Conference venue


Oulanka Research Station is part of the Thule Institute, University of Oulu. It was established in 1966 to promote research and teaching in biological and geosciences. Its modern research and educational facilities provide an inspiring environment not only for researchers and teachers, but also for organisers of courses, seminars and conferences.

The research station is located within the Oulanka National Park which was founded in 1956. Oulanka is a superb hiking destination. The popular Karhunkierros Hiking Trail leads through the National Park.

The park is located in the municipalities of Kuusamo and Salla in the northeastern Finnish upland region. The Kuusamo Uplands, which the Oulankajoki river system is part of, is said to be the best reserved part of taiga forest in Western Europe. The park ends at the national border. Behind the border in Russia is Paanajärvi National Park which was established in 1992. Oulanka National park has been part of the European PAN Parks network since 2002, and in 2012 the Oulanka and Paanajärvi National Parks were granted a joint PAN Parks certificate.

Oulanka is a unique and diverse combination of northern, southern and eastern nature. The climate is characterized by extreme seasonality, the difference in mean monthly temperature between the warmest (July) and coldest (January) months being almost 30 °C. The Oulanka-Paanajärvi valley has served as one of the main post-glacial immigration routes for eastern fauna and flora to Fennoscandia. Its role as a distributional corridor, together with the extremely variable topography and frequent occurrence of calcareous rock, are the main reasons for the exceptionally high biological diversity, considering the high northern latitude of the area.

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  • Oulu 275 km
  • Kuusamo 55 km
  • Helsinki 873 km
  • Stockholm 1331 km
  • Copenhagen 1981 km
  • Arctic circle 25 km
  • Russian border 13 km

Last updated: 12.2.2014