Thematic Networks and Institutes
They form a natural framework for development of UArctic education and research providing an optimal structure for increasing the knowledge generation and sharing across the North. UArctic Institutes are self-governing units devoted to research, monitoring and education throughout the Arctic. Empowered by local knowledge and international level academic expertise, they facilitate development of multidisciplinary solutions for challenges in the Arctic.
Click the categories below to see the Thematic Networks and Institutes associated with each field.
The Thematic Networks in the field of business, politics and law focus on northern communities and societies. The questions studied approach the communities and societies from different angles but they all deal with issues related to governance, politics and the economic sector, such as energy, enterprises and tourism, that currently experience pressure caused by globalization and climate change. Altogether, the research conducted within these Thematic Networks aims to understand the opportunities and challenges the societies and communities are facing, and in finding solutions for adaptation, mitigation and development via research, cooperation and education.
Thematic Networks in the field of culture and social sciences address socially and culturally cross-cutting topics that are interdisciplinary, circumpolar, and relevant to northern communities. Enpowerment and solutions are seeked through collaboration and education and by including the local knowledge and involvement to the process. The research questions studied cover the social, cultural, environmental and economic impacts of Arctic extractive industries, and economic and business development and their role in northern communities. The commercialization of science, technology and innovations, as well as the local and regional development need to go hand in hand with these developments in order to identify opportunities and barriers of innovations in the North. The understanding of tourism issues with particular relevance for current challenges and future needs in the Arctic region is essential in order to contribute to community needs in the Arctic.
Arctic environmental conditions, such as permafrost, often place special demands on solutions used in engineering and technology, and on innovations feeding the development in these areas. The Thematic Networks in the field of engineering and technology are seeking to develop sustainable technologies that enable the improvement of the quality of life and the economic development in Arctic communities and societies, while not compromising the fragile environment. This is done in collaboration with governments and governmental agencies, associations and companies as well as with the local inhabitants to ensure that the needs of different stakeholders are heard and met. The Thematic Networks within this area focus on practical development of the sustainable technologies, commercially viable scientific and technological innovations, and initiating and fostering efforts in the field of environmental impact assessment of contaminated areas.
Living in the Arctic and northern areas include specific features such as long distances and rural and urban isolated communities, which can pose challenges for economic development, employment, education, and social and health services. Other current and social welfare and health issues affecting the population living in the Arctic areas include, for example, localized pollution problems, climate change-related health effects, and social problems caused by substance abuse, domestic violence and marginalization. Multidisciplinary solutions are required in finding practices that best serve communities with indigenous and non-indigenous populations. Thematic Networks in the field of health and education focus on these specific features and challenges by seeking collaboration in research and education in the fields of distance education and e-learning, e-health and public health, health promotion, food security, social work, environmental training, sustainable development, and teacher training.
Applied visual arts, craft, design and media have increasing importance in today's global world in sustaining the unique features and traditions of Arctic indigenous people, addressing current cultural phenomena, and cultivating new ideas. The Thematic Networks in the field of humanities and arts promote knowledge exchange and innovative practices in teaching and research in arts, design and visual culture. Arctic research in these areas is communicated using different methodologies such as print and digital publications, data visualization, map-based communication and video. Forms of collaboration cultivated in the humanities and arts Thematic Networks include, for example, innovative productions, courses, workshops, teacher and student exchange, events and exhibitions. Even though all of the five Thematic Networks in this thematic area have a different focus varying from visual communication of science to indigenous arts and crafts, and from world images to digital media and media arts, they all share the northern and Arctic viewpoint.
The effects of climate change and globalization are in many respects most pronounced in the Arctic, affecting both nature and environment, and the people living in this area. The Thematic Networks within the natural sciences focus on several topical issues in Arctic research ranging from permafrost, polar ice, climate and land dynamics to natural hazards and livelihoods utilizing the Arctic environment and natural resources. The common feature to all these Thematic Networks is that they take a look on the underlying factors and effects of changes, adaptation to them, and education of the next generation of scientists and managers familiar with these issues. The approaches to the topical questions and problems may, however, vary from theoretical perspectives and use of models and proxies for future predictions to encouraging concrete, comparative dialogue between indigenous people and the local economies in sustainable utilization of natural resources.
UArctic Institutes are self-governing units devoted to research, monitoring and education throughout the Arctic. Empowered by local knowledge and international level academic expertise, they facilitate development of multidisciplinary solutions for challenges in the Arctic.