Thematic Network on Arctic Cultures and History, hosted by University of Faroe Islands, Faroe Islands

Lead: Bergur Djurhuus Hansen 

The Thematic Network ARCH – Arctic Cultures and History – is dedicated to the study of history and culture including literature, travel writing and creative writing, the performative arts, history and the history of art. The association of culture and history is essential in this respect since the members of the network are convinced that there is no efficient way to approach and solve problems in the Arctic or Arctic-related issues without considering the historical and cultural dimension of any given question.

The network is principally dedicated to subjects arising from the field of human science though transdisciplinary cooperation with the social and natural sciences are also sought. Through centuries, the Arctic has attracted explorers, missionaries, researchers etc., especially from the late 18th century to the present, leading to a wide range of interpretations in scholarly publications, popular books and artistic expressions. Working with texts such as historical accounts, political and geographical publications, travel writings, literature from the region and about the region, especially from the 18th century to the present, the network makes use of also other materiel and artistic expressions in developing a “dual gaze”, looking at the Arctic from the inside and the outside, in order to understand and be able to explain from a perspective within the humanities current and foreseeable challenges in the region. The concept of cultural sustainability - meaning the ability to retain values, traditions and cultural practices in an ongoing negotiation with a continuous, growing, global interest and influence – is a key concept in the network’s research and activities.

Thematic Network on Blue Economy and the Arctic, hosted by Nord University, Norway

Lead: Andreas Raspotnik 

Through international cooperation in education, research, and outreach, the Thematic Network (TN) on the Blue Economy and the Arctic (TN BlueArctic) will contribute to capacity-building in the High North and promote sustainable approaches to Arctic blue economy growth.

Thematic Network (TN) on the Blue Economy and the Arctic (TN BlueArctic) aims to uncover the conceptual and practical application of the ‘blue economy’, in particular, its regional sidekick: the circumpolar ‘blue economy’. Our TN will provide impetus to global blue economy discussions and related efforts to develop the blue economy as a novel concept for the sustainable governance and management of the world’s oceans. As such, we aim to provide a better understanding of what the Arctic blue economy actually is and how the blue Arctic could serve as a potential blueprint for the sustainable development of our global oceans.

Research and education play critical roles in developing and implementing sustainable practices and technologies that enable the growth of the blue economy. We need research to understand the oceans’ ecosystems and the potential impacts of economic activities on the environment, as well as to develop new models for blue growth and inclusive blue governance. As such, interdisciplinary, cross-regional education is essential to train future generations of responsible Arctic professionals that do not only use the blue economy as a buzzword / catchphrase but rather question the ambiguity of its ‘win-win-win’ rhetoric when implementing so-called blue ideas and policies.

Thematic Network on Collaborative Online International Learning and Biodiversity Education across the Arctic Circle (COIL@UArctic), hosted by Robert Gordon University, Scotland, UK

Lead: Izzy Crawford

COIL@UArctic is a future-focused, globally connected, virtual learning strategy for UArctic members and non-members with a focus on Biodiversity Education.  COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is designed to enhance graduate employability by promoting interdisciplinary, intercultural, and transversal skill development.  It has the potential to democratize student mobility and strengthen international learning opportunities for students, faculty, and researchers using freely available online tools.  COIL pedagogy enables issues of global concern to be explored through experiential, collaborative learning techniques.

Within the context of the Arctic dialogue, the network has four key aims:

  1. To promote and enable wider engagement with COIL as part of a future-focussed, globally connected, virtual learning strategy.
  2. To highlight the importance of biodiversity for the well-being of the planet as well as for sustainable development.
  3. To enhance student employability within the Arctic region through the promotion of future-focussed, inter-disciplinary, transversal skill development using COIL.
  4. To democratise student mobility and strengthen internationalisation at home through the expansion of COIL knowledge and opportunities across the Arctic region.

Thematic Network on High Latitude Dust, hosted by Agricultural University of Iceland, Iceland

Lead: Pavla Dagsson-Waldhauserova

UArctic Thematic Network on High Latitude Dust (HLD) is an international scientific network committed to the support of research in the field of aerosol science focused on dust at high latitudes, with a main focus on Polar Regions. We are researchers, educators and innovators interested in understanding the climate and socio-economic impacts of High Latitude Dust (HLD) in the Arctic. The IceDust was established in 2016 and currently involves more than 110 scientists from 53 institutions in 21 countries, and is rapidly increasing in number.

The HLD Network encourages the implementation of collaborative research projects, the organization of scientific meetings such as HLD Workshop, the development of joint applications for funding, the training of students, sharing facilities, and expertise especially from field measurements. Additional planned activities of the HLD Network are scientific outputs, joint field campaigns, development of HLD forecasting, mobility of researchers and students, teaching and training, science-art projects, and cooperation with other TNs on environmental issues, safety, health and well-being in the Arctic.

Thematic Network on Microtomography of Arctic Marine Organisms, hosted by UiT Arctic University of Norway, Norway

Lead: Andreas Altenburger

Natural history museum collections provide historical records of species in place and time. This is especially relevant for the Arctic, where climate change is affecting the ecosystem at an alarming rate. A vastly unknown part of the Arctic ecosystem could be lost forever as species go extinct, and some specimens can be difficult to store in museum collections due to their small size and fragility. To document animals of the Arctic Ocean for future generations, we want to scan specimens and reconstruct them digitally through X-ray microtomography. This will allow us to make a ‘digital collection’ of the Arctic fauna, to describe new species, discover new anatomical and morphological characters, facilitate open science, and to make museum exhibitions for the public based on digital or 3D-printed reconstructions of individual animals. The digital specimens will be openly accessible for everyone to use in research and education.