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Arctic Portal News Portlet

3 July 2009

New research, conducted by the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and published in the scientific journal Climate Dynamics, maintains that the sea ice in the Arctic sea between Greenland and Svalbard has reached the smallest size it has been in 800 years.

The research combined information about the climate found in ice cores from an ice cap on Svalbard and from the annual growth rings of trees in Finland. The data about the ice cover was gathered from the logbooks of whaling- and fishingships datign back to the 16th century as well as from records from harbours in Iceland, where the sea ice coverage has been recorded since the end of the 18th century. By combining these two sets of information the reserachers were able to track the sea ice all the way back to the 13th century.

The sea ice has been at the minimum also before, first in the late 13th century and later in the mid 17th and mid 18th century. The researchers maintain, however, that these periods were in no case as persistent as the decline of the sea ice in the 20th century when the ice diminished 300 000 square km in ten years. The sea ice has been at its largest from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, during a period called the Little Ice Age.


23 June 2009

Nordic council of Ministers continues to support UArctic activities by granting 650 000DKK for this year for a new joint project led by Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland. New project Arctic Virtual Learning Tools joins UArctic and Arctic Portal into close co-operation where new UArctic educational material and virtual classroom will be distributed and shared through Arctic Portal.

The new online material will consist of revised UArctic BCS core courses, on-line text books developed for new global change Master’s courses at Thematic Network on Global Change and print version on UArctic Atlas. Some of the materials will be also translated to Russian. Later as project goes on more material can be added.

The Virtual Classroom will offer an option not only for easier access to higher education, but will lead a technological revolution in distance learning – a two-way communication between the teacher and the persons being taught with open discussions, capabilities for participants to ask questions and comment on the subject presented and the teacher to respond in real-time.

The project partners include the APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists), International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and several representatives from Canada, USA, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Russia.

The lead project partners are:

  • University of the Oulu, Thule Institute, Finland, Kirsi Latola, UArctic Thematic Networks
  • University of Lapland, Finland, Scott Forrest, Director of Special Projects, UArctic International Secretariat
  • Nordurslodagattin ses. – Arctic Portal, Iceland, Halldor Johannsson
  • University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland, Peter Weiss

More information: Kirsi Latola,

12 June 2009

New networking mechanism, promoting cooperation between science, youth associations, non-profit organizations, business and authorities, has been established for the benefit of development of northern regions in Russia.
The cooperation called “Center for Problems of the North, Arctic and Cross-border Cooperation”, “North-Centre”, was established by Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science and International Public Youth Movement “Association AWARD”. The project is intended to unite the efforts of science in the area. 

Igor Shevchuk will be heading the project. Mr. Shevchuk is the foreign relations officer of the Karelian Research Center of RAS. Other members include, Alexander Titov, President of the Karelian Research Center of RAS, Corresponding Member of RAS, Chairman, Elena Antoshko, Head of the International Public Youth Movement "Association AWARD and Alexander Yuriev, Executive Director of the Association "Council of Municipalities, Republic of Karelia"

The Karelian Research center is establishing a web page for the project and it will be located at

29 May 2009

AMSA 2009 reportThe Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment working group of the Arctic Council has released a new Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report for the year 2009. The AMSA working group, led by Canada, Finland and the United States has produced a extensive and well-illustrated document that represents a four-year effort to consider and review all aspects of Arctic shipping. It includes documentation of shipping activities from a baseline year (2004) and future projections in key areas such as environmental protection, marine infrastructure, human dimensions, and governance. The report also contains series of very useful maps and charts.

Main topics of the report are:

  • Arctic Marine Geography, Climate and Sea Ice
  • History of Arctic Marine Transport
  • Governance of Arctic Shipping
  • Current Marine Use and the AMSA Shipping Database
  • Scenarios, Futures and Regional Futures to 2020
  • Human Dimensions
  • Environmental Considerations and Impacts
  • Arctic Marine Infrastructure

The Arctic is undergoing extraordinary transformations early in the 21st century. Natural resource development, governance challenges, climate change and marine infrastructure issues are influencing current and future marine uses of the Arctic. The Arctic Council, recognizing these critical changes and issues, at the November 2004 Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, called for the Council's Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group to "conduct a comprehensive Arctic marine shipping assessment as outlined under the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan (AMSP) under the guidance of Canada, Finland and the United States as lead countries and in collaboration with the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) working group and the Permanent Participants as relevant." The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, or The AMSA 2009 Report, is the product of that Arctic Ministerial decision in Reykjavik and was approved at the 2009 Arctic Council´s Ministerial meeting in Tromsø.

