Events

The Stefansson Arctic Institute (SAI) organizes various events whereof the most important are mentioned below.

 

SAI Events in the Year 2016

Stefansson Memorial Lecture 2016
2016 Stefansson Memorial Lecture was held at Dartmouth College, USA, November 3, 2016. Hugh Beach, Professor Emeritus of Ethnology, Uppsala University, Sweden called his lecture Managing the Wilderness: Arctic Perspectives. More information here.

Whale Congress in Húsavík
The third Whale Congress in Húsavík took place on Tuesday 21 June 2016. Dr. Níels Einarsson, director of the Stefansson Arctic Institute was among speekers. See programme here.

Open lecture: China as a Polar Great Power
Lecture by Dr. Anne-Marie Brady, Professor of Political Science at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand given on June 20 in Borgir, Akureyri. The lecture was hosted by the Stefansson Arctic Institute.

ARCPATH Sail-off Meeting in Bergen
The sail-off meeting of Nordic Center of Excellence Arctic Climate Predictions: Pathways to Resilient, Sustainable Societies (ARCPATH) took place at Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) during April 11 and 12, 2016. ARCPATH is funded by the Nordic Council and includes nine partners from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland in addition to Canadian, Chinese, Russian and US partners. Representatives from partner institutions discussed the coordinated implementation plan for ARCPATH during two days in Bergen. Scientists from the Stefansson Arctic Institute participate in the project. See more here.

Norwegian and Icelandic Institutes Lead a New Nordic Centre of Excellence for Arctic Research
The Stefansson Arctic Institute, the University of Iceland, and the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network are Icelandic representatives in ´ARCPATH´ - a NordForsk-funded Nordic Centre of Excellence in Arctic Research.

The international and multidisciplinary project Arctic Climate Predictions: Pathways to Resilient, Sustainable Societies (ARCPATH) is one of four, out of 34 applications, to be awarded a grant of 28 million NOK for 5 years as a NordForsk Nordic Centre of Excellence in Arctic Research.

The project’s home and leadership will be shared by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre (NERSC) in Bergen (Dr Yongqi Gao as lead) and the Stefansson Arctic Institute (Dr Astrid Ogilvie as co-lead).

Icelandic representatives include: Dr Níels Einarsson, Director of the Stefansson Arctic Institute (SAI); Dr Edward Huijbens, Professor at the University of Akureyri and Senior Scientist at SAI; Dr Marianne H. Rasmussen, Director of the University of Iceland Research Centre in Húsavík; Dr Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir, Professor at the University of Iceland and Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources; Tom Barry, Executive Director of CAFF; and Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network and researcher with the SAI.

Other Nordic team members are from the following institutes and countries:
Norway: The University of Bergen (UiB); The Arctic University of Norway (UiT); and The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU).
Denmark: The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).
Sweden: The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).

Other International Collaborators: Professor Leslie King, School of Environment and Sustainability, and Director, Canadian Centre for Environmental Education, Royal Roads University (RRU), Canada; Professor James R. McGoodwin, Department of Anthropology, and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, USA; Dr Shari Fox Gearheard, National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Colorado; Professor Sergey Gulev, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Science (IORAS), Russia; Dr Vladimir Semenov, Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Science (IAPRAS), Russia; Professor Ke Fan, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Professor Guðrún Magnúsdóttir, Chair Earth Systems Science, University of California; Dr Michael Karcher, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany; Dr Baoqiang Tian, Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, China; Dr Francois Massonnet, University College London, UK; Professor Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT); Professor Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Barents Chair in Politics, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT); Dr Yvan Orsolini, Senior Scientist, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Norway; Professor Cecilia Bitz, University of Washington, USA; Dr Burkhardt Rockel, of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Institute for Coastal; Lawrence C. Hamilton, Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire, USA; Michael Bravo, Fellow of Downing College, and Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, and Head of the Circumpolar History and Public Policy Research Group at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge.

