Permafrost Dynamics and Pastoral Land Use in Northern Mongolia

When: March 2019 | Where: Ulaanbaatar (Russia)
Contact: J. Otto Habeck

Long-term Perspectives on Arctic Social-Ecological Systems

When:TBA | Where:TBA
Contact: Andrey Petrov


Gender in the Arctic

When: 6 September 2018 | Where: Helsinki (Finland) | Website
Contacts: Gertrude Saxinger, J. Otto Habeck

Rapid Arctic Transitions due to Infrastructure and Climate (RATIC) Meeting

When: 19 - 23 June 2018 | Where: Davos (Switzerland)
Contacts: Peter Schweitzer, Andrey Petrov

Long-Term Perspective on Social-Ecological Change - Current and Future Change, Sustainability and Resilience in the Polar Regions

When: 19 - 23 June 2018 | Where: Davos (Switzerland)
Contacts: Andrey Petrov, Tatiana Vlasova


Calotte Academy 2018

When: 4 - 10 June | Where: Finland, Norway, and Russia | Contacts: Gerald Zojer, Salla Kalliojärvi

The Calotte Academy is an annual travelling symposium, international scientific forum and doctoral school in the North Calotte, the northernmost region of Europe. It is designed to promote interdisciplinary discourse as well as academic and policy-oriented dialogue between senior researchers, early career scientists and advanced graduate students and other northern stakeholders, such as policymakers, civil servants and community leaders and planners. It is a “school of dialogue” and it is participatory by nature: the principle is to share knowledge and experiences between scientists and communities.

The Academy shed light on Arctic perceptions in the context of the regional and globalized Arctic theoretically and holistically from many angles and disciplinary approaches, from academic and policy-oriented ones – including indigeneity, development, exploration and exploitation, shipping and infrastructure, geopolitics and tourism. It discussed on Arctic perceptions from the perspectives of past(s), present(s) and future(s), and from global, or international, Arctic and local contexts in the European Arctic. By bringing researchers from all around the world together with local experts and other stakeholders, the Academy’s participants learned from the experience embedded in local cultures of the various stakeholders of the European Arctic.

Final reports of the Calotte Academy can be found on the Academy’s website.


Permafrost dynamics and indigenous land use in the Northern Urals

When: 24-27 September 2017 | Where: Vorkuta (Russia) | Contact: Joachim Otto Habeck

While it is often assumed that indigenous livelihoods in the Far North will inevitably suffer from permafrost degradation under conditions of a warming climate, the actual linkages between permafrost degradation and renewable resource use are still unclear. Considering the potential of mobile pastoralism to modify the natural environment to some degree, it is necessary to examine the interplay of land use, vegetation, climate, hydrological and cryological processes in more detail, taking into account the diversity of regional and local conditions. With this in mind, the IPA Action Group “Permafrost and Culture” conducted an interdisciplinary workshop in Vorkuta in September 2017, addressing the link between reindeer husbandry and landscape dynamics in the lowland tundra areas on both sides of the Northern Urals. The workshop complements previous studies on permafrost and land use (Central Yakutia, Republic of Sakha) and contributes to establishing a comparative circumpolar perspective.

Understanding Peace in the Arctic

When: June 2017 | Where: Tromsø (Norway) | Contact: Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv

The Arctic is often claimed to be a unique region, both for its natural environment, as well as the peaceful political conditions that continue to prevail, despite the tensions and challenges taking place on a global scale. Cooperation in the Arctic has shown to be robust and in some ways detached from disagreements and tensions developing elsewhere in international policy. The Understanding Peace in the Arctic conference was a timely international event that brought together international and local researchers that contribute to the understanding of Arctic geopolitics and society, bringing expertise in natural sciences, social sciences, and the arts. The purpose of the conference was to ask what is “Peace” in the Arctic, in which ways, or how, does our research across the disciplines play a role in contributing to peace in the Arctic, and how is our research relevant to developing policy?

Multidisciplinary communication and the governance of evolving global dynamics in the Arctic

When: 6 April & 12 June 2017 | Where: Prague (Czech Republic) & Umeå (Sweden) | Contact: Justiina Dahl

Specific evolving socio-political and material global dynamics, such as the progress of unprecedented anthropomorphic global warming and the rise of climate change skepticism, put increasing pressure on multidisciplinary communication. This project explores whether the notion of 'boundary object' from science and technology studies could be used to facilitate the further development of multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder communication in the context of evolving, global Arctic governance. In its original framework, the concept was used to examine how the viewpoints and interests of actors inhabiting different social worlds, such as natural and technical scientists, philanthropists, and recreational hunters, have been able to be accounted for in the organization of cooperation for scientific work in complex institutional settings. Two conference sessions, one during Arctic Science Summit Week 2017 and the other during IX International Congress for Arctic Social Sciences, were planned to assist in exploring whether it could also be utilized to facilitate the translation and communication of different normative, epistemic and ontological assumptions of different socio-political actors and scientific disciplines in the development of new, sustainable global governance.

