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by Shelby Anderson
February 12, 2016

The Portland workshop wrapped up earlier this week and was a great success.  Video, PowerPoints, and other workshop materials will be posted to the website in the coming weeks.  Workshop participants discussed the Changing Arctic (see this post) and then focused on the following questions:

How has Arctic social science changed in the last 20 years?  Why do these changes matter to social sciences, the broader scientific community, and to society at large?

What is the future of Arctic social sciences?  What key questions remain unanswered regarding integrated social and social-ecological systems in the Arctic that require concerted research effort in the next 10-15 years?

What are your thoughts on the broader impact of Arctic social science and the future of Arctic social science?  Please share in the comments below.

by Shelby Anderson
February 2, 2016


In addition to holding various regional workshops and townhall meetings (see a full list here), the Arctic Horizons organizers welcome contributions from the Arctic research community at large.  What do you think the research priorities should be for the Arctic social sciences community over the next 10-15 years?

Over the coming months we will be posting discussion questions from the workshops on this blog.  We invite you to share your ideas in the comments on the blog posts.  Your contributions will be included in the final project report alongside the recommendations from each of the workshops and town hall meetings.

Our first set of discussion questions have to do with the changing Arctic.  

What do you see as the most important changes affecting the Arctic now and in the coming decades?  What evidence is this change based on? Are further changes discussed locally? ... Read more

by Michael Etnier
January 29, 2016

The first Arctic Horizons workshop will be February 7-9, and will be hosted by the Department of Anthropology at Portland State University.  Although all five workshops will be addressing the same major questions ( ), the  unifying theme of the Portland workshop will be Arctic Social Sciences in the 21st Century: Integrating Past, Present, and Future Human Ecodynamics in Arctic Social Science Research.


This stems from the fact that the members of our team are all archaeologists, and we all take the approach that looking back through time can help us to look forward.

About 50% of the attendees at the Portland workshop are archaeologists.  However, the balance of the attendees represents a wide range of disciplines, including economics, geology, sociocultural anthropology, linguistics, etc. (click... Read more

by Shelby Anderson
January 14, 2016

Town Hall Meeting at the Alaska Anthropological Association Conference in Sitka: Arctic Horizons: Re-envisioning Social Science Research Priorities in the Arctic

The Arctic Horizons team is holding a town hall session at the Alaska Anthropological Association Meetings in Sitka, Alaska.  Please join us Thursday evening, March 3rd, at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.  Our session will begin at 4:30 with a reception, which will be followed by a short introduction by the organizers (Anderson and Etnier).  We will share the key results from our first regional workshop and explain the organization and goals of our town hall.  This will be followed by a two hour session during which attendees can provide input, ask questions, and generate discussion. 

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to “Arctic Horizons” when you register for the conference: ... Read more

by Thomas H McGovern
January 12, 2016

In the past two years the loss of archaeological sites and degradation of organic preservation in once-frozen deposits has become increasingly recognized as a major aspect of climate change in the north. Increased storminess in many parts of the circumpolar north and rising soil temperatures "defrost" deposits once rich in preserved organic materials to provide a combination of unprecedented threats to both heritage and science. In the north slope of Alaska major stratified sites representing thousands of years of human occupation are being totally washed away in single storm events. A recent large scale survey project of Norse sites and middens in SW Greenland found surviving organic preservation in only three of 90 sites investigated - work on some of these same sites in the 1960's-1980's encountered excellent preservation of bone, hair, feathers, cloth and other perishable organic finds. In Orkney major previously unknown Neolithic monuments are being revealed by one storm and... Read more

by Aaron Presnall
December 17, 2015

Arctic Horizons project provides a framework and process that will bring together the Arctic social science research and Arctic indigenous communities to reassess goals, potentials, and needs in the diverse disciplinary and transdisciplinary currents of social science research of the circumpolar North.  A series of five regional workshops and one synthesis workshop will engage approximately 150 western and indigenous scholars in the re-visioning process. Additional participation by the broader Arctic social sciences, indigenous science, and stakeholder communities will be solicited through this interactive web platform that will also be used to share workshop and project outcomes (e.g. videos of speakers, workshop notes, copy of the report), as well as through special sessions at regional conferences (e.g. Alaska Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Arctic Science Summit Week, Association of American Geographers).

Whenever possible, keynote addresses will be video... Read more