Thematic Network on Northern and Arctic Island Studies Research


The overall goal of the Northern and Arctic Island Studies Research Thematic Network is to support Arctic and Northern Island communities to socially, materially, and culturally benefit from the discipline of Island Studies, which at its core believes that islands have the human and intellectual capital to undertake research for themselves.


The Network will explore how islands can be helped to develop resilient, dynamic, and sustainable communities, charting the changing relationship between islanders and the sea, and exploring innovative ways of adapting to the effects of climate change. Topics within this overarching objective will include researching the sustainability of cold-water island tourism; how island subnational jurisdictions with small populations use their powers of jurisdiction and interpersonal relationships to forge relationships with other islands - outside of the usual state-to-state relationships; what makes young people want to stay in or to leave their local island community; what is the role of ‘local knowledge’ (and intergenerational relations) in young people’s future perspectives and attachment to their island places?

Currently the Network is organising a virtual Arctic knitting circle called ‘Yarns and Yarns’ which will bring island communities together to knit and share stories. The Network will engage in the following activities:

  • Scholarly Outputs (books, journal articles, Knowledge Mobilization avenues)
  • Collaborative Engagement with policymakers, industry, NGOs, and practitioners (through policy briefs, meetings, conferences, events)
  • Citizen Engagement (joint webinar series; co-curated projects; conferences and events)
  • Website & Social Media (creating repository or library catalogue of scholarly research and island issues)
  • Mobility and Student Engagement (adding to the existing MOUs between partner institutions; student and faculty exchange and training; field and summer schools; certificate and diploma programs for visiting students [online or in-person]; hosting new researcher forums; KMb training and storytelling)

Other Information

Andrew Jennings, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Northern and Arctic Studies Research