The research is being conducted by EALAT, an International Polar Year and NASA endorsed project which examines reindeer pastoralism in light of the Earth's changing climate. Nancy Maynard, one of the researchers involved with the project, explains that:

"Recently, there have been serious declines in number of reindeer, and very directly impacting the well-being of the indigenous people associated with them. Part of that is due to warmer temperatures and climate changes generally".

Reindeer herding has been a way of life for the Sámi for hundreds of years. However, higher temperatures in the Earth's atmosphere have melted and refrozen snow to form thick layers along the surface of the ground, making it exceedingly difficult for reindeer to forage for food.
Sámi herders have joined the EALAT scientists in conducting this research, taking measurements of snow temperature and documenting observations on yearly climate change.
This information is then combined with satellite data to create a real-time record of climate change in the Norwegian Arctic.
The full segment can be found on the Earth&Sky Website