CONNECT: Global Connections and Changing Resource Use System in the Arctic

Funded Project Information
Arctic Observing and Research for Sustainability
Type of Project: 
Type 2 - Small Synthesis Grant
Lead PI: 
Vera Hausner, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
Else Grete Broderstad, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
Douglas Clark, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Dorothée Ehrich, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
Per Fauchald, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Trondheim, Norway
Konstantin Klokov, EthnoExpert, LLC, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Christopher Monz, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA
Jennifer Schmidt, ISER, University of Alaska-Anchorage, USA
Nigel Yoccoz, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

Sponsored by: NSERC, RCN, NSF

Global connections are rapidly changing local resource use systems in the Arctic. For example, the introduction of mineral extraction industries and tourism activities create local spin-off effects by changing demography, access to markets, land use and ecosystem services. Adaptations to such changes has been explored in sustainability sciences, but few studies have addressed the adoption of new practices and technologies by local resource users, which also may prompt the shift in institutions, use of the landscape, harvest pressure and the valuation of ecosystem services by the residents themselves. In the Arctic, the character of such transitions is expected to vary extensively depending on local conditions ranging from the subsistence-based mixed economies in North America to the more market integrated economies in Scandinavia. The CONNECT team will investigate how adaption and adoption mechanisms to global connections change land use and ecosystem services, thereby identifying sustainable pathways of relevance to the local and regional contexts. A conceptual model guides synthesis building on the following datasets collected by our team: 1) Community interviews, socioeconomics and data on ecosystem services in 28 Arctic communities in Norway, Canada, Alaska and Russia; 2) high resolution remote sensing images analyzed for the same communities; 3) spatial and longitudinal data on socioeconomics, mining and tourism collected for the whole Arctic; and 4) longitudinal datasets on socio-ecological systems based on reindeer pastoralism and caribou hunting. The qualitative or quantitative analyses of these datasets will be supported by literature reviews. Two work packages are devoted to the inclusion of end users in the synthesis effort. In the first year local perspectives will be gained through community workshops in all four participating countries and by producing a report in collaboration with users. By the end of the project, feedback from decision makers will be included in reports exploring the sustainability of alternative pathways for the Arctic.