major geological flexure and thrust zone disecting Zackenbergdalen (note: 'dalen' = 'the valley'), the core study area, separates Caledonian gneiss bedrock (to the west) from Cretaceous sandstone capped by Tertiary basalts (to the east). The margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet is located c. 60 km to the west of Zackenberg. The core study area was deglaciated c. 8,000 years ago and it holds a great diversity of biotopes like ponds, fens, heaths, fellfield plateaus and grasslands.

Access to the station and the designated research zones for any research project is given by the Danish Polar Center on the basis of a proposal describing aims and practicalities of the field research (see access permit form).

Applicable to scientists only, the daily fee at Zackenberg, is 700 DKK (incl. full board and use of all facilities) . Applicable to non-scientists, the daily fee at Zackenberg is 1500 DKK (incl. full board and use of all facilities) Accommodation based on own tent and/or food is not allowed unless special arrangements have been made with DPC. (See price list)

Please note that the logistics services provided by the staff at the station include only those related to running the facilities and to your board at the station. You must therefore be able to take care of all work relating to your research project yourself.

To minimise human impact in the research zones and to prevent research and other activities from mutual disturbance, a set of regulations must be observed. Primarily, every single person visiting Zackenberg must give the utmost consideration to the natural environment and to the interests of others working in the area.


  • Disturbance of soil, plants and animals should be kept at an absolute minimum.
  • Scientific equipment or markers belonging to projects other than your own should not be approached within 20 metres.
  • No waste must be left in the terrain (see further details below).

It remains the responsibility of the individual PI (i.e. principal investigator) to remove markers, tags and scientific equipment from the field site(s) after termination of the study or experiment, unless a more permanent arrangement has been specifically accepted by the Danish Polar Center. In particular, experimental and manipulative studies will be allocated to specific sites following approval by the advisory group before the start of the field season.

At Zackenberg the Danish Polar Center is represented by the station manager and the logistics manager and as such the managers are also the local authority to deal with any issues concerning location of research activities or equipment in the study area.

However, by submitting to the Danish Polar Center the required information about the planned project at Zackenberg, all aspects concerning the access of a given project, allocation of activity, planned experimental work in the field etc. will be settled prior to the field season. In this way we hope to avoid misunderstandings in the field.


New price list


Research Zone 1
Regulations Zone 1
Regulations Zone 2
Regulations Zone 3
A - Z Information
Access to Zackenberg


Annual Report
Daily fee
Database contribution
Force majeure

Indoor footwear
Insurance and liability
Local transportation

Locality GIS
National Park

Personal equipment
Polar Bear precautions
Summer season

Survey equipment
Toilets and showers

Travel - general

Travel - northbound
Travel - southbound
Travel - problems

Travel - schedule
Zackenberg Basic
ZERO logo

Access permit
(pdf, 44 Kb)

Contact persons

Zackenberg climate
(pdf, 26 Kb)


National Park

Packing list

Pertinent web links

Research Zone 1: Zackenbergdalen

See map with zones

Division 1a
This is the core area for monitoring and research projects. In this zone one transportation corridor (between the east end of the runway and the climate station, marked with green-topped nylon sticks and north of the climate station marked with white road shoulder nylon poles) is staked out to concentrate general surface traffic to the least fragile habitats. Please use this corridor when you commute between the station and your field sites. Especially the area north of the runway markers, i.e. the gravel plateaux and Gadekæret should be avoided.

Division 1b
This part of the valley is reserved as a 'minimum impact' study area. This implies that only a minimum of activity will be permitted here and that research activities can take place only by prior approval from the DPC. Ad hoc access by individuals may be granted by the station manager or, in his absence, the logistics manager.

Division 1c
Several hundreds of geese moult in the lowlands adjacent to the coastline. During the 50 days moulting season geese are extremely sensitive to disturbance. In order not to scare off the geese permanently and thereby altering significantly the grazing regime of the coastal meadows, access is prohibited between 20 June and 10 August to a 1000 m wide zone (landwards as well as seawards) adjacent to the coast east of the old delta of the river Zackenbergelven. Plans for research requiring access to this area during the critical period must be approved before the field season by the DPC.

Regulations for Research Zone 1: Zackenbergdalen (see map)

1.1. Accommodation
Accommodation is provided to all researchers in 'Weatherhaven' shelters. Each shelter holds two double rooms with heating, beds and essential furniture. Toilets and showers are located nearby.

1.2. Camping
Camping and tent based equipment storage etc. at a research site may be specifically approved by the station manager or the logistics manager.




1.3. Firearms
Shotguns, pistols and revolvers are not allowed. Rifles of cal. 0.308 (i.e. 7.62 mm) or larger are available at the station and can be borrowed from the logistics manager in accordance with current regulations. It is not mandatory to carry firearms within Zackenbergdalen. However, it is advisable to carry a rifle when staying for extended periods outside the station area.

Handguns (pistols and revolvers) are prohibited at Zackenberg.

Except for an emergency situation, it is strictly forbidden to carry rifles with ammunition in the chamber.

1.4. Geese
Family groups of barnacle geese and flocks of pink-footed and barnacle geese are highly sensitive to disturbances. Please avoid scaring them off their feeding and roosting sites.

