Arctic Horizons will bring together a diverse group of scholars to discuss the state-of-the art in Arctic social sciences, with discussions of the past and present contextualized in the changing landscapes of the present and near future in order to develop priorities for the next decade of Arctic social science research. Each workshop will seek input and responses from its participants to a set of core questions, circulated in advance to the workshop participants and other stakeholders. These will be aggregated for each workshop, so that they provide a renewed sense of vision drawn broadly from the insights of Arctic early career, mid-career, and advanced researchers, policy makers, and community members.
While the core questions are not yet finalized, examples include:
● What do you see as the most important changes affecting the Arctic now and in the coming decades through the lens of your discipline; what needs to change in to make measurable and meaningful changes in our understanding of these changes and the global community's responses to them?
● What have been the the most crucial advances in Arctic social sciences over the past two decades; what results, discoveries, methodological innovations, trends, and (inter)disciplinary approaches have changed the scope, nature, and place of Arctic Social Sciences in western and non-western knowledge systems?
● 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? Would continued prioritization of these unanswered questions contribute to or distract from efforts to address new or emerging issues affecting the Arctic region, its peoples, and its environment through local or global processes?
The final list of questions will be formulated by the National Steering Committee in advance of the workshops, through discussions with Arctic Horizons' Advisory Panel and Local Organizing Committees. Questions will be circulated to participants at least three weeks prior to their workshops. In addition to the core questions, each workshop will emphasize particular themes within Arctic social science to allow more in-depth consideration of those issues:
The Portland workshop brought together a diverse group of Arctic scholars currently engaged in Arctic social sciences research. Our aim is to generate discussion on a range of related topics including: social sciences research and northern climate change; the challenges, promise, and future of interdisciplinary research in Arctic contexts; social science research and heritage issues; and applied social sciences research. While the majority of attendees are social scientists, there are also researchers from the natural sciences to broaden the range of perspectives included in workshop discussions. A special focus of this workshop was on the future of human ecodynamics research in the Arctic.
Fairbanks workshop aims to explore recent advances and innovations in indigenous science and scholarship in the circumpolar north and its neighbors. The workshop will bring together indigenous experts and researchers from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds to explore the role and contributions of indigenous frameworks and knowledge systems in advancing fields of science and informing global solutions. The workshop will explore indigenous science as relational, holistic, and multidimensional, taking into account impacts of the social and cultural environment on physical, material, and human processes. The workshop seeks to move the academic discourse beyond exploring intersections of indigenous knowledge and science to explore indigenous knowledge and practice as a framework of science. Additionally, participants will explore how knowledge produced within indigenous systems has the potential to contribute to community adaptation and resilience within multiple global contexts and settings. The workshop will also highlight innovative, community-driven, and decolonizing methodologies that demonstrate how indigenous frameworks can shape both knowledge and practice within social science research.
The Juneau Workshop, organized in collaboration with University of Alaska Southeast Department of Social Science, aims to explore the contributions and potentials of Arctic social sciences in the emerging synergies that involve humanities, natural sciences, and engineering. The connections we attempt to foster reach mainly into two directions within the recent history of Arctic research. One direction builds on the legacy of the IPY 2007-2008, which helped highlight numerous transformative contributions made by social scientists. The second direction considers (1) transdisciplinary methodological and analytical frameworks that connect social sciences and humanities and (2) the collaborative undertakings that broadly engage social sciences and humanities while also involving the instrumentation of engineering and natural science. The workshop attempts to extend the legacy of social and biological science collaborations (cultivated over multiple endeavors and especially during the IPY 2007-2008) to inform engineering and infrastructure in the circumpolar regions; it explores the aesthetic perspectives employed in the development and use of built environments; it asks how the humanities and social science synergies fostered elsewhere can benefit and be enhanced through current and future research in Arctic social sciences.
This workshop will gather a diverse group of scholars to discuss the state-of-the art in Arctic social sciences and develop visioning scenarios for the future of social science research in the Arctic. The core topics will parallel discussions held at other regional workshops (Portland, OR and Providence, RI), which include: social sciences research and climate change; interdisciplinary research in the Arctic; social sciences and humanities in the Arctic, and applied social sciences research. Although the majority of attendees will be social scientists, we will invite researchers from the natural sciences and humanities to broaden the range of perspectives included in workshop discussions. A particular emphasis of the workshop will be on applied research through integrating social science theories, methods and data to serve the needs of Arctic communities, to meet national U.S. priorities and to address global challenges of the 21st century. A special theme will be the relevance of Arctic social science scholarship for sustainable development at different scales and in different regions (including all Arctic nations and continental U.S.).
This workshop will bring together researchers working on multidisciplinary natural/social science projects addressing issues of contemporary change in the North with social scientists focused on policy development at a global scale. This focus draws on the expertise of Brown University’s Watson Center for International Studies (http://watson.brown.edu ), the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES, http://www.brown.edu/academics/institute-environment-society/about), and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology’s (http://www.brown.edu/haffenreffer) six-decade engagement with northern people and northern heritage. We hope to encourage connections and deeper exploration of the integration of broad-based social and natural scientific research in policy development and implementation, as well as the degrees to which policy development and forecasting should lead to the prioritization of research funding or be independent from it. As Arctic Horizons’ only East Coast venue, we expect to draw largely from eastern North America, with a small number of international participants from the North Atlantic region and Canada.
We will reassemble the members of the National Steering Committee and a small but diverse selection of representatives from the five regional workshops, to total about 15 people. Our aim will be to identify and synthesize the core threads of the previous workshops and public contributions proffered between workshops. Our target output for the workshop will be a final report draft and outline of steps leading to the final report release in December 2016.