The ARCPATH project seeks to combine improved regional climate predictions with enhanced understanding of environmental, societal, and economic interactions in order to supply new knowledge on Arctic "pathways to action". This will be achieved through extensive cross-disciplinary collaboration including: climatology (regional and global modelling; dynamic downscaling; historical climatology); environmental science; environmental economics; oceanography and cryosphere research; marine and fisheries biology; fisheries management; anthropology; governance systems; human eco-dynamics; and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Drawing on these separate but interlinking disciplines will enable ARCPATH to form a truly synergistic centre of excellence where the overarching goal is to foster responsible and sustainable development in northern communities.

The Stefansson Arctic Institute is also a part of Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities (REXAC) that is another project awarded NordForsk funding for a Nordic Centre of Excellence in Arctic Research. The SAI participant is Senior Scientist and Research Director Dr Joan Nymand Larsen.

Further information here.

 

SAI Events in the Year 2015

New Study on Climatic Complexity
Research on the climate of the past 1000 years has tended to focus on two periods that have come to be known as the "Medieval Warm Period" or "Medieval Climatic Optimum" and the "Little Ice Age". As new palaeoclimatic proxy data are developed and refined it becomes increasingly clear that such terms are inadequate to describe climatic periods that varied considerably in time and space (Ogilvie and Jónsson, 2001). A recent study by Young et al. (2015) has suggested that the Norse settlement of Greenland around AD 985 occurred at a time when glaciers in southern Greenland were advanced, and that they continued in this phase for the entire period that the Norse remained (to ca. AD 1450). This undermines the climate deterministic theory that the Norse went to Greenland during a period of favourable climate, and died out when it became colder.

In "Inside Climate News", the Stefansson Arctic Institute‘s climate historian, Dr Astrid Ogilvie, suggests that the new study provides further evidence for the climatic complexity of the period when the Norse remained in Greenland and that the term "Medieval Warm Period" is an unhelpful misnomer.

Changing human relationships with whales on BBC Radio 4
Dr Níels Einarsson, director of the Stefansson Arctic Institute, appeared on a BBC Radio 4 programme contributing with research findings on whale watching, changes in Arctic coastal communities and socioeconomic impacts of tourism, in a series called Natural Histories, in an episode on Whales.

New Publication: The New Arctic
The New Arctic, edited by Birgitta Evengård, Joan Nymand Larsen and Øyvind Paasche was recently published by Springer. See more information.

New Reports: ASI-II and ADHR-II
Two new reports were published in February and can be downloaded from the NCM page (click on titles below). Dr Joan Nymand Larsen, scientist at the Stefansson Arctic Institute, is one of the editors.

Arctic Social Indicators: ASI II: Implementation
Editors: Joan Nymand Larsen, Peter Schweitzer and Andrey Petrov
Publisher: Nordic Council of Ministers

Arctic Human Development Report: Regional Processes and Global Linkages
Editors: Joan Nymand Larsen and Gail Fondahl
Publisher: Nordic Council of Ministers

 

SAI Events in the Year 2014

Stefansson Memorial Lecture 2014
The Stefansson Memorial Lecture is an annual event established by the Stefansson Arctic Institute honoring the legacy of arctic explorer and anthropologist, Vilhjálmur Stefánsson (1879-1962).
The lecture this year was given by Dr James White, a noted climate scientist working on abrupt climate change, sea ice and sea-level changes, and carbon cycles. The title of the lecture was Abrupt Change: Past, Present and Future:The hard reality and silver lining in a sustainable future.
Place: Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, USA.
Date:Tuesday, 11 December 2014. 
See more here.

Conference: Gender Equality and the Arctic - Current Realities, Future Challenges
Venue: Hof Cultural and Conference Center Center,Akureyri, Iceland
Time: 30-31 October 2014
This conference focused broadly on the living condition of women and men throughout the Circumpolar North, addressing key issues such as access to and control over resources, representation in decision-making positions, political participation, regional development, human security, and material and cultural well-being.