Long-term Perspectives on Arctic Social-Ecological Systems

When: 4 April 2017 | Where: Prague (Czech Republic) | Contact: Peter Jordan

A long-term, interdisciplinary perspective is needed to better understand past human responses to changing Arctic environments and present transformations and in turn strengthen the knowledge base for future sustainability strategies. The use of complimentary chronological perspectives (palaeo, contemporary and future) can provide mutually-reinforcing insights into factors that contribute to vulnerability and resilience within the closely interconnected social-ecological systems (SESs) of the Arctic. A conference session will be convened during Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2017 to assist in integrating historical, archaeological and long-term environmental and climatic records in order to improve understanding of the ‘palaeo’ aspects of Arctic SESs. In order to build on the ‘palaeo’ outcomes of the ASSW 2017 conference session, opportunities will be explored to convene subsequent conference sessions at ASSW 2018 in Davos, Switzerland to explore developments affecting contemporary Arctic SESs, and at ASSW 2019 in Arkhangelsk, Russia to explore opportunities to support future sustainability.


10th Siberian Studies Conference, "Passion for Life: Emotions and Feelings in the North and Siberia"

When: 24-26 October 2016 | Where: St. Petersburg (Russia) | Contacts: Gail Fondahl, Hiroki Takakura

The Siberian Studies conference in St. Petersburg is the largest international conference for Siberian Studies researchers in Russia. It aims to increase the interest of early career scholars in Siberian native culture and emotional anthropology, and to provide a mentoring role for new scholars. The SHWG will support the participation of early career researchers from IASC countries to attend this conference in October 2016. It will provide an opportunity to discuss future project proposals.

Rapid Arctic Transitions due to Infrastructure and Climate (RATIC) Meeting

When: 19 June 2016 | Where: Potsdam (Germany)

Announcement and Invitation for a Rapid Arctic Transitions due to Infrastructure and Climate (RATIC) Meeting prior to ICOP 2016:

An informal Rapid Arctic Transitions due to Infrastructure and Climate (RATIC) meeting prior to the 11th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP) will take place on Sunday, 13:00 - 15:00, 19 June 2016, Telegrafenberg, A 43.14473 Potsdam, Room A43-KR.


A European Arctic Policy: The Role of EU Non-Arctic Member States

When: 10 June 2016 | Where: Madrid, Spain

As the European Union is increasingly becoming involved in Arctic affairs, the congress proposed to discuss the role of the regional organization as a unitarian actor, while considering the priorities and strategies developed by its Member States which, in most cases, are already Observers to the Arctic Council and therefore represent the first contact point between the two organizations. Bearing in mind the European commitment to Arctic human and environmental sustainability, the congress was structured around three panel discussions aimed at fostering the debate among its participants: researchers, academics and experts from different fields of knowledge. Moreover, it served as a forum for all early careers to present their contributions and to establish a long lasting international networking. The result of the congress will be made available by issuing the congress proceedings and the most representative papers selected from the related call for papers, will be published by the Spanish Yearbook of International Law.

European Arctic Policy Report

Two Workshops on “Building Arctic Resilience”

First Workshop - When: October 2015 | Where: Reykjavik (Iceland)

Second Workshop - When: 30 May -5 June 2016 | Where: Inari (Finland) and Tromsø (Norway)

This initiative aims to build sustainable and resilient Arctic institutions. A joint strategy for this proposal considers the Arctic region in the 2010s to have become part and parcel of global multi-dimensional change(s), and that the globalized Arctic has significant implications worldwide. The project is built on ten interdisciplinary research teams, each developing academic expertise in their own areas, namely: extractive industries and human security; roles of SOEs and TNC in formation of sustainable energy policies; environmental degradation, climate change and conflicts; Indigenous knowledge, governance and global land rush; Arctic technologies and infrastructures; regional development and economy, and migration; Arctic shipping and maritime safety; Asian-Arctic nexus in foreign policy and trade; peace and stability-building in the Arctic; and governance of the marine Arctic and maritime regionalism. Based on this expertise, the following cross-cutting issues are identified: transport, resource extraction and livelihoods. The expertise of the research teams will be used to develop sustainable Arctic institutions in each of these areas. The SHWG is supporting the participation of early career researchers to enable them to attend the first meeting of the research teams at the Arctic Circle in October 2015 in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss the state of the globalized Arctic and its implications, and an additional workshop in May or June 2016 in Inari, Finland and Tromsø, Norway to discuss new research methods.