1.5. Motorised Traffic
Motorised traffic is not allowed outside the station perimeter, the runway area and the designated traffic corridor. Use of any vehicle must be minimised. Generally, it is not possible to have equipment driven to field sites after the snow cover has disappeared in the low-land areas (typically after 1 July). Motorised vehicles will be operated by the station personnel only.



1.6. Muskoxen
Keep a distance of at least 200 m from muskoxen, not only to avoid the danger from attacks, but also to avoid disturbing the spatial and diurnal foraging patterns of the animals. Read about muskox encounters

1.7. Quiet Nights
Quiet nights are always appreciated by your neighbour. Therefore, please show consideration for your neighbours, especially between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

1.8. Skis and Snowshoes
Until late June, traffic in the study area is hampered by extensive snow cover and, during spring, in many places deep, water soaked snow. Outside a very limited area surrounding the research station and the lower part of Zackenbergelven, skis and /or snowshoes will be an advantage during winter and spring. A limited number of skis and snowshoes are available at the station.

1.9. Smoking
Smoking is not allowed indoors at the Zackenberg station due to fire hazards and consideration for roommates. When smoking outdoors, cigarette buts, cigar stumps, pipe tobacco remains etc. must be taken to deposition in a trash barrel.


1.10. Waste
All types of waste must be brought back to the research station for treatment. Use of the station toilets should always have a clear priority over open-air defecation in the field. However, if unavoidable, cover your faeces with a stone big enough not to be removed by a fox. See also 'Waste' in 'A -> Z Information'.

1.11. Waterbirds
Small populations of red-throated divers, king eiders and long-tailed ducks are found in Zackenbergdalen. As these birds are confined to the relatively limited number of small lakes and ponds, they are sensitive to disturbances. Please avoid scaring them off the ponds. In particular, this applies to incubating divers which may leave the nest for good after just a single disturbance. If you happen to scare off an incubating duck on the tundra, please cover the eggs with the nest downs and leave the place.

1.12. Zackenberg Trapping Station
The old trapping station is a protected historic site at the shoreline c. 2 km from the research station. Visitors at this locality must therefore show respect for the historical values. Use of the wood/coal stove is not allowed. The butane-based burner must be used for all heating and cooking purposes during your visit. Lock up the station carefully when you leave and bring any waste back to Zackenberg Station.


Regulations for Research Zone 2: Adjacent valleys (see map)

2.1. Firearms

Outside Zackenbergdalen, it is mandatory to bring a rifle. See also regulation 1.3.

2.2. Itinerary
Before leaving Zackenbergdalen (i.e. Research Zone 1) you must deposit a written itinerary with the logistics manager (take a copy of the itinerary with you). Visiting any locality outside Research Zone 1 requires a minimum of two persons. It is important that you stick to the itinerary unless a change has been mutually agreed upon with the logistics manager by radio contact.

2.3. Waste
Combustible waste as well as other types of waste must be brought back to Zackenberg for deposition. Cover your faeces with a stone big enough not to be removed by a fox.



Regulations for Research Zone 3: Fiords and Daneborg (see map)

3.1. Firearms

Any group sailing outside the immediate coastal areas off Zackenberg or Daneborg, must bring firearms along in the boat(s). See also regulation 1.3.

3.2. Itinerary
Any group sailing outside the immediate coastal areas off Zackenberg or Daneborg must deposit a written itinerary with the logistics manager (take a copy of the itinerary with you). It is important that you stick to the itinerary unless a change has been mutually agreed upon with the logistics manager by radio contact.

3.3. Sandøen
Sandøen southeast of Daneborg is a strictly protected nature reserve with no access allowed without a special permit from the National Park authorities. See National Park regulations

3.5. Sirius - Daneborg
In the Daneborg station area instructions from the commander of the Sirius sledge patrol must be obeyed. There will be no trespassing for researchers to the military section of Daneborg except for their activities at the airfield directly related to arriving or departing of charter flights. Furthermore, it is prohibited to photograph, pat or otherwise excite the chained-up sled dogs.

3.6. Trappers' Cabins
When visiting the old trapping stations and huts, please show respect for the historical values, and lock up the house carefully when you leave. Do not leave any waste behind.






3.7. Walruses
Walruses can be dangerous to small vessels. Hence, when working in boats and zodiacs in Young Sund - Tyroler Fjord, a distance of at least 200 m should be kept to walruses. Please read the online version of
Wildlife Encounters.



A - Z Information

Access to Zackenberg
To facilitate planning and co-ordination of research under the ZERO auspices, all research projects must submit to the Danish Polar Center a request for access permit no later than 15 January of the year of the planned summer field season. Get the Access Application.

Application deadline for access during winter is 1 April of the year preceding the planned winter field season.

Due to environmental concerns all applications will be evaluated by the Danish Polar Center which also maintains correspondance with the Greenland Homerule concerning the overall access to the National park.

The application form for access permit is enclosed with this document and is also available from the .

Zackenberg Station can accommodate a maximum of 25 researchers and staff. All researchers are accommodated in Canadian 'Weatherhaven' shelters.

When publications utilise primary data sampled by a research project under the auspices of ZERO the author is requested to acknowledge as follows: "The Danish Polar Center is acknowledged for providing access to ecosystem monitoring data and logistics at the research station at Zackenberg."

Aircraft arrival and departure
In order to minimise the disruptive impact on wildlife of low-flying aircraft in and adjacent to the valley, Zackenbergdalen, the following approach and departure procedures must be complied with.
An approaching aircraft must keep to the airspace above Young Sund or Tyrolerfjord at an altitude above 500 m above sea level as long as possible. The runway should be approached directly from the west side as this means the least disturbance to wildlife.
A departing fixed-wing aircraft should preferably take-off towards the west. If wind direction dictates eastwards take-off the aircraft should preferable gain altitude quickly and take a southbound turn heading for the fjord while climbing.
A departing helicopter must head towards the west while climbing to above 500 m altitude and then take a southwards turn heading for the fjord.

Annual Report for ZERO
Following each calendar year a comprehensive report (in English) is published by the Danish Polar Center covering all activities, events and accomplishments of the past year under the auspices of ZERO. All principal investigators (PIs) at Zackenberg or Daneborg are required to provide an abstract as well as one table, graph or photo to this report following specifications provided by the editorship of the Annual Report. Please bear this obligation in mind when you apply for an access permit. Download the previous annual reports.

In wet habitats human activity may lead to a significant wear and tear of the vegetation and top soil layer. To counteract this undesirable influence on the local ecosystem wooden boardwalks must be installed at selected project sites by the research projects.

Zackenberg Station can provide materials for boardwalks but it remains the obligation of the individual research project to install the boardwalks prior to the research activities in wet habitats and to remove the boardwlaks at the end of the project period.

The boardwalks must always be used in preference of stepping on the gound.

Aircraft between Iceland and Zackenberg
Onboard the aircraft between Iceland and Zackenberg the luggage weight limit is 20 kg per passenger. Any access to this is treated as cargo and is given lower priority than people and is charged to the pertinent person or project at a rate of DKK 67 / kg (see price list). This charge is applied to northbound cargo transported by aircraft from Iceland and to southbound cargo transported by aircraft from Zackenberg.

Ship from Denmark to Iceland (see price list)
As prices on excess luggage on flights between Copenhagen and Keflavik is very high (c. 100 DKK/kg), you should consider using the possibity to have your cargo transported by ship from Denmark to Iceland at a per unit price substantially lower than for air cargo. However, this requires that you deliver your goods at the Danish Polar Center premises in early May in order to meet the shipping deadlines. From Iceland to Zackenberg the cargo will be airlifted at a schedule that allows it to be waiting there for you when you arrive. Please to get the details.

Ship from Denmark to Daneborg (see price list)
Furthermore, if it fits your time schedule, you can have cargo transported by ship from Denmark to Daneborg (and then airlifted the last 25 km to Zackenberg). The annual cargo ship leaves Denmark in late July and arrives Daneborg in early August. Likewise you can send cargo back to Denmark onboard the southbound cargo ship. Please to get the details.

"Dangerous goods" (see price list)
If you need to have anything of a "dangerous goods" category transported to or from Zackenberg, please to arrange the most feasible solution to this.

Southbound cargo (see price list)
Please notice that southbound cargo airlifted out of Zackenberg to Iceland will continue to its final destination via surface transportation (i.e. ship, truck, train) unless you have specifically told the Zackenberg logistics manager otherwise and labled your items accordingly as "AIR CARGO".

In many cases you may reduce your cargo expenses if the goods you need in Greenland are purchased on Iceland. Please to discuss this further.

It is essential for optimal planning and utilization of the charter flights to and from Zackenberg that the amounts and types of cargo are known to the planners. You are therefore requested to state in your access application form exact information about all the cargo you and your project colleagues want to have transported to and from Zackenberg. Any changes in cargo amounts and types (in relation to what you stated in the form) must be reported right away to the .









In Daneborg, situated on the outer coast, 22 km SE of Zackenberg, the mean monthly air temperature for the period 1960-1990 was -10.3°C. The warmest month (3.8°C) is July, coldest month is February (-17.6°C). The mean annual precipitation at Daneborg is about 200 mm w.e., according to measurements carried out by the Danish Meteorological Institute. Climate table.

At Zackenberg a meteorological station with two independent 7.5 m masts was constructed in August 1995 and has been operating smoothly since then. Most meteorological parameters are scanned once every hour.
In 1997 the mean air temperature was -10.1°C, the maximum temperature was 21.3°C (mid July) and the minimum temperature was -36.2°C (late December).

The period with mean daily below-freezing conditions in 1997 ended in the second half of May and resumed in late August. Very high air temperatures (>10°C ) were experienced during a week around mid July 1997. The mean wind velocity (1997) was 3.0 m/s. Wind velocities are clearly higher and more fluctuating during winter than during the summer. The dominant wind direction is northerly from mid September to mid May (winter). During the remaining part of the year (i.e. summer) the dominant wind is southeasterly.

The cumulative precipitation (1997) was 223 mm w.e. Almost all precipitation at Zackenberg (1997) is in solid form. Climate data can be order from , Greenland Field Investigations.