The AMSA 2009 Report

27 May 2009

Circumpolar Young Leaders Program flyerThe International Institute for Sustainable Development is currently recruiting northern Canadian youth to take part in a six-month internship program "Circumpolar Young Leaders Program". Placements are with leading organizations working on northern issues in other circumpolar countries and in southern Canada.

The Circumpolar Young Leaders Program is now offering 5 internships for young people between the ages of 20-30 living in or originally from Nunavut, NWT, Yukon, Northern Quebec and or, Labrador. It is anticipated that training will take place in September and the 6 month placements starting immediately following the training.

Available positions are posted here. Further position will be posted there shortly.

Applications will be accepted until June 22, 2009, or until placements are filled. Placements will start in September.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the program Web site at:
or contact at

4 May 2009

APECS logoRecently the Association of Early Career Polar Scientists launched a new website.The outlook of the website has been changed and some new features have been added. The new site features a fully searchable membership directory to find colleagues and for prospective employers to search for new hires. There is also a new and improved discussion board that is refered to as the APECS Student Lounge.

APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach.

APECS' goals include creating opportunities for the development of innovative, international, and interdisciplinary collaborations among current early career polar researchers as well as recruiting, retaining and promoting the next generation of polar enthusiasts.

To learn more about APECS, please visit their website

12 March 2009

Communities of ChangeThe ACUNS-APECS: Communities of Change - Building an IPY Legacy
9th Annual ACUNS International Student Conference on Northern Studies
October 2 to 5, 2009,Yukon College - Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Call for Abstracts

ACUNS and APECS, in partnership with Yukon College, are soliciting Abstracts that encompass the following areas:

  • The impact of sustainable development, economic activity and polar law on communities, governance and natural habitats.
  • The use of natural, physical and social sciences to help understand the causes and effects of the changing polar climate.
  • Changes to polar marine and terrestrial communities over the short and long term.
  • Changes in research communities and how research is undertaken in the Polar Regions.

The ACUNS-APECS: Communities of Change - Building an IPY Legacy Conference will highlight research occurring at both poles, including interactions between the cryosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and society. Inter-disciplinary sessions will be arranged based on the number and breadth of Abstracts submitted.

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2009

15 January 2009

To promote some of the good work carried out by the various IPY projects Educators and Scientists are offered the chance to submit material to a Polar Resource Book being created. This is an opportunity for individuals or groups who have adopted a new polar science activity or program for students or community during the IPY that were successful, and are interested in share these activities with a broader audience.

In an attempt to ensure efforts catalyzed by IPY will press on inspiring educators, students, and emerging polar researchers into the next generation a group of young, international, polar researchers with a shared commitment to outreach and education created the Polar Resource Book. The Book is a response to continual requests from educators and scientists wishing to raise awareness about the importance of polar science during a time of rapid planet-wide climate change. The project has received support from a vide range of actors whom are a part of the IPY community, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as well as the University of the Arctic, the United National Environment Program (UNEP), and the organizing committee for the flagship IPY Science Conference to be held in Norway in June 2010.

Two chapters in the book are open to submissions, chapters 2 and 4.

Chapter 2: Polar Educational Activities and Teaching

This section of the book includes practical learning activities for the classroom/learning environment accompanied by personal stories from youth, educators, and scientists who participated in or developed the associated projects. If you have an experience to share please fill out the attached ‘Chapter 2 I2S (intent to submit)’ form.

Chapter 4: Education & Outreach Projects – Inspiring Ideas from Around the World This chapter is a collection of successful outreach initiatives submitted by educators, scientists, and graduate students. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the breadth of outreach approaches and projects/programs/initiatives inspired by IPY and to encourage readers to become actively engaged in scientific outreach and polar education. We are interested in all polar outreach experiences regardless of their scale. If you have an experience to share please fill out the attached ‘Chapter 4 I2S (intent to submit)’ form.

Details and Deadline for Intent to Submit:

  • Application forms can be downloaded here Chapter 2 and Chapter 4
  • The deadline for submitting your intent to contribute to Chapters 2 & 4  is July 20th, 2009.