Workshop Report Engaging Cultural Heritage When Building Resilience

Final Report Calotte Academy

Scientific Findings Calotte Academy

Gender Asymmetry in Northern Communities: Building a Research Network for the Nordic Countries, Baltics and Russia (NOR-GA)

When: 25-28 January 2016 | Where: Lychen (Germany)

In the indigenous and rural areas of the Nordic Countries, the Baltics and the Far North of Russia, there is a widely shared feeling that female and male identities and life-ways are increasingly out of pace with each other. Building on the “Gender Equality in the Arctic” Conference, this pilot project aims to develop a research agenda and toolkit to address such gender-related social concerns. A workshop and seminar in Hamburg, Germany in February 2016 will explore what "marginal" identities and arrangements reveal about the current complexities and predicaments of gender relations.

Adaptation Options in the Barents Region – Synthesis and Feedback Workshop

When: 13-14 January 2016 | Where: Bodø (Norway)

The aim of the workshop was to discuss a preliminary assessment of literature about climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation in the Barents region, and use this in a chapter about adaptation options in the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme's assessment on Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic - Part C (AACA-C). The participants were also trying to refine and apply the concepts of adaptation options and interactive drivers of change. The workshop participants were scholars that are contributing to the chapter. They are all experts on climate change adaptation, from academic institutions in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

The aim and scope of the chapter is twofold: It will illustrate the processes that shape adaptation in the Barents Region in the light of multiple stressors and effects of cumulative and interacting changes, including environmental and climatic, societal, institutions and governance, political and economic. And through the analysis of a multiplicity of resources, including the previous chapters of this report, the chapter highlights the conditions that require adaptation, current and future, and assess adaptation actions and the adaptation options. The analyses and assessments are based on data, results, reports and other input from the four different countries and communities composing the Barents Region. The analysis includes a focus on barriers, limits, actions, opportunities and motivations that have a role in adaptation. New and unprecedented changes both in climate and in socio-economic conditions are likely to require a new way of thinking about adaptation.

The result of the workshop, a completed draft of the chapter, will be submitted to the AACA secretariat on the 1st of March 2016. The AACA-C report will be published by the beginning of 2017.

Halvor Dannevig


Workshop Report

Infrastructure in the Arctic as a Social and Ecological Challenge

When: 15-26 January 2016 | Where: Vienna (Austria)

Material infrastructure in the Arctic – for settlements, industry, transport, etc. – often means serious impacts on the fragile ecosystems of the North, some of which have been addressed by the ICARP III initiative Rapid Arctic Transitions due to Infrastructure and Climate Change (RATIC). The social and human impacts of infrastructure, however, require better understanding. In response, this workshop, which will tentatively be held in Vienna, Austria in November or December 2015, will combine existing Arctic discourses and initiatives with non-Arctic perspectives. The ultimate goal is to arrive at a better integration of social and ecological perspectives in the study of Arctic infrastructures.

Peter Schweitzer


Support for the Special Session “Resources, Quality of Life and Sustainable Development in the Arctic” at the International Geographical Union Regional Conference

When: 17 – 22 August 2015 | Where: Moscow (Russia)

A special session on “Resources, Quality of Life and Sustainable Development in the Arctic” was convened at the International Geographical Union (IGU) Regional Conference in August 2015. The session featured papers that examined the connection between the use of natural resources and human wellbeing in the Arctic in the context of sustainable development in different regional and institutional contexts.

Andrey Petrov

Workshop Report

Workshop on Improved Health Knowledge in the Arctic: The Question of Missing Data

When: 11 June 2015 | Where: Oulu (Finland)

Addressing the IASC SHWG scientific foci human health and well being, the workshop focused on the monitoring of health data in the Arctic. It aimed to highlight the obstacles to a sustainable and long-term health monitoring in the Arctic, and became one of the sessions during the 16th International Congress on Circumpolar Health (ICCH-16).
It is uttermost important to have accurate information related to the health development in the Arctic.  Generally, official registers present information about the inhabitants of the Arctic regions that is of equal quality compared to the non-Arctic parts of a respective country. There are, however, two major deficiencies; parameters that are compatible between the Arctic countries and data that has the capacity to illustrate the indigenous peoples separately.

Peter Sköld

Arja Rautio


Workshop Report