Themes and topics were divided into the following plenaries:
    - Gender Equality and the Arctic: Current Realities, Future Challenges
    - Political Representation and Participation in Decision-making: Gendered Dimensions
    - Regional Socio-Economic Development and its Gendered Impacts
    - Climate and Environmental Change, Natural Resource Development, and Gender
    - Human Security: Gendered Aspects
    - Human Capital and Gender: Migration, Mobility, Education and Adaptation
    - (Re-)Construction of Gender in the Arctic


SAI Events in the Year 2013

Stefansson Memorial Lecture 2013
The Stefansson Memorial Lecture is an annual event established by the Stefansson Arctic Institute honoring the legacy of arctic explorer, anthropologist, and former Dartmouth faculty member Vilhjálmur Stefánsson (1879-1962). The lecture this year was given by anthropologist Thomas McGovern, Hunter College, City University of New York, at Dartmouth College, Tuesday 29 October 2013. The title of the lecture was Sustainability and Collapse in the Norse North Atlantic: Implications for Climate Adaptation Today.

The 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913
An Arctic event focused on the life of Vilhjálmur Stefansson and the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913 was organized on November 5, 2013, titled Science, People & Sustainability in the Canadian Arctic: From the 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition to the 2013 Arctic Council Chairmanship. This event traced the legacy of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, launched in 1913, and its leader Vilhjalmur Stefansson, in his day one of the most colorful and notorious students at UND. Speakers drew on Stefansson’s work and influences to examine new linkages between the United States and the Canadian Arctic.

NABO General Meeting 2013 in Akureyri
The 2013 NABO (North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation) General Meeting was hosted by the Stefansson Arctic Institute and held in Borgir Research Building on the campus of University of Akureyri on July 12th and 13th 2013. Two days of presentations and discussion were followed by an optional all day bus tour to archaeological sites and volcanic scenery around lake Mývatn on Sunday July 14th.

Arctic Social Indicators II 
The ASI-II report was launched at the Arctic Council Swedish Ministerial Meeting  on 15 May 2013 in Kiruna, Sweden. The report will later be available in print and downloadable from web. The ASI Secretariat is situated with the Stefansson Arctic Institute and Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen was the project manager and co-editor of the report.

Conference: Marine and Coastal Culture Tourism in Northern Territories
A conference that focused on the fishing environment in northern territories took place in the University of Akureyri, 18-19 June 2013. The conference was organised by the Stefansson Arctic Institute in collaboration with the University of Akureyri Research Centre, NORA, the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre, Norwegian Seafood Centre and the Icelandic Lighthouse Society.

Marine and coastal culture tourism is growing in popularity in various ways. Some tourists want to learn about life in coastal villages, experience nature and tranquility as well as the wilderness. Others want to experience the excitement of driving charter boats, diving, surfing, go speedboating or hiring a boat and try their luck at fishing. Then there are those who want to sail from port to port and country to country on board gigantic cruise ships.

The main workshop themes were how we meet the challenges of: 1) The development of marine and coastal culture tourism in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, 2) Opportunities and threats, self sufficiency and environment – the effect of marine and coastal culture tourism and the image of the Northern Territories and 3) In what areas can we collaborate? There were also excursions where tourism related businesses and museums were visited.

Social Science Forum: On Northern Storytelling
A lecture by author and travel writer Dr. Lawrence Millman, 13 March 2013, University of Akureyri.

Punctuating his presentation with stories he collected and translated himself, Lawrence Millman took us on a journey that's at once personal, cultural, and geographical. He began with the West of Ireland and discussed storytelling and its traditional significance there, then he talked about his work in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, where he spent several years collecting tales and myths from Inuit elders, and then he talked about the Kwakwadjec stories he collected in Labrador.

