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Young Scientists Programme

Through private donations, a programme for students to attend the Arctic Circle Conference has been established.

16 Young Scientists to attend the Arctic Circe Conference

The Young Scientists Programme provided scholarships for 10 students of Arctic issues to attend the Arctic Circle Conference, and a further 6 applicants was able to participate by funding their trip through other sources.

Apart from attending the conference, the young scientists are also participating in a programme at the University of the Faroe Islands, with the purpose of training their science diplomacy skills.

Meet some of the 16 participants here:

Christian Koch Madsen, postdoc at Greenland National Museum and University of Copenhagen

 Christian Kock Madsen Young Scientists Programme

What is your field of study/research?

My main field of study is the medieval Norse settlements in Greenland, but only as one example of past human ecodynamics in the Arctic. In other words, my academic interest is in understanding the experienced livelihood of Greenland's ancient and historic peoples; the challenges and opportunities they faced in the changing Arctic environments, how they adapted to them, or failed to do so; the layout and dynamics of their social-ecological systems, and identifying the main drivers of social and societal transformation across the different inhabited regions and time periods. This interest is further spurred by the hope that the archaeological case studies can help inform and enrich future policy making and public awareness, for instance of sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.

What is at about the Arctic in relation to your scientific field that triggered your interest?

My interest in the prehistory of the Arctic, specifically Greenland, is very broad and involves all the cultures to inhabit Greenland in the past. This interest in the Arctic was initially triggered by a special exhibition on the Thule culture on display in Odense, which I saw around the age of 12. The cultural foreignness of the Thule people and the Arctic landscapes they inhabited left me with so powerful images and impressions that they never dissipated, but rather I carried them into my academic profession of archaeology, always reading and learning what I could of the past of the Arctic and dreaming of one day going there to do research. 13 years ago I finally got to go to Greenland as a student assistant in a research project and have returned every year since and finally moving to Nuuk a few years back.

What do you hope to gain from participating in the Arctic Circle Conference?

I hope to learn from ACC, what concerns, expectations, and challenges inhabitants and scientists currently living and working in the Arctic consider the most pressing and important; I hope to meet other social and natural scientists working with or in the Arctic to learn about their experiences and research; and I hope to expand my circumpolar research network and meet potential new collaborators for future dissemination and research projects.

Elisa Vang, MSc student at University of the Faroe Islands

Elisa Vang Young Scientists Programme

What is your field of study/research?

I am specialising in small state studies, focusing on small scale bureaucracies. Currently I am writing an internship report on internal co-ordination and administration of the Faroese Prime Minister´s Office in an overall small state-perspective.

What is at about the Arctic in relation to your scientific field that triggered your interest?

Science diplomacy is an ideal opportunity for small states to have a say in international relations. And seeing that the West Nordic countries are all small states in some sense of the term, I find it crucial that these countries have a solid domestic central administration - and thereby gaining the prospect of quality diplomacy capacity. Therefore, the Arctic Circle Young Scientist Programme is especially advantageous for scientists from these specific countries.

What do you hope to gain from participating in the Arctic Circle Conference?

I hope to gain a basic insight on Arctic geopolitics and Arctic science diplomacy. As a Faroese student – and soon to be political scientist – I have yet to learn about the full comprehension on how exactly the Arctic Circle operates. Also, I am hoping to see cooperativeness between the respective countries attending the conference, for instance on scientific research.
Moreover, I am attending the Arctic Circle Young Scientist Programme because I am confident that it will provide valuable knowledge in my prospective career.

Mikkel Skovrind, PhD Student at National History Museum of Denmark and University of Copenhagen

Mikkel Skovrind Young Scientists Programme

What is your field of study/research?

I am a PhD student at the Natural History Museum of Denmark working on the genetics of circumpolar distributed arctic beluga whale. My PhD includes several different studies of beluga whale and their genomes. Primarily the focus is on the population structure of modern populations across the entire distribution, but I am also be working with comparative evolutionary genomics, microbiomes, genetic analyses of diet and possible hybridization with the closely related narwhal.

What is at about the Arctic in relation to your scientific field that triggered your interest?

My research includes analyses of the beluga whale’s adaptations to life in the Arctic and hopefully we will be able to use the beluga whale as a model to predict how marine mammals in general will react tofuture Artic climate changes. An increasingly ice free Arctic will also bring other challenges to beluga whales such as increased cruise ship and cargo traffic, oil exploration and  new species moving up from the south. In combination all this makes this an interesting research field with a feeling of great urgency.

What do you hope to gain from participating in the Arctic Circle Conference?

As a whale researcher I work in a political charged field where it is important to be aware aims and agendas of local and international policy makers. I very much rely on samples provided by indigenous people living in close connection with Nature and the resources it provides so the Arctic Circle focus on Science and traditional knowledge will be especially interesting to me. Additionally, the focus areas Arctic ecosystems and marine science and Fisheries and living resources will be extremely relevant to my research.

 

last modified Aug 15, 2019