Stockholm university

Donation in support of Tarfala Research Station

A fundraising campaign by employees at Google in the USA and Sweden has led to a donation of 101,000 SEK to research at Tarfala Research Station.

Digging in stormy Tarfala.
Trying to keep the snow-scooters from being buried by snow: Shoveling in winds up to 38 m/s. Nina Kirchner (left) and Annika Granebeck (right). Photo: Markus Karasti

A group of Google employees from both the USA and Sweden have, on their own initiative, collected 101 000 SEK to support the climate research work at Tarfala Research Station. Serge Lachapelle represents the group of donors and says:

“I learned about Tarfala Research Station through social media. I know that science and facts are incredibly important to continue the push towards sustainability and carbon free energy. I am thankful that there are people willing to do the hard work to collect vital data. I was fascinated by the work done by Dr. Nina Kirchner and her team and asked a few colleagues to contribute. The response was quick: within two days I had collected the funds. The group has been following the progress of the work via the email newsletter and is very proud to have contributed.”

Nina Kirchner and her team have just returned from the spring field season at Tarfala, where they conducted the end-of-winter glacier survey at Storglaciären, and Rabot, Mårma and Riokojietna glacier. Because of the pandemic, the team was smaller than usual, but what the group lacked in numbers was made up by the dedication with which the small team worked.


“A real boost for our work”

“Receiving the wonderful and generous donation was a real boost for our work – we could buy new work clothes that kept us warm during our long workdays on the glaciers. The donation also warmed our hearts, because it showed us that people care about the work we do, to the extent that they are supporting it with their private money.  Work on glaciers is not always the paradise-like, sun-on-glittering snow experience that is often dominating in the media – our reality weather wise can look very different,” says Nina Kirchner.

Resting in the snow at Tarfala.
Taking a short rest in a partly wind-sheltered sun-pit, at Riuokjietna Glacier, April 2021. From left to right: Markus Karasti, Pelle Holmlund, Annika Granebeck, and Nina Kirchner. Photo: self-timer, camera Markus Karasti.

The fact that the donation dedicated to Tarfala comes from Google employees in both Sweden and the USA, shows that research on climate change ignores country borders and is indeed of global relevance and concern. And that reaching out with science and facts is never an endeavor that is in vain.

“The climate crisis cannot be solved by anyone alone – we need alliances across countries, business sectors and academic institutions. Maybe our example can inspire others too, to explore new connections, either aiming to attract more donations, or to start collaborations where unique, complementary competences can be combined from the business sector and academia,” say Serge Lachapelle and Nina Kirchner.

Read interview: Nina Kirchner – glaciologist in battle against time
Read more on Tarfala Research Station.