Aim and scope
Occupying more than 20 million square kilometers, permafrost is a key landscape component of high-latitude regions and is strongly impacted by current environmental changes at different scales (from local to global). Ongoing climate warming, which is especially acute in the circumpolar North, results in a series of profound environmental impacts including permafrost thaw, costal erosion, and release of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Frozen-ground landscapes have been used by various indigenous communities for settlement and hunting–fishing grounds, resulting in an extensive traditional knowledge. Moreover, infrastructure development and maintenance in the Arctic is already meeting pressing challenges for sustainability, a trend that will likely continue in the future. There is thus a need to gather experiences and expertise across disciplines about the changing arctic environment (e.g., thawing permafrost, coastal erosion, sediment and nutrient exchanges, hydrological cycling) and the impacts on local communities, as well as adaptation strategies. The aim of this session is to bring together researchers from both social and natural sciences who are involved or interested in reaching out to stakeholders and the general public, and share successful experiences. Examples from past, ongoing and future initiatives that include traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific tools and techniques are welcome. Collaborations with artists and storytellers (e.g., novels, cartoons, movies, podcasts) also represent a promising outcome for scientific results and implications.
Summary of the context and justification for the event
The session intends to bring together experienced and early career scientists for an interdisciplinary discussion that will involve natural and social scientists. The justification of the session is to fill the gap between the broad scientific community and local arctic communities that have experienced rapid and unpredictable changes of their environment. Several scientific projects in the Arctic have proven the valuable input of indigenous knowledge systems, and the latter should be fully involved in and recognized by the scientific community. Outreach and education activities about permafrost and arctic landscapes have also greatly benefited from a cross-disciplinary, holistic vision.
Aim and scope