Check the current Daneborg weather.

Computer hardware - software
In order to meet your computer needs in the field you are strongly recommended to bring your own portable hardware. Lab top computers are the only answer to this as conventional desktop computers generally can not stand the impact by local dust. E-mail communication via the Inmarsat-M equipment is available. Both incoming and outgoing e-mails are subject to a DKK 25 charge (see price list). Access to the Zackenberg Internet mailbox is available from a dedicated PC located in the 'communication office' and operated only by the logisticians.

The e-mail address for Zackenberg is:

Printers are available. The printers are of jet ink / bubble ink types as laser printers are susceptible to dust problems.

Daily fee (see price list)
The fee for using the station at Zackenberg is DKK 700 / day / person for scientists and DKK 1500 / day / person for non-scientists. This fee includes food, accommodation and free use of all facilities. Following the field season the Danish Polar Center will mail to you an invoice on the total amount of station fee and transportation cost relating to your stay at Zackenberg - in anticipation of a reimbursement at your earliest convenience. Please notice that invoices should not be expected before late November.

Database contribution
The biotic ecosystem monitoring programme, BioBasis, and the abiotic monitoring programmes, GeoBasis and ClimateBasis, generate the foundation of ecosystem information stored in the ZERO database.
Any research project under the auspices of ZERO will be required to provide, for public availability, its primary data following a set of specifications agreed upon by the principal investigator and the Danish Polar Center concerning a given time frame, amount, validation, availability, publication(s) in progress, etc. It is vital for the optimal function of the ZERO concept that the individual projects will indeed contribute to the ZERO database. You are therefore requested to acknowledge the general obligation to provide input to the database already when you sign the application for an access permit to Zackenberg - Daneborg. Any principal investigator is required to brief project participants on this item at the time of submission of the application form.

The station supplies 220 V, 50 Hz AC power. Electricity outlets are of DIN standard.

Zackenberg station holds a special permit that allows persons staying at the station to sport fish from the coast in front of and to the west of the old trapping station, but only by means of rod and tackle. The fishing season opens at 1 July.

Force majeure
Please notice that flights to and from Zackenberg may be changed due to weather conditions. Furthermore, southbound flights from Zackenberg to Iceland may be rescheduled if the station manager or the logistics manager considers it necessary due to weather forecasts.

Indoor footwear
All station buildings are off limit to outdoor footwear! It is recommendable to bring footwear dedicated to your personal indoor use. Alternatively, a pair of clogs is a handy option to use between buildings.

Insurance and liability
While you are at Zackenberg and operating within the limits of the ZERO study area (i.e. Research Zone 1 and Research Zone 2) you are part of the logistics and safety framework that the Danish Polar Center is providing for everyone at Zackenberg. Insurance Statement.

Therefore, you are not required to take out any special Search-And-Rescue (SAR) insurance for the period your are in the field at Zackenberg.

You are, however, required to take out a normal travel insurance covering, e.g. medical help and evacuation in case of illness. Please notice that Danish Polar Center will take no formal responsibility for your personal safety at Zackenberg. Contact an insurance provider (e.g. Europæiske) for more details.

Please note that if you are operating outside the ZERO study area (i.e. outside Research Zones 1 and 2) it remains your own responsibility that you possess a valid insurance covering all expenses deferred from any case of illness, injury etc. requiring a non-scheduled transportation of you out of Zackenberg or Daneborg. Please contact an insurance provider (e.g. Europæiske) for more details.

Please notice that it remains your own responsibility to secure that your own insurances will cover expenses deriving from your hospitalization or medical treatment in case you have to be evacuated from Zackenberg or Daneborg.

A wet and a dry laboratory accommodate all types of work relating to sample preparation, sorting and examination. There is a supply of basic lab equipment available in both laboratories. Though the facilities are well equipped with basic lab equipment there is still space available for more specialised equipment brought in by researchers.

The basic lab equipment at Zackenberg includes pH-meter, conductivity meter, high precision scales, normal range scales, stereo microscope, centrifuge, drying ovens, thermometers, sieves and meshes, pipettes, various glass ware, plastic containers etc.

For specific information about lab equipment at Zackenberg please contact the station manager. In the wet lab demineralised (< 0,01 µS/cm) and filtered (< 2µm) water is available. Besides, a selection of often used chemicals is available. If larger amounts of chemicals are required please contact the logistics manager well in advance.

It is your own responsibility to bring out of Zackenberg all waste chemicals belonging to your project.

Local transportation
First and foremost, anyone visiting Zackenberg must bear in mind that minimising human impact on the pristine ecosystem has highest priority. Local transportation must therefore take place with due consideration to landscape, flora and fauna. The staked-out corridor through the most heavily used areas must be followed as far as possible before fanning out to the various destinations, e.g. study sites.



For use of motorised vehicles, please confer regulation 1.5. Please stay at least 20 m away from study sites, experimental plots, scientific equipment etc. unless you have arranged otherwise with the station manager or the logistics manager. Especially sensitive plots are marked with red-topped nylon poles. See also regulation 1.5

Locality GIS
Twenty meters to the north of the mess house a boulder carries a copper plate for exact GPS and altimeter calibration. The position can be found on the bulletin board in the mess room.
Any principal investigator must see that all experimental sites, dug holes etc. relating to his/her project are registered with exact UTM coordinates. These GIS data must be delivered to the station manager who will enter them into the "Experiments Database" providing an overview of the location of all research and monitoring sites during the years.