Lawrence Millman has a Ph.D. in Literature from Rutgers University. He has taught at Haskoli Islands, Tufts University, the University of New Hampshire, Goddard College, and Harvard University. His 15 books include such titles as Our Like Will Not Be There Again, Last Places, A Kayak Full of Ghosts, Wolverine Creates the World, Lost in the Arctic, and -- most recently -- Hiking to Siberia. His next book, to be published in the fall, will be a collection of his essays about fungi. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Stefansson Arctic Institute.


SAI Events in the Year 2012

Icelandic Greenlandic Arctic Science Days in Greenland
The Icelandic Greenlandic Arctic Science Days were held in Ilimmarfik, University of Greenland’s campus building in Nuuk, 21-22 September 2012. Proposed by The Icelandic Joint Committee on Arctic Affairs (under the auspices of the Icelandic Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources) and organized by Stefansson Arctic Institute in collaboration with University of Greenland (Ilisimatusarfik) and Greenland Climate Research Centre (Silap Pissusianik Ilisimatusarfik), these inaugural Icelandic-Greenlandic Arctic Science Days were an opportunity for the sharing of knowledge and research results from the two scientific milieus of Iceland and Greenland, a venue for presentation of projects and building of partnerships for future collaboration.

The program was composed of seminar presentations, plenary sessions, keynote lecture and discussions that provided an overview of current scientific activities and engagement in the Arctic and inform practitioners in the research community, policy makers and the concerned general public of the condition and prospects of Arctic research-related issues in the respective countries.

 
SAI Events in the Year 2011

ICASS VII, Akureyri, Iceland, 22-26 June 2011
SAI organized, together with the IASSA Council, the Seventh International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences entitled Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences beyond the International Polar Year. ICASS VII was held at the University of Akureyri on June 22-26, 2011 and attracted 450 participants from 20 countries and included 52 sessions, five keynotes and six film screenings. The secretariat of IASSA was located at the Stefansson Arctic Institute 2008-2011, while Dr Joan Nymand Larsen was president of IASSA.

 
SAI events in the year 2009

Lecture and an opening of an exhibit in Honningsvåg, Norway
On Thursday 24th September 2009 Dr Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Stefansson Arctic Institute, will give a lecture on Iceland, Climate Change and the Friendly Arctic, during the Norwegian Science Week  in Honningsvåg, Norway.

This is also the day of the opening of an exhibit of photographs from Vilhjálmur Stefánsson's expeditions in the Arctic and texts from his diaries which the travelling exhibit The Friendly Arctic is based on. The photographs and diary texts are also available on the web.
 

SAI events in the year 2008

IASSA Secretariat to Iceland
At the IASSA General Assembly on August 25, 2008, Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen, Senior Scientist at the Stefansson Arctic Institute was elected president of IASSA (International Arctic Social Sciences Association) for the next three years. The IASSA secretariat will be moved from Nuuk, Greenland, to the Stefansson Arctic Institute in Akureyri where it will be situated for the next three years. The 7th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences will be held in Akureyri in the summer of 2011.

Stefansson Memorial Lecture 2008
The Stefansson Memorial Lecture of this year is sponsored by the Stefansson Arctic Institute in collaboration with the University of Akureyri and the Centre of Gender Equality. This event is in celebration of the Stefansson Arctic Institute’s tenth anniversary. Dr Gunhild Hoogensen, associate professor of political science at the University of Tromsø, Norway, will give this year's lecture which she calls Drill baby, Drill: from Energy to Human Security in the Circumpolar North. See abstract. The lecture is open to the public. (29th October 2008).

The Friendly Arctic - Exhibition
To celebrate Stefansson Arctic Institute's 10th anniversary a web version of the Friendly Arctic Exhibition has been made in English, Danish and Icelandic.
Photographs from Vilhjalmur Stefansson's excursions and extracts from his diary are also to be seen at Borgir (first floor), Nordurslod, Akureyri.