Developing a Doctorate-Level Interdisciplinary Research Peer Group to Increase Human Capacity in US Arctic Research

Lead Author Barbara, Adams
Institution Contact University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Education PO Box 756480 Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480 USA
Co-Authors John Monahan, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA; Jane Monahan, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA
Theme Theme 4: Building Long-term Human Capacity
Session Name 4.6 Gaining a better understanding and awareness of the Arctic through education and outreach
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 03:30 PM - 03:45 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text In order to develop research capacity in the Arctic we created a unique approach to recruiting and supporting doctorate-level (PhD) students. This approach was instituted at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in Alaska, USA within the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Project. Targeting mid-career professionals interested in earning their doctorate degrees while continuing in their professional work, we formed a research peer group using the interdisciplinary degree at UAF. The participants were all interested in research in the arctic and had careers and backgrounds in some component of social ecological systems (SES). The peer group centered around three years of research process coursework and seminars in topics related to SES while individuals also focused on content related to their particular research interest. Coursework was delivered in a mixed format using face-to-face and distance delivery simultaneously. The interdisciplinary degree (INDS) allowed applicants to personalize their program bridging multiple disciplines while supporting the peer group opportunity. The goal was to develop leaders of future research in the Arctic able to solve intricate and inter-related issues.

This session will describe the development, implementation, results and lessons learned of the program. It will focus on the EPSCoR supported INDS PhD Peer Group within the context of other INDS PhD peer group programs at UAF, elaborating on the power of the peer group along with the struggles and complexities for this particular group. Interplay between the institutional improvements to the INDS program in general and the specifics of this group help to frame many of the decisions. Long-term implications for increasing human capacity for research in the United States Arctic as well as extending to other possible locations will be highlighted.
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