Arctic Education 2008 - 2009


Arctic Graduate School (ARKTIS) is a nationwide multidisciplinary graduate school which educates doctors with special expertise on Arctic research in Finland. The School is funded by the Ministry of Education and the Academy of Finland. ARKTIS is coordinated at the Arctic Centre, and it’s partner universities are University of Lapland, University of Oulu, University of Helsinki and University of Eastern Finland. The theme of the School is “Social and Environmental Impacts of Modernization and Global Change in the Arctic”. ARKTIS is directed by Professor Paula Kankaanpää, Director of the Arctic Centre, and coordinated by Docent Päivi Soppela, Senior Scientist at the Arctic Centre.

During 2008-2009 the School had 22 doctoral students enrolled at the Universities of Lapland, Oulu, Helsinki and Joensuu in the fields of law and humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. In addition to Finnish students, ARKTIS had about 25% foreign PhD students. During 2009, the School received funding for three new fully-funded PhD student posts for 2010-2013 from the Ministry to investigate the Barents region’s economy, livelihoods and sustainable development. Ilona Mettiäinen from the University of Lapland and Susanna Pääkkölä from the University of Oulu were selected among 41 applicants to the new posts for 2010-2013, and Adam Stepien from the University of Lapland for 2010-2011. In addition, Meri Ruppel from the University of Helsinki and Masumi Tanaka from the University of Lapland were selected to previously vacated two-year PhD student posts for 2010-2011 and Emilie Beaudon from the University of Oulu for one-year post for 2011. 

Activities 2008-2009:

 Three ARKTIS PhD students defended their theses during 2008-2009. Marc Macias defended his PhD thesis “Ecological processes and large-scale climate relationships in northern coniferous forests” in May 2008 at the University of Helsinki. Mari Riipinen defended her PhD thesis ”Sosiaalisen pääoman skaalaus. Paikallisia ja ylipaikallisia näkökulmia maankäyttöön Nellimissä, Inarissa” in June 2008 at the University of Oulu. Sanna Valkonen defended her doctoral thesis “Poliittinen saamelaisuus” in December 2009 at the University of Lapland.

During 2008-2009, PhD students of ARKTIS published altogether 68 scientific publications, 12 of which appeared in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. Sixth annual ARKTIS Research Seminar “Barents Euro-Arctic cooperation: administrators meet scientists” was held 7-8 April 2008 in Rovaniemi and gathered altogether 51 participants, including 20 students and 12 international visitors.

Seventh ARKTIS Research Seminar “Towards an Integrated Understanding of Industrialization and Climate Change in Social-ecological Systems of the North” took place 1-3 April 2009 in Rovaniemi with 54 participants, of whom 29 were students and 18 international visitors.

Moreover, ARKTIS organised 8 public lectures to honour the International Polar Year in 2008, and 7 public lectures under the theme ”Arctic Research 20 year” to celebrate the Arctic Centre’s 20th anniversary in 2009. ARKTIS and it’s associate groups also organized study circles, workshops and theme days with varying topics and a number of ARKTIS visiting lectures by international scholars during 2008-2009. During both years, ARKTIS allocated numerous travel grants support PhD students’ participation in international scientific conferences and courses. In addition, ARKTIS continued collaboration through joint seminars and mobility with other national and international doctoral programs such as BANG (Barents Arctic Network of Graduate Schools).

Arctic Studies Program (ASP)

25 - 60 ECTS cr. 

The Arctic Studies Program (ASP) provides a unique multidiciplinary study program and possibility to specialize in Arctic issues. The ASP provides comprehensive knowledge of the physical, environmental, social and cultural aspects of the Arctic. In addition to the courses the students do individual research on Arctic issues under the supervision of Arctic Centre’s senior scientists and excursions on the field.

The ASP is designed for Finnish and foreign degree students and the courses are taught in English. ASP studies are subject-level studies, and it is therefore not recommended that students take them as part of their first-year program. ASP courses are taught during the whole academic year (periods 1-4), from the beginning of September to mid-May.

More information about the program can be found from the International Studies Centre, where the ASP is administrated from. Academic coordination and content is provided by the Arctic Centre's research units.