The postal connection between Zackenberg and the rest of the world goes through Akureyri, Iceland, thanks to the charter flight company Flugfélag Íslands.Therefore, Icelandic stamps are needed on outgoing mail. The station office at Zackenberg will have envelopes, stationary and stamps available for your use. In case you will need special envelopes (e.g. for samples), you must bring them yourself. Postage ready envelopes can be left with the logistician who will stamp them and send them off to Iceland on the first available flight.

To receive mail at Zackenberg the following mailing address applies:

Person's name
ZERO - Zackenberg
c/o Flugfélag Íslands
Akureyri Airport
P.O. Box 400 
IS-602 Akureyri, Iceland

The station fee also covers all your meals and non-alcoholic beverages. During the main season (June through August) the mess is staffed with a professional cook. All meals are served buffet style. Snacks are available throughout the day (and night) on a self service basis. If you know you will be significantly late for a meal, please contact the kitchen staff in advance so servings can be saved for you. In case you are on a special diet for health reasons, please contact the staff before the field season. Luxury items for internal use, such as candy and alcoholic beverages, must be brought in by yourself. If you need freeze-dried food for several days, please contact the logistics manager prior to the field season.


National Park regulations
Zackenberg and its study area are located within the National Park of North and East Greenland under the jurisdiction of the Greenland Home Rule. Please confer the unofficial English translation of the 'Executive Order no. 7' with all current rules and regulations to be observed while you are in Northeast Greenland. Please notice that activities outside the Zackenberg study area or the Daneborg station area will require an access permit obtained prior to your field season. If your research will include activities not complying with the National Park regulations, you are, well in advance, required to apply the Greenland Home Rule for dispensation(s). Please contact the station manager for more information.





Personal equipment
Clothing should be what you prefer to wear in the field. The High Arctic summer season has a climate comparable to a southern Scandinavian autumn / early winter. There is a risk of sub-freezing temperatures and snow throughout the summer. However, on the positive side is the high degree of stability on the weather pattern. You should bring clothes that are versatile, durable and comfortable.

One general rule should be obeyed: Keep dry from sweat and water.

This can be accomplished by frequently adjusting the amount and combination of clothes to the weather at any given time. For an optimal adjustment it is advisable to dress in many thin layers, not one big bulky sweater. Be sure to bring some wind- and waterproof garment and make sure that your footwear is comfortable, durable and waterproof. During the snow melt period in June - early July rubber boots as well as snowshoes and skis are recommended.

Remember soap and towels for your personal use - as well as all necessary personal toiletries. Detergent for washing clothes is available at the station.

Remember, the nearest shop is c. 500 km away!

A personal backpack is a must for anyone venturing outside the immediate area around the station. A well equipped first aid kit is available at the station. Any personal medication must be brought in by yourself.

Any disease that might affect your ability to stay and work in the field must be reported to the staff on the application form, but please notice that Danish Polar Center will take no responsibility for any problems relating to the health information reported on page 6 of the mandatory application form.

Polar Bear precautions
The Zackenberg Station has contingency plans for situations where polar bears appear in the valley or within the station perimeter. Please read and rehearse the plans and the 10 bear points before you go to Zackenberg so you can react prudently if you have to face a polar bear.

Polar bears are very rare at Zackenberg. Since 1995 only two bears have been seen in the area around Zackenberg station. However, at Daneborg polar bears are frequent visitors.

Check the current prices for the 2002 field season. See also 'Travelling to and from Zackenberg - general'.



The old Zackenberg trapping station at the coastline as well as the summits of Zackenberg and Aucella mountains are all favorite destinations for recreational hikes. Remember to brief the logisticians about your excursion and to leave an itinerary with the manager. Note: Read regulation 1.12. about activities relating to Zackenberg trapping station.

Hunting is prohibited and sport fishing is allowed only by means of rod and tackle from the shoreline west of the trapping station.

A limited number of novels and indoor as well as outdoor games (e.g. volleyball, soccer, badminton, petanque) are available at the station. When you leave Zackenberg it is recommendable that you donate to the local station library any good novel etc. that you brought with you.

Personal radio receivers operating on short wave bands and the HF radio in the radio room are able to receive international broadcast news etc. from e.g. Radio Denmark and BBC World Service and is a recommendable way of keeping abreast with events in the outside world, if you really feel you have to!

During the 2002 summer field season the following personnel will be present: 1 station manager, 1 logistics manager, 2 logisticians and 1 cook.

Summer season
The 2002 field season will start with the arrival of the station staff c. 1 June. The summer season will run for c. 3 months with the staff departing c. 1 September. Note that the station is available for use year-round. However, it will be staffed only during the three months summer season, unless a specific project has negotiated a prior arrangement with the Danish Polar Center.

