On 6th-9th of December ASEEES 50th Annual Convention is taking place in Boston, United States.
From our team, Stephanie Hitztaler is taking part in the conference. She is a participant at the roundtable “Doing Research in Post-Soviet Spaces: Reports on Recent Fieldwork” today, on Friday, 7th of December.

Coming up with research questions is only one part of our work as academics; the ways in which we answer them is another major aspect. This roundtable panel will discuss strategies for adapting to the varied landscapes—political, social, and cultural—of doing research in the former Soviet Union, touching on working with local academic communities, technological limits and capabilities, and specific challenges at research sites. Panelists from history, sociology, geography, anthropology, and interdisciplinary fields will discuss the ever-evolving constellation of research methods and methodologies, including the value and mechanics of doing mixed-methods approaches, the impact of the rising emphasis on interdisciplinarity, and the role and importance of recognizing researcher subjectivity, in their recent fieldwork in Ukraine, Russia, and Central Asia.

Stephanie will also chair the panel “The Soviet Anthropocene” on Sunday, December 9th.

More information can be found on the
conference website.

On the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic

The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and climate change in the European Arctic on 19 November 2018 in Brussels. Yesterday, the NDI published a piece “Cutting black carbon emissions is an acute challenge for all in the European Arctic” about the forum, that can be read online here.

The event gathered researchers, top experts, decision-makers and NGOs to discuss the future challenges as well as solutions available to avert the black carbon impacts of future climate change. The event featured two knowledge arenas consisting of brief researcher presentations followed by comments and a moderated discussion. Ms. Cathy Smith from Speak-Easy moderated the event.

In his presentation, Associate Professor, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen from the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki and Strategic Research Program on Security, Academy of Finland, indicated that reducing gas flaring of the Russian oil and gas industry has critical role in curbing black carbon emission in the Arctic. He underlined e.g. environmental certificates and more reliance on soft means to influence environmental investments and international cooperation in the renewable energy.

Professor Tynkkynen is available in slides and in video format below:

Karoliina Hurri’s and Sanna Kopra’s column at The Ulkopolitist.

Two  researchers from our team, Karoliina Hurri and Sanna Kopra, wrote a guest column for The Ulkopolitist titled “Puolan ilmastokokouksessa paljon pöydällä: Odottaako maailma Kiinalta liikaa?” (Much on the table at the Poland’s climate conference: does the world expect too much from China?).

From 3 to 14 October The United Nations Conference on Climate Change is organised in Poland, and it is expected to be the most important event after the Paris Climate Treaty. The Polish climate conference is the last chance to negotiate the rules of the Paris Agreement, because it will be implemented in 2020. One big question  for the Polish negotiations is which role that China will take. The world has started to hope that China will take the role of a new leader in international climate negotiations after the United States announced its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Both Karoliina and Sanna research interests are China’s Arctic policy and its role as a great power. Read their expert opinion on the conference online here.

Pohjoinen on punainen? : Kiina ja Arktiksen uusi alueellistuminen

Liisa Kauppila’s and Sanna Kopra’s article “Pohjoinen on punainen? : Kiina ja Arktiksen uusi alueellistuminen” (The High North is Red? China and New Regionalism in the Arctic) was published in November in Kosmopolis –  academic journal of Finnish Peace Research Association.

This article analyzes the role of China in the transformation of the Arctic from the theory of new regionalism point of view. It emphasizes that the Arctic is a socially constructed area that is defined by processes that are changing in the face of globalization and climate change. The article claims that, especially China’s rise to power transforms the dynamics of the northernmost parts of the globe and promotes both the discursive and material development of the so-called Asian and Arctic operational area. The article also briefly reflects on the wider political, economic and environmental impacts of this ongoing change in the Arctic.

The article can be downloaded online here.

26-30.11.2018 Media and the Arctic – Master Class Week in Tampere

From Tuesday, 27th of November, to Thursday, 29th of November, Dmitry Yagodin and his colleagues from Tampere’s Reseacrh Cenre for Russian and Chinese Media are organising “Media and the Arctic” master class week in Tampere. The master class weeks consists of teaching  programme and public events. Dmitry Yagodin is organising a workshop “Arctic Environmental Journalism” together with Anna Kireeva and Thomas Nilsen.

On Friday, 30th of November, Sanna Kopra will be taking part in a panel discussion “Arctic Myths and Realities”, together with Stina Aletta Aikio (free artist), Matti Posio (Lännen Media), René Söderman (Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland), led by Johannes Riquet (University of Tampere). The discussion is a public event.

More information available here.

Alla Bolotova on the Interactive map of Arctic: People and infrastructure project

Last Friday, on 17th of November, Alla Bolotova participated in the presentation of the results of the project “Интерактивная карта Арктики: Люди и инфраструктура” (Interactive map of Arctic: People and infrastructure) at the 11th Exhibition of the Academic Research Achievements (VDNKh) of the European University at St. Petersburg. Last year EUSP’s Center for Science and Technology StudiesCenter for Arctic Social Studies,  and ENERPO Research Centre received Presidential Grant for this project and started working on it in February 2018. Last week the website InterArctic has been launched. Alla and two other anthropologists from the Center for Arctic Social Studies have been working in the project team, which all together consisted of 10 people, and she told more about this work for our blog.

Continue reading “Alla Bolotova on the Interactive map of Arctic: People and infrastructure project”

FRRESH Autumn Seminar

The FRRESH Autumn Seminar, that is taking place today at the University of Helsinki, is focusing on practical skills. The seminar is divided into two sessions with one focusing on supervision and the other on teaching. Karoliina Hurri, who is working as PhD student in our group, is one of the panelists.

The morning panel will discuss supervision both from the supervisor’s and the graduate students’ viewpoint and the afternoon workshop will share best practices in assessment of the undergraduate students.

The relationship between the supervisor and the Ph.D. candidate is crucial for a successful completion of a dissertation. What do supervisors expect from Ph.D. students and what do students expect from supervisors? Are there differences in the way supervision is conducted in national academic contexts? These are among the questions tackled in the panel with supervisors and Ph.D. candidates from Finland, Russia, and the UK.

The panel will be followed by a workshop on teaching. Among the many challenges in teaching at a university level, assessment of undergraduate students’ work is often the hard one. At the panel the experience of teaching and difficulties will be discussed.

Additional information on the event can be found here.


ARKTIKO final seminar

These days, on 20th-21st of November, Arctic Academy Programme (ARKTIKO) has its final seminar “Arctic Research Leads to New Solutions” in Helsinki. Our team members involved in the “Assessing Intermediary Expertise in Cross-Border Arctic Energy Development” project – Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Hanna Lempinen and Hilma Salonen – are presenting the results of their 3-year work. During the project, the group has been researching Arctic Energy Futures, as energy is a top policy priority across the Arctic states. In Russia, the context of focus, Arctic is seen as a central natural resource base. The group’s topical focus was twofold: we concentrated on energy inequality, i.e. how resource riches are distributed and how vulnerable communities are (un)protected; and how renewables could promote socioeconomic development.

On 21st of November, Wednesday, Hanna Lempinen is presenting her research in a talk “Intermediary expertise and Arctic energy development: Science as a case study”.
Besides, during the both days Hilma Salonen’s and Alla Bolotova’s posters are presented at the poster sessions.

Hilma Salonen’s poster title is “Russian Arctic Energy transitions: links across an open space”. Within the project Hilma found that “transitions towards low-carbon systems in the Russian Arctic are represented by niche projects, but success depends on networks formed at a deeper structural level”.

Alla Bolotova is representing Wollie project at the seminar – while it is the final seminar of ARKTIKO,  Finnish-Russian joint projects continue the work. Her poster “Sense of place among youth in Russia’s Arctic cities”. The Wollie project has just started this year, so more finding will be available in the future.

More information on the seminar can be found on the Academy of Finland website.

Workshop in New Delhi

Climate change mitigation requires an unprecedented systemic change. So does climate journalism, says Dmitry Yagodin after attending a workshop in New Delhi, India (November 15-17, 2018). To withstand the pressure of conservative movements, populist leaders, and fake news, media professionals around the world need to look beyond the traditional topics and formats of climate change reporting.   

Journalists, educators and media scholars from 14 countries spent three days inside a hotel conference room, insulated from hazardous air pollution of the Indian capital city, and discussing research, training and the best practices of climate reporting. Dmitry Yagodin presented the results of a media study that focused on the coverage of climate summits (COP15 in Copenhagen and COP21 in Paris). Based on a multinational sample of 13 countries, the study reports a decrease of media attention to the summits, despite their close geographical location and similar political representation. It was also found that business actors played a slightly more prominent role in Paris.

The workshop paid a special attention to the public communication efforts of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Participants generally agreed that the recent release of the IPCC report on “Global Warming of 1.5 °C” has been a relative success compare to the less articulate and complex scientific language of the previous reports. The IPCC’s public communication strategy, adopted in 2012 and updated several times until the last moment, seems to have improved the report’s outreach in many countries. However, according to, the exceptionally low coverage in Russia – 5 articles in 50 printed news media during the three weeks after the IPCC release –  exemplifies the existence of yet uncharted territories.

The Journalism and Media International Center at OsloMet, Norway, and Datamation Foundation in Delhi in co-operation with the MediaClimate network organized the workshop. The participants came from different parts of India, from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, the USA, the UK, Australia, Germany, Norway, Finland, Uganda, Turkey and Russia.

“Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and Climate Change in the European Arctic” today in Brussels

“Northern Dimension Future Forum on Environment: Black carbon and Climate Change in the European Arctic” is organised today in Brussels. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen is taking part in “Knowledge Arena 2: Actions in Practice” session of the forum, giving a talk “How to reduce black carbon emissions in Russia’s oil and gas industry?”

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising clearly faster than the global average temperatures. Thus, also black carbon, that may cause some 20-25% of the warming in the Arctic, has received special attention by the Arctic Council and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership. In addition to its global warming impacts, black carbon is detrimental to human
and ecosystem health. Important sources of black carbon include transport, residential burning of coal and biomass, oil and gas flaring, and open burning of biomass.
Because black carbon remains in the atmosphere only for days or weeks, emission reductions produce positive results fast. Furthermore, many technological solutions to curb emissions already exist. In addition to the activities of the Arctic Council, there are also other international and regional initiatives aiming at reducing black carbon emissions such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030.
This event brings together researchers, businesses and policy makers to discuss how countries and actors in the European Arctic are tackling this common challenge and what they could do more.

More information on the event is available here.