Further Deadlines for Successful Submissions:

  • All submissions will be reviewed and successful submissions will be notified byJuly 31st, 2009.
  • Full submissions will be due by August 31, 2009.
  • For further details and submissions, please contact Karen Edwards:

17 December 2008

IASSAThe International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) invites contributions for the next issue of the Northern Notes newsletter. Contributions are invited from both members and non-members of the Association on issues of interest to Arctic social scientists. Articles, reports, announcements, reviews (books, films, etc.), and conference or meeting announcements should be submitted by 2 February 2009 to IASSA secretary, Lára Ólafsdóttir, at .

Northern Notes is published on the web by the IASSA secretariat twice a year with a Spring/Summer and a Fall/Winter issue, and is available to all web users. To view past issues of the newsletter, please go to:

Contributions to Northern Notes may include special features on issues and topics of interest to Arctic social scientists, information and announcements from members, announcements of meetings, workshops or conferences, news about upcoming IASSA activities, information about new publications of interest to the Arctic social science community, and announcements of new websites and links of interest.

IASSA invites contributions by 2 February 2009 for the following standard categories of the newsletter:


Contributions on issues and research activities of interest to the Arctic social science community, including new research, current and upcoming research activities and events, etc.


News from Members
New books, Journals, Dissertations & Film
Conferences, Workshops, and Meetings
On the Web
Funding Opportunities

Remember to send us the following details along with your article or announcement:

Name and affiliation of the author
Book announcements: All titles, publishing details, distributor and ISBN/ISSN number
Film: Distributor or link, all release details

The IASSA secretariat moved to Akureyri, Iceland, on 1 October 2008, and is located at the Stefansson Arctic Institute.


Stefansson Arctic Institute
Borgir, Nordurslod
IS-600 Akureyri, Iceland
Tel: (+354) 460 8980
Fax: (+354) 460 8989

10 December 2008

Norden logoThe Nordic Council of Ministers Arctic Cooperation Programme 2009-2011 is now open for funding applications. The deadline for applications will be 15 January 2009. Further information on the priorities of the Programme, criteria’s for applicants and the application form can be found on the NCM website or on the NordRegio website. NordRegio will be responsible for the management of the NCM Arctic Cooperation Programme and possible applications need be sent to NordRegio (nordregio at

25 November 2008

The International Polar Year is a large scientific programme focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic. The program officially ran from March 2007 to March 2009 but was closed in September 2011. IPY was organized through the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It was actually the fourth polar year, following those in 1882-3, 1932-3, and 1957-8.

IPY involved over 200 projects from around the world on Arctic and Antarctic issues. Thousands of scientists from over 60 nations examined a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. It was also an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow, and get involved with, cutting edge science in real-time.

Arctic Portal is a good example of a project which started out as an IPY project. Below are more examples.

4 November 2008

University of Akureyri logoIn the Social Science Forum at the University of Akureyri, Professor Lee Huskey will discuss research being done around the circumpolar north and draws general lessons from the different experiences of northern migration in the Arctic nations. Similarities and interesting differences among patterns and determinants of migration will be discussed. The lecture is held by the University of Akureyri and the Stefanson Arctic Institute.

The Social Science Forum will be WebCasted Live on the Arctic Portal. See here.

Migration is a major influence on the size and demographic structure of the population in Arctic regions. The patterns of migration differ significantly across countries and between indigenous and non-indigenous people. Migration patterns also differ across demographic groups in the North; rates of migration differ by gender, age, and education level. Migration involves long-term social and cultural consequences for communities in the north as well as for the migrants themselves.

Material necessity is a major determinant of population movement, so the creation or loss of income earning opportunities in the north will affect migration decisions. Migration decisions will also reflect more general estimates of the quality of life offered by different communities. The pursuit of jobs, education, family, and bright lights will each influence migration in the north.

Public policy will also affect migration. While migration in most Arctic nations is a decision made by households or individuals, in some past periods migration decisions have been a matter of public policy. Public choices about transfer payments and the provision of services and infrastructure influence migration decisions today.

Lee Huskey is a Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.  At the UAA Lee has served as Chairman of the Department of Economics, Director of the Center for Economic Education, and Director of the Experimental Economics program. He was elected President of the Western Regional Science Association in 2005. He has been active in a number of northern pursuits including the Arctic Social Indicators project, the University of the Arctic, and the Northern Research Forum.

Lee’s current research examines the patterns and determinants of rural-urban migration in Alaska. He is currently the principal investigator for two projects on northern migration funded by the US National Research Foundation and the European Science Foundation which involve social scientists from a number of countries and disciplines. More generally his research has examined economic development in rural regions and particularly the influence of institutions on this development. For further information, see http://exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=