Current Projects







WAGE (Arctic Economy and Social Transitions)

SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) grant – PARTNERSHIP grant (2021-2026).

Led by Gérard Duhaime, University of Laval, Quebec.

Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen is co-investigator and leading a case study in South Greenland investigating social and economic inequalities in Nanortalik, Narsaq, and Qaqortoq. Our research will demonstrate some of the internal structures, issues and challenges in the Arctic region today that perpetuate power imbalances, inequalities, and the unequal distribution of economic costs and benefits. The main objectives are to analyse key components and drivers of economic change and transitions, and to study their impacts on distributional outcomes, and with attention to institutional changes; to gather and analyse local perspectives on economic change and development with a focus on distributional issues and power imbalances, and with attention to critical trade-offs. The case study contributes to the WAGE partnership‘s overall objectives of describing and investigating the current state of inequalities and the study of the distribution of wealth and its dynamics.

For more information contact Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen at


NUNATARYUK – Permafrost Thaw and the Changing Arctic Coast: Science for Socio-Economic Adaptation

An EU-Horizon 2020 project led by Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany ( This large-scale interdisciplinary project unites 28 partner institutions from 12 countries in a research consortium investigating the impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on the global climate, and developing targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Arctic coastal population. The Stefansson Arctic Institute is one of the project´s partners, serves as principal investigator for WP9 on “Mitigation and Adaptation”, leads coordination of the social sciences contributions within the project, and conducts a special case study in Greenland´s Disko Bay.

Lead research participants at SVS: Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen and Dr. Jón Haukur Ingimundarson.

Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen is co-leading the work on adaptation and mitigation (work package 9) and leading a case study in Ilulissat, Disko Bay, Greenland.

Research Assistants at SVS: Andrea Marta Vigfúsdóttir, Sveinbjörg Smáradóttir, Jonathan William Wood.

For more information contact Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen at



JUSTNORTH - Toward Just, Ethical and Sustainable Arctic Economies, Environments and Societies)

EU H2020 (2020-2024).

Led by Corine Wood-Donnelly, University of Uppsala.

SVS is a partner in JustNorth – Toward Just, Ethical and Sustainable Economies, Environments and Societies – an EU-Horizon 2020 project and large scale international consortium led by University of Uppsala. In JustNorth there are 18 case studies where individual narratives from interviews will be codified into a socio-economic formula for use in future academic literature, to show best practices to all stakeholders, as well as enhance the work of designing Arctic Social Indicators and monitoring human development in the Arctic. SVS is responsible for conducting three of these case studies – focusing on Northwest and Northeast Iceland and on South Greenland – and the Institute also leads WP5 on Project Integration. The case studies themselves will be published, furthering social science research in the Arctic. 

Principal Investigators at SVS: Dr. Níels Einarsson, Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen, Dr. Catherine P. Chambers, and Dr. Jón Haukur Ingimundarson. Joan Nymand Larsen is co-leading the integration work package and a case study in South Greenland.

Research Assistants at SVS: Maria Wilke, Jonathan William Wood, Andrea Marta Vigfúsdóttir, and Sveinbjörg Smáradóttir.

For more information contact Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen at

Marine SABRES (Marine Systems Approaches for Biodiversity Resilience and Ecosystem Sustainability) is a research project funded by the European Union that aims to conserve and protect biodiversity by integrating healthy, sustainably-used ecosystems and a resilient blue economy. To do so, Marine SABRES brings together international experts across the biological and social sciences to improve the management of Europe’s oceans and seas.​ Website:

Research participant at SVS: Dr. Catherine Chambers









NORVALUE - Sustainable futures in Arctic fishery-based coastal communities

NorValue – Sustainable Value Chains in Nordic Coastal Communities – is an international research project led by Gestur Hovgaard, Ilisimatusarfik, Greenland and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers (01.01.2020-31.12.2023). The project´s aim is to examine the shared knowledge and experience of the importance of natural and other resources for value creation in coastal communities and sustainable development in the Nordic Atlantic regions of Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Northern Norway.

The project´s findings will be disseminated in two reports the first of which was published in 2022:

Lead research participants at SAI: Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen and Dr. Jón Haukur Ingimundarson

For more information contact Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen ( who leads a case study in Southern Greenland.



photo: Museum Nord


Living on the Edge project looks at the ecological shifts in the North Atlantic over time. To learn more about what species were living in the sea, we look on land, in our archives and museums to find fishing records, objects and references in the landscape. Living on the Edge is a pre-project funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic programme.

Project partners: Museum Nord, University of Tromsø, Trinity College Dublin, Stefansson Arctic Institute.

Participant at SVS: Dr. Catherine Chambers


ICEWHALE - Whales and Ice: Marine-mammal subsistence use in times of famine in Iceland ca. AD 1600-1900

This project, funded by the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF considers to what extent whales stranded by sea ice off the coasts of Iceland supplemented the food supply during times of famine. 

Using primary data from documentary sources for the period ca. 1600 to 1900, the project is investigating the negative and positive impacts of varying sea-ice conditions as they affected the Icelandic population. Negative aspects were the prevention of fishing and trading activities and the lowering of temperatures on land. Positive aspects included the stranded whales that provided a crucial food source. Within this context, the project is evaluating how frequently such beaching and stranding events occurred and consider to what extent they prevented starvation in times of crisis.



Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures (2017-2023)

Following upon key recommendations in second Arctic Human Development Report (2015), Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures is a project led by SVS with funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers´ Arctic Cooperation Programme, Stefansson Arctic Institute, The University of Akureyri Research Fund and the Arctic Research and Studies Programme of Iceland and Norway. The project´s consortium consists of an international group of 24 Arctic scholars conducting research on the aspirations, perspectives, experiences, opportunities and living conditions of Arctic youth, to fill identified gaps in knowledge on the lives, ambitions, needs, challenges, wellbeing, and reactive and proactive initiatives of young people in the Arctic. 32 focus-group interviews have been conducted among youth ages 18-28 – indigenous & non-indigenous and urban & rural - across the circumpolar North.

Project leaders: Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen and Dr. Jon Haukur Ingimundarson

Other researchers at SVS: Sveinbjörg Smáradóttir

For more information contact Dr. Joan Nymand Larsen at