Research Team

Ismo Alakärppä works as project manager and researcher at the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland. His background is in industrial design and he is specialist in how modern knowledge technology is or could be used in society. Dr. Alakärppä is in his professional life interested in design management, user –centered design and technology,   industrial design and human/computer interaction.

Lisa Marika Jokivirta is a researcher and doctoral candidate within the Finnish National Graduate School of Environmental Social Sciences as part of a four-year post funded by the Academy of Finland. Lisa is working with Elina Helander-Renvall to undertake a multiscalar analysis of the actors, institutions and policies affecting nature-based tourism developments in northernmost Finland, with a special emphasis on Sámi perspectives in order to compensate for the research gap that currently exists in the field. Lisa's broader research and teaching interests include political ecology, human-environment relations, nature-based tourism as a possible alternative to other extractive forms of development, and indigenous ecological knowledge and worldviews.   

Francis Joy is a PhD student and researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland Faculty of Art and Design. A graduate Master of Arts of the Science of Religion from the University of Helsinki (2007), Francis specialises in research into Sami religion, history and cultural practices, with a special focus on shamanism. As part of his PhD studies, research into traditional Sami noaidi (shaman) drums and the their symbolism, has been one of the major areas for research. Further research into the production of modern drums made by Sami persons in Finland and Norway, conducted by interviews; as well as an examination of the links between Sami drum symbolism of the 17th and 18th centuries and Pre-historic rock paintings in present day Finland have also been topics of major investigation and analysis.  Latest publications: 
-Joy, Francis 2013. Abstract. Rock paintings, Shaman Drums and the Preservation of Ancient Sami Culture in Finland, in: