LEARNING FROM THE US AND GREENLAND - ARCTIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT AND THE NEED FOR A NEW CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR MULTIDISCIPLINARY CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH
Associate Professor Lill Rastad Bjørst from research group 'CIRCLA - Centre for Innovation and Research in Culture and Living in the Arctic', The Department of Culture and Learning, AAU, has received funding from the 'Fulbright Arctic Initiative'. The forthcoming 18 months she is part of a multidisciplinary research initiative.
The scientific evidence for rapid climate change is compelling. Scientific assessment has convincingly mapped the Arctic region and projected that it is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. However, Arctic communities find themselves in a paradox: the trade-off between pursuing the economic opportunities arising from an increasing ice-free Arctic and industrialization and the need for preventing environmental degradation in a region of central importance for the global climate.
The objective of this research project would be to understand local impacts, needs, and priorities when it comes to new infrastructures in a changing Arctic environment. The challenge of climate change research in the Arctic and beyond is thus to present not only “matters of fact” but also “facts that matter” in everyday life. There is a gap in climate change research when it comes to “social drivers” and community perspectives - a focus which requires new methods and approaches to engage stakeholders and local communities. The coproduction of knowledge is an intrinsic approach in which the representatives of local and Indigenous communities often take part in specifying the research questions, identifying salient drivers, and evaluating the consequence and applicability of the science to livelihoods.
Through the support from the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, the candidate can pursue the following research questions:
- What are the critical links between climate change, new infrastructure, and local Arctic communities?
- How could new approaches enhance the coproduction of knowledge in Arctic climate change research?
- What could be the coping strategies and climate policy recommendations for Greenland on its way to independence?
To study the research questions, Lill Rastad Bjørst will take part in an individual exchange at Dartmouth College at the Institute of Arctic Studies (IAS), Dickey Center. Currently, IAS is running research projects and student programs in collaboration with Greenlandic institutions and is working professionally with policy-relevant topics and themes. Lill Rastad Bjørst will add a new perspective to IAS’s work, and vice versa.
As part of her research stay in the US, she intends to undertake a field trip to Alaska. Furthermore, she will carry out fieldwork in Greenland (as part of her other funded research project FACE-IT), which can be added to the Greenlandic case studies.
Profile: Lill Rastad Bjørst, Aalborg University
Lill Rastad Bjørst is associate professor at Aalborg University.One particular strength of her research profile is her 15 years’ experience researching climate change as a scholar within the human and social sciences as well as her many years of experience with research management both as a principal investigator (PI) and work package leader (WPL) and as the head of CIRCLA—Centre for Innovation and Research in Culture and Living in the Arctic and as a research coordinator of the cross-faculty interdisciplinary platform AAU Arctic (2016-2019).
- Lill Rastad Bjørst' research profile in the AAU Research Database
- Hompepage for the Research Group 'CIRCLA - Centre for Innovation and Research in Culture and Living in the Arctic'
- Homepage for AAU Arctic: AAU Arctic is a cross-faculty platform for cooperation in Arctic-related research across scientific disciplines at Aalborg University.