Survey equipment
For surveying and positioning purposes a total station (i.e. a digital theodolite) as well as GPS equipment (not differential) are available. The station manager can assist you in preparing thematic field maps for the study area. A digital elevation model covering Zackenbergdalen and Store Sødal allows for preparation of specialised maps based on the individual researchers wish.

At the station you may use three kinds of voice communication modes. For local communication purposes, i.e. within the core study area, a number of VHF radios will be at your disposal. Regional communication, i.e. destinations in Northeast Greenland, is dealt with by means of a HF radio. International communication, e.g. to/from Denmark, will be handled with an Inmarsat-M satellite telephone.

Zackenberg can be reached at the following numbers:

Voice phone: + 871 761 282 913

Telefax: + 871 761 282 914

From any digital telephone you may access the above numbers by simply entering the digits (from Denmark the prefix is '00').

Please note, that in the period from early September to late May the telephone and the HF radio are disconnected as the station is unmanned during the winter period. During winter you can contact the station staff at: +45 3288 0100 (voice phone) or +45 3288 0101 (telefax).

Important: As you can not count on somebody being within hearing distance of the phone just when you put your voice telephone call through to Zackenberg it is strongly recommended to use the telefax option as the cheapest and most reliable way of communication. Furthermore, via the Inmarsat-M equipment, e-mailing is possible. (see price list)

Important: Due to technical constraints in the satellite e-mail and data transmission can take place only at a baud rate of 1200. E-mails should therefore only be used for sending text messages (not attachments of any kind). (see price list)

E-mail communication takes place via a dedicated PC located in the radio room. The in-mail box will be emptied daily just before breakfast and dinner time and recipients will be notified.

Please note that the price for sending or receiving an e-mail is DKK 25 for the first three (printed) pages. For each additional (printed) page you will be charged DKK 10 per page. It is not possible to transfer attachments through the satellite link to and from Zackenberg; they simply block the data communication. Therefore, please inform potential senders of e-mails to you about the e-mail price policy and transfer restrictions at Zackenberg before your departure for Greenland.


The e-mail address for Zackenberg is

Toilets and showers
The station has a number of toilets located inside a dedicated building. In order to secure a continuous optimal function of the toilets it is important that all users comply with the instructions that the logistician may give you regarding use of the 'facilities'. Two showers and washrooms (both with hot and cold water) are located in the wet house (house no. 2). Furthermore, one standard household laundromat is available.


Transportation (see price list)
Virtually all transportation to and from Zackenberg is by aircraft. Researchers, staff and large amounts of equipment fly in and out with Twin Otter via Akureyri, Iceland. Heavy and/or bulky supplies from Denmark are brought to Daneborg on the annual cargo ship 10-15 August. From Daneborg cargo is flown the 20 km to Zackenberg. You will need to notify the Danish Polar Center well in advance if you plan to have heavy and/or bulky equipment sent to Zackenberg.

Travelling to and from Zackenberg - general
The journey to Zackenberg goes through Akureyri on Iceland. The journey between your home and Akureyri, Iceland, depends on your own booking and planning ! However, the Danish Polar Center can offer all visitors to Zackenberg a special air fare between European and US destinations serviced by Icelandair and Akureyri, Iceland. If you opt to let the Danish Polar Center take care of your tickets you must contact the .

It is the objective of the Danish Polar Center to plan and implement the charter flights to and from Zackenberg in order to meet the interests of the involved researchers as much as possible while considering the overall goal of optimal use of available aircraft payload. This balance may result in researchers having to adjust their proposed travelling schedule to fit into the logistics framework.

The Danish Polar Center is in charge of organising the charter flights between Iceland and Zackenberg (as well as any associated overnight stays in Iceland and the center announces a year 2002 round trip package price of DKK 15,000 for scientists and DKK 22,000 for non-scientists. These price tags include a round trip ticket Copenhagen-Zackenberg-Copenhagen as well as the necessary overnight stays in Iceland.
(see price list)

The price covers 1 person + 20 kg luggage but only as far as the Iceland - Zackenberg - Iceland charter flight is concerned !! Please notice that the charge for excess lagguge on flights between Copenhagen and Keflavik is very high (c. DKK 100 per kg).
Between Iceland and Zackenberg owners of any excess luggage weight will be charged 67 DKK per kg - each way! Please notice that luggage as well as cargo will be weighed and related to owner prior to every flight.

Any excess luggage weight on the Iceland - Zackenberg - Iceland legs must be notified to the Danish Polar Center and may be dealt with as cargo to be transported accordingly and at your expense!! It further remains your economic responsibility to cover the expenses defrayed from bringing excess luggage on the commercial flights between your home town and Iceland.

Following the field season invoices covering the travel-related expenses defrayed on behalf of the individual person or project will be issued and mailed by the DPC. Invoices must be paid before the end of December.

Travelling - northbound

Prior to the departure date the traveller will receive - from the Danish Polar Center tickets to cover the flight from e.g. Copenhagen to Akureyri via Keflavik, Iceland's primary international airport.

Upon arrival at Keflavik you must collect your luggage and proceed to the domestic air terminal, located 52 km to the east in the capital city, Reykjavik. Citizens of Nordic countries need not bring their passport. All other nationals must be prepared to show their passport at the control booth at Keflavik. In front of the control booth a bank branch offers you a convenient opportunity to buy Icelandic currency (i.e. 'kronur').

