by Peter Pulsifer
September 5, 2016

By  Peter Pulsifer and Colleen Strawhacker, National Snow and Ice Data Center

Exchange for Local Observations and Knowlege of the Arctic (ELOKA) project (NSF Award 1513438, Arctic Social Sciences Program, AON)

Indigenous knowledge holders of the Arctic and their communities are representing and using their knowledge in new ways.  At the same time there is an increasing recognition by non-Indigenous researchers, policy makers and the general public of the value of this knowledge.  Consequently, we are seeing many activities that result in the collection and documentation of Indigenous observations and knowledge.  

IK has Many definitions.  One definition is:

knowledge and know-how accumulated across generations, and renewed by each new generation, which guide human societies in their innumerable interactions with their surrounding environment.

While Indigenous Knowledge and ways... Read more

by Peter Pulsifer
September 5, 2016

By Colleen Strawhacker and Peter Pulsifer, National Snow and Ice Data Center

Data is a hot topic right now. All over the news and social media, there are mentions of “big data,” “data science,” “data visualization,” and beyond. It is no secret that data, and lots of it, can be powerful tools for scientific research, enabling research questions across broad spatial scales over deep time periods. A close collaborator (who likes to avoid all things digital) once said in response to a presentation on aggregated archeological faunal data across the whole of Europe, “I think being able to aggregate all of these data provides interesting interpretations, but I always wonder what’s behind those pie charts and visualizations…” She was right to be skeptical, highlighting an urgent need to consider all aspects of data life cycle, because in addition to the need of “lots of” data, these data also need to be high quality and reliable. Indeed, when compiling lots of... Read more

by Aaron Presnall
June 16, 2016

2016 AGU Fall Meeting: 12-16 December 2016, San Fransisco, California

Application deadline: 10 August 2016

For questions, please contact:
Pranoti Asher

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announces that applications are now available for student travel grants for assistance in attending the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting which will be held from 12-16 December 2016 in San Fransisco, California.

The AGU Fall Meeting General Student Travel Grant provides some funds to assist with travel costs. Awardees traveling from the U.S. and Canada will receive a $500 award, and awardees traveling from outside the U.S. and Canada will receive $1000 in funds. Funds are delivered after Fall Meeting and are not meant to reimburse specific travel costs (i.e. airfare, hotel, etc.), rather they are meant to help recoup costs of traveling to Fall Meeting.

To be... Read more

by Kevin Smith
June 8, 2016

Two of the key recurring themes that came out of Brown's Arctic Horizons workshop last week were (1) that globalization is as important as climate change for understanding the challenges and opportunities facing the peoples of the North and (2) that the Arctic cannot be approached as a cultural monolith – different trajectories of change, of colonialism, of contacts, and of environmental challenges/opportunities require understanding of both regional differentiation and circumpolar change.

Archaeology was not discussed very much, at Brown, in relation to these issues. Here, though (, is a link to an online post summarizing a number of extremely important, recent, NSF-funded research projects that provide a clear examples of how archaeological research... Read more

by Shelby Anderson
April 22, 2016

One Week Left to Contribute to Drafting of IARPC
Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021
The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee

Contribution Deadline: 29 April 2016.

The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) is currently soliciting information from the Arctic research community and the public to help shape the next Arctic Research Plan for FY 2017-2021. They are looking for funded projects or programs that IARPC can incorporate as Research Objectives and Performance Elements in support of the new research goals. Research Objectives are a specific set of tasks contributing to a research goal (e.g., Improve knowledge of biophysical and chemical interactions and feedbacks as well as their role in the regional context). Performance elements are specific, measurable, attainable activities that demonstrate progress towards achieving the objectives. (e.g., Complete three years of abundance surveys of marine species in the region).
... Read more

by Andrey Petrov
April 13, 2016

The Arctic Horizons panel “Polar Issues VI: Arctic Horizons 2025: NSF forum on the Future of Arctic Social Research “ was held at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) meeting on April 1st, 2016 in San Francisco, CA. Panelists included: Andrey N. Petrov (Organizer), University of Northern Iowa,  Jessica K. Graybill (Moderator), Colgate University, Scott Stephenson, University of Connecticut; Kelsey Nyland, Michigan State Univ.; Victoria A. Walsey, University of Kansas; Ben Bradshaw, University of Guelph; Timothy Edmund Heleniak, Nordregio - The Nordic Centre for Spatial Development; Hal Salzman, Rutgers University; Dmitry A. Streletskiy, George Washington University; Jay T. Johnson, University of Kansas; Natalia Loukacheva, UNBC.

A moderated panel discussion also involved the audience in a townhall format. One of the guest speakers was Hon. Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission. 20 other AAG audience members participated in the discussions. There was... Read more

by Andrey Petrov
April 13, 2016

The Arctic Horizons townhall discussion forum was held during the Arctic Science Summit Week on March 14th, 2016 in Fairbanks, AK. About 40 participants represented a variety of disciplines (anthropology, geography, economics, political science, archeology, sociology, as well as humanities). There was a significant international participation. Early career scholars and indigenous researchers were also among the forum speakers.

All participants were asked to respond to the following questions: What are the domains of human experience in the North that warrant further attention on the part of the social science researchers over the next 10-15 years? What should be funding priorities for NSF in respect to Arctic social sciences?

The consensus in the room was the Arctic social sciences are rapidly developing, and need to take a more prominent place at NSF. Arctic social scientists should engage with natural sciences and humanities to develop interdisciplinary... Read more

by Shelby Anderson
March 18, 2016

A group of 53 conference participants joined us in Sitka, Alaska on March 3rd for our Arctic Horizons town hall event.  The group was diverse, including scholars from various points in their career (students to late career researchers) and anthropologists working in a variety of settings (e.g. state and federal agencies, universities, in the private sector). 

Participants worked in break-out groups for an hour to consider the question: What are the domains of human experience in the North that warrant further attention on the part of the social science researchers over the next 10-15 years?  We then met as a larger group for an hour to discuss and record the results of break-out group discussions.  The discussion was lively and the results are an important contribution to our overall project, and ultimately, the final report.  Thank you to all of the participants for joining us.

by Andrey Petrov
March 4, 2016


March 14th 2016

Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW), FAIRBANKS, AK


Arctic Horizons: Re-envisioning Social Science Research Priorities in the Arctic

Monday, March 14th

(part of the “Reframing Understandings of the North” Arctic Science Summit Week Public Event)

Schaible Auditorium, UAF


Our goal is to ensure broad participation from as wide a range of stake holders as possible. Discussion forum will be a part of the social sciences day and will begin at 9:30 am with a short introduction to the project by the organizers.  This will be followed by a discussion session from 1:30 to 3 pm  during which attendees can provide input,... Read more

by Debbie Corbett
March 2, 2016

Written in February 2016 by Debra Corbett and Diane Hanson
For the Aleutian Islands Working Group (AIWG)
An informal gathering of people who love the people and environment of the Aleutian Islands

The Aleutian Islands, a unique habitat for human beings, compriseacurving, subarctic archipelago linked to a continental landmass at their eastern end.  The islands straddle one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world althoughmany resources (e.g. migrating mammals and birds, plants) are seasonal. Prehistoric humans developed the most comprehensive maritime adaptation on the planet-- as profoundly specialized as Pleistocene big game hunters, the bison dependent cultures of the Great Plains, or high altitude herding people. 

Asa long narrow archipelagobetween two oceans and two continents, the islands are a complex mosaic of physical and biological micro-environments that required constant human adaptation.  Environmental variability... Read more