Oulanka Research Station
Oulanka Research Station was founded in 1966. It is part of the Infrastructure Platform of University of Oulu and is a regional unit of the university in Kuusamo, Finland.
Oulanka Research Station is situated in the river valley of Oulanka within the Oulanka National Park (66°22’ N, 29°19’ E, 167 m a.s.l.). The station is located c. 25 km south of the Arctic Circle, 13 km west of the Russian border, about 280 km northeast of Oulu, and 55 km north of Kuusamo.
Oulanka Research Station operates and offers access to visitors throughout the year. The station is a primary location for field courses at Oulu University (especially biology and geography) with 5-8 different courses and roughly 1500 person-days per year. The station lies in the heart of the Oulanka National Park at an optimal distance to various field research locations. Being a multi-disciplinary research station, Oulanka is open to almost all kinds of research activities. The station has 82 beds, two well-equipped laboratories, an auditorium, classrooms, workshops, and high-speed internet.
Oulanka National Park is a northern biodiversity hot-spot, thanks to the calcium-rich bedrock, varying topography, and large environmental gradients within a small area. Moreover, it has historically been at the cross-roads for movement of northern, southern and eastern species. Unlike most of Finland, the local rivers drain towards the northeast, i.e. to the White Sea.
The study area includes the towns of Kuusamo, Posio, Taivalkoski, and Salla and covers an area of roughly 100 × 200 km. Most of the research activity is concentrated in and around the Oulanka National Park. Historically research has been focused on animal and plant ecology as well as geography. Recently sociological aspects have been included as well. Oulanka has a broad range of long-term data series available for researchers. These include both biological and physical/chemical datasets, and many of them have been collected since 1966. The datasets cover time-series on meteorology, water chemistry of streams and lakes, phenology, ice cover, snow cover, active layer depth, air pollution, as well as different plant and animal species, etc. Oulanka also offers a recently acquired, extremely comprehensive (70 × 90 km) set of high-resolution aerial photographs covering three different areas, i.e. the early 1950’s, the early 1980’s, and c. 2005.
The nearest village with stores and services is 13 km away, while the ski centre of Ruka is 30 km away. Outside the villages and towns, the area is sparsely populated, but tourism is an important activity with associated impacts on nature. In addition to tourism, forestry, and mining are the other major human impacts in the area.
Oulanka Research Station can be reached by car, by bus, or by plane to Kuusamo (55 km from the station) year-round.
University of Oulu
66° 22' 0'' N
29° 19' 0'' E
Snow and Rain
May; June; July; August; September
Fauna; Hill; Lake; Low artificial light pollution; Mountain; Rivers; Rock; Shoreline; Snow
Shrub tundra; Gramminoid tundra; Forest tundra; Peatlands; Wetlands;Deciduous forest; Evergreen forest;Human settlements or resource use in the area
Anthropology; Archaeology; Atmospheric chemistry and physics; Climatology; Climate change; Ecology; Environmental sciences; Fishery; Geocryology; Geology; Geomorphology; GIS; Hydrology; Human biology; Limnology; Mapping; Medicine; Microbiology; Paleoecology; Paleolimnology; Pollution; Sedimentology; Sociology; Social science; Terrestrial biology
Land use change
Biology; Chemistry; Scientific diving
Microscope imaging laboratory facilities
Advanced weather station, differential GPS, basic laboratory equipment, different surveying equipment, state-of-the-art microscope systems (stereo, light, plankton, polarizing, phase contrast, fluorescence, Z-stacking, real-time video, imaging system), highly equipped analysis lab, EMEP-station (FMI owned).
Tech support, some field support, access to time-series biological and phys.chem data, analysis lab access/assistance.
First aid kit, satellite communication device
Motor boats, canoes
Car, snowmobile, bicycles
ICTS (Staff available to assit with constructions)
Computer; E-mail; Internet; Printer; Scanner; Telephone; VHF
Aircraft landing facilities
Kuusamo town airport
Transport and freight
4WD; Airplane; Car; Ski; Skidoo; Walking
Access To The Facility
Yes, location in a national park (study permit required for some activities/species)
Oulanka Research Station (Credits: Pirkko Siikamäki)
Autumn trees and lake (Credits: Pirkko Siikamäki)
Student lab (Credits: Pirkko Siikamäki)
Electro-fishing (Credits: Pirkko Siikamäki)
EMEP measuring station (Credits: Pirkko Siikamäki)
Oulanka river (Credits: Pirkko Siikamäki)
Temperature measurement (Credits: Pirkko Siikamäki)