Please note that Iceland enforces strict regulations against letting fishing gear (potentially infected with fish disease vectors) into the country. Therefore, be prepared to explain that your luggage is in transit and bound for Greenland with first available flight, and be prepared also that you might be charged c. DKK 200 for a disinfection of your fishing gear, should the officials decide so. Likewise, bringing firearms into Iceland will trigger questions at the customs check point. Be ready to present your valid firearm licence to the customs officer - and explain that you and your firearm are in transit only.

The distance between Keflavik and Reykjavik may be covered by Icelandair shuttle bus leaving just outside the Keflavik arrival hall. You must take all your luggage to the bus and see that it is placed in the luggage compartment. Tickets (currently ISK 700 ~ DKK 70) are sold by the bus driver. However, you should have received bus tickets from DPC along with your airline tickets, so you just present one ticket to the bus driver and notify him that you are bound for Reykjavik domestic airport terminal. The bus stops at the Hotel Loftleidir. If there are bus passengers who need to go to other hotels or to the domestic airport, the same bus will take you there right after the stop at Loftleidir. This extra trip is included in the bus ticket you purchased in Keflavik. Therefore, if you are several persons travelling northbound together and you are scheduled to stay overnight in Reykjavik you can get the bus driver to take you to your hotel, after he has called in at the domestic airport terminal.

Once at the Reykjavik airport you must check in your luggage again - although it should be labelled with Akureyri as your final destination. The flight Reykjavik - Akureyri uses a so-called "ticketless" system. You will receive a reservation number for this route together with your other tickets. The reservation number is your valid travel licence to this route. The flight to Akureyri takes c. 50 minutes and - weather permitting - offers you low level views of magnificent lava landscapes and local ice caps. Some turbulence is frequently encountered when descending into the Akureyri valley.

Upon arrival at Akureyri, please contact the Flugfélag Íslands counter in the check-in section of the airport building - and notify the staff that you have arrived and are ready for the scheduled charter flight to Zackenberg.

The Flugfélag Íslands personnel will announce the expected time of departure for the Zackenberg flight and - in case you will be departing the following day - show you the location of your overnight accommodation in town. Local taxi transportation between airport and overnight accommodation is at your own responsibility and cost.

At your overnight accommodation breakfast is included. Notify the receptionist or caretaker about your departure time in the morning so breakfast can be ready in due time. When departing your accommodation remember to sign your hotel bill and indicate with the letters 'DPC' that the Danish Polar Center will cover the costs. However, any expenses derived from room service or private telephone calls charged to your room will have to be paid by you before departure. Except for breakfast at the overnight accommodation all meals in Akureyri will be at your own expense. Credit cards like EuroCard, MasterCard, Visa and Diner's Club are widely accepted.

It is essential for the charter flight Akureyri-Zackenberg that you comply with the following weight limit: 1 person + 20 kg luggage!! Any excess to that limit will have to be announced well in advance to the Danish Polar Center in order to secure an optimal planning and transportation service, e.g. using alternative cargo options. Therefore, please indicate,
already when you submit the access application, how much excess luggage you will be bringing.

The flight from Akureyri to Zackenberg goes either via Constable Pynt or via Mestersvig, 2 - 2.5 hours due north of Akureyri. At Constable Pynt only a brief ground stop allows for refueling of the aircraft, 'defueling' of passengers and loading of any northbound additional Zackenberg-cargo. The journey then continues north, sometimes via Daneborg, to Zackenberg - a distance covered in c. 1.5 hour. For your own comfort, take your precautions to counteract the absence of any toilet facility on board the aircraft. For male passengers, bringing a plastic container of appropriate volume and with screw on-off cap may be a wise disposition.

Travelling - southbound

You will depart Zackenberg by Twin Otter in late afternoon and arrive in Akureyri during the late evening hours. If you are booked on an international flight leaving Keflavik early the following morning your flight from Zackenberg must arrive in Akureyri early enough for you to catch a domestic flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik no later than 21:45 pm.

If you are booked on an international flight leaving Keflavik the following day after 12.00 hours you will stay overnight in Akureyri and proceed to Reykjavik with a morning flight to leave you due time for transfer between Reykjavik and Keflavik. Please confer the pertinent sections on overnight stay and local transportation under 'Travelling - northbound'.

Upon arrival at Reykjavik airport you yourself must organise the transfer to Hotel Loftleidir from where the shuttle bus to Keflavik international airport will depart. Shuttle bus tickets (currently ISK 700 / person) are bought in the hotel reception hall or with the bus driver.
However, you should have received bus tickets from DPC along with your airline tickets, so you just present one ticket to the bus driver and notify him that you are bound for Keflavik. If you are arriving at Reykjavik in the morning as part of a larger Zackenberg group continuing from Keflavik the same day, Flugfélag Íslands will arrange for the shuttle bus to pick you up at the domestic airport and take you to Keflavik.

If the planned date of departure from Zackenberg is altered while you are in the field the Zackenberg staff will make arrangements with Flugfélag Íslands in Akureyri to change your tickets and hotel reservations accordingly. A worst case scenario will result in you staying a couple of additional days in Iceland on your way home, - but Flugfélag Íslands is indeed very efficient when it comes to re-booking and re-scheduling.

It is essential for the charter flight Zackenberg - Akureyri that you comply with the following weight limit: 1 person + 20 kg luggage !!

Travelling - problems
If, immediately before or during your travel, you should encounter any problems relating to airline tickets or hotel reservations you are recommended to contact Flugfélag Íslands directly:

Flugfélag Íslands, Charter Flights
P.O. Box 400
IS-602 Akureyri , Iceland
Phone: +354 460-7080-4
Fax: +354 461-2106.
Contact persons: Mr. (also known as "Frissi") (fridrik@airiceland.is) (phone +354 460-7080-4 / mobile phone +354 894-5390). The .

Travelling - charter flight schedule
During the year 2002 field season charter flights with Twin Otter between Iceland and Zackenberg will be available at a 10 -20 days interval during the c. 100 days long field season. The final travel schedule can not be established until all travel needs are known. Please the dates that you would prefer to travel north and south and indicate these preferences in your access application.

Waste is separated into organic waste, combustible paper/cardboard items, other combustible items and noncombustible items. Paper and cardboard are burned in the local incinerator. Toilet waste is fragmented and dumped into the river. All other types of waste are flown out from Zackenberg to treatment or deposition at Constable Pynt

All tools are at your disposal for work in the workshop - but in order to keep the workshop well stocked and functional everyone using tools must show a high discipline: treat the tools appropriately, and remember to put them back in place immediately after use. The logisticians are in charge of the workshop.
All tools that you know will be needed for your project work in the field must be brought to Zackenberg by yourself. Please do not expect the logisticians to directly support your project with their own labour. If they do, it will be an extraordinary effort taking place in their off-duty hours.

Zackenberg Basic
As an integrated activity at Zackenberg the long-term monitoring programme, Zackenberg Basic, was initiated in 1995 and fully implemented in 1996. The objective of the programme is to provide long time series of data on the natural innate oscillations and plasticity of a High Arctic terrestrial ecosystem. This is accomplished through monitoring selected biotic parameters and elements in the BioBasis programme operated by the National Environmental Research Institute (DMU). Abiotic parameters and elements in soil and water are monitored in the GeoBasis programme operated by University of Copenhagen, Institute of Geography. Abiotic parameters in the atmosphere are monitored in the ClimateBasis programme operated by ASIAQ, Greenland Field Investigations. All take place throughout the year on a long-term basis. In depth information on Zackenberg Basic is available in the Annual Reports for ZERO, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

ZERO logo
As an acronym for Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations, the overall framework of the scientific and logistic efforts in Zackenberg, ZERO symbolises the objective to establish a basic insight into the dynamics of an undisturbed High Arctic ecosystem, i.e. the state of 'year zero' before climate change. The logo includes the 'zero-line' which continues as a graph symbolising variation in any of the ecosystem phenomena monitored or studied. The graph is actually a simplified profile of a distinct part of the jagged northern edge of the Zackenberg mountain. This mountain was named by the 2nd German North Polar Expedition 1869-1870 because of its jagged profile, as 'Zacken' in German means jags, i.e. the jagged mountain.

ZERO merchandise
In "Aka's Tundra Shop" at Zackenberg you can buy caps, T-shirts and sweatshirts in various sizes and all carying the ZERO logo and the text: Zackenberg    Northeast Greenland   74°30' N
The Tundra Shop also has photo postcards, toothbrushes, sanitary towels and tampons, batteries etc. for sale.

Contact persons
If you need to get detailed information on a certain subject concerning ZERO, please contact the following:

Phone: +45 3288 0121 Telefax: +45 3288 0101
Invoice / reimbursement / finance deadlines / per diem rates

Morten Rasch, Station Manager (see more below)
Phone: +45 3288 0114 Telefax: +45 3288 0101
Insurance / liability / travelling / tickets / scientific issues / scientific equipment / National park regulations / Zackenberg physical environment

, Logistics Manager
Phone: +45 3288 0133 Telefax: +45 3288 0101
Station buildings / telecommunication / waste / workshop / foods / sea cargo / air cargo / electrical power / radios / firearms / recreation / boats / vehicles / accommodation / personal equipment / water supply

, BioBasis
Phone: +45 3582 1415 Telefax: +45 3582 1420
BioBasis / ITEX / vegetation / invertebrates / birds

ASIAQ Greenland Field Investigations, ClimateBasis
P. O. Box 1003, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland
Phone: +299 34 88 00 Telefax: +299 34 88 01 www.asiaq.gl 
ClimateBasis / climate data / climate station / water discharge monitoring

Morten Rasch, GeoBasis
Phone: +45 3288 0114 Telefax: +45 3288 0101
Climate data / digital terrain model / database / hardware / software / Access applications / ZERO Annual Report

Phone: +45 3288 0120 Telefax: +45 3288 0101
Zackenberg on the WWW

Strandgade 100 H DK-1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Phone: +45 3288 0100 Telefax: +45 3288 0101 dpc.dk  or 

Links Search Danish Polar Center