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What was Queen? Its history and international framework - an introduction to its final synthesis issue

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Thiede, J. , Astakhov, V. , Bauch, H. , Bolshiyanov, D. , Dowdeswell, J. , Funder, S. , Hjort, C. , Kotlyakov, V. , Mangerud, J. , Pryamikov, S. , Saarnisto, M. and Schluechter, C. (2004): What was Queen? Its history and international framework - an introduction to its final synthesis issue , Quaternary Science Reviews, 23 (11), pp. 1225-1227 . doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2003.12.006
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This issue is the final synthesis report by QUEEN (Quaternary Environments of the Eurasian North), an à la carte programme of the ESF (European Science Foundation) Standing Committee for Life and Environmental Sciences (LESC), supported through funds from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In addition to several national projects, the European Union project Ice Sheets and Climate in the Eurasian Arctic (Eurasian Ice Sheets) formed part of the program during the period 1998 to 2000. Support from many Russian institutions and individual researchers was essential for organizing the numerous expeditions into remote areas of the northernmost Eurasia and the adjacent Arctic Ocean. QUEEN was initially suggested in 1995 when several research groups of western European and Russian scientists studying the Quaternary in remote and poorly known regions of the Eurasian North decided that they could improve the scope and depth of their investigations through international coordination and cooperation. By that time several of the European groups had already acquired substantial experience in collaborative studies of Quaternary processes and sedimentation history along the polar North Atlantic margins through a similar project, PONAM (Elverhøi et al., 1998), and by working on a bilateral basis with their Russian colleagues.QUEEN was launched in 1996 for a 5-yr period and ended in 2002 after an extension for another 2 yr. The ESF-based funding for QUEEN allowed to conduct annual workshops for discussing the spectacular new observations from areas which had been largely inaccessible in earlier, political more troublesome times, and to jointly plan and coordinate field work for each successive year. A particular emphasis was on bringing numerous young researchers from Russia together with their western partners for scientific exchange within an international framework. Three of the workshops have yielded collections of papers summarizing the growing wealth of new data from the QUEEN area, which extends rom Norway to the shores of the Laptev Sea. This volume is the last collection of papers aiming at the final synthesis based on presentations given at the Sixth QUEEN workshop in Spiez, Switzerland.Preceding volumes published by Larsen et al. (1999) after the initial QUEEN workshop in Strasbourg, France and by Thiede et al. (2001) after workshops in Øystese, Norway and Lund, Sweden hosted a number of specialized studies in specific crucial areas. In July 2003 QUEEN results were also presented during a special symposium at the XVI. INQUA Congress in Reno (USA). Numerous expedition reports and detailed descriptions of QUEEN results are also spread throughout the scientific literature. However, the mentioned comprehensive volumes presented our results as a whole and should be considered as the main legacy of QUEEN, a full member of the international IGBP Core Project PAGES (Past Global Changes).

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