EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Fostering the next generation of Arctic scientists, from five to 35

Jenny Turton1, Naima El bani Altuna1,2, Charlotte Weber3, Salve Dahle3, Nina Boine Olsen4, Elise Fosshaug4, Katrine Opheim1, and Julia Morales-Aguirre1
Jenny Turton et al.
  • 1Arctic Frontiers, Tromsø, Norway
  • 2UiT- The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 3Akvaplan-niva AS, Tromsø, Norway
  • 4North Norway Science Centre, Tromsø, Norway

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and science-policy makers is crucial for continued scientific development and to tackle the largest issues currently facing the Arctic and the globe. Outreach in the Arctic has an added importance by promoting future development of northern and Indigenous communities and inspiring educated individuals to remain living and working in the north, thereby providing value creation in the local areas. But at what age should we focus our outreach efforts? And how can we ensure that the children we inspire go onto careers in science and decision making?

Arctic Frontiers is a non-profit organisation based in Tromsø with the purpose of bringing together scientists, business leaders, policy makers and local communities for knowledge-based discussions. Each year, they organise a series of education and outreach activities for a range of audiences, from 'Science for Kids' and 'Science for Schools' for young children to 'Student Forum' and 'Emerging Leaders' for those up to 35 years old. As well as those in formal education (high school and university), outreach is also vital for those outside of academia and education, including in business, cultural fields and the public sector.

The main focus of the outreach and education is the Arctic: a broad and multidisciplinary topic spanning climate change, biodiversity, cultural preservation, sustainable development, energy transition and science-policy interactions. The science and activities that are planned are tailored to each age group. The youngest children focus on experiments and gaging an interest in science. For those in high school, the program lasts three months, from inspiration days to holding a science conference with findings of their research project. Collaborations and funding are necessary for these events to run, and this can alter the amount of scientific outreach as well as numbers and diversity of students they can reach.

The education and outreach components of Arctic Frontiers have been running now for over 10 years. Testimonials and feedback from attendees are largely positive, but efforts should now be made to increase the circle of impact. In this presentation we will focus on how we tailor the outreach to different groups and discuss how we use science at the heart of bringing together different audiences for holistic Arctic discussions. We also welcome feedback on new methods or activities for outreach, to ensure that we see scientific interest from childhood to career.

How to cite: Turton, J., El bani Altuna, N., Weber, C., Dahle, S., Boine Olsen, N., Fosshaug, E., Opheim, K., and Morales-Aguirre, J.: Fostering the next generation of Arctic scientists, from five to 35, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3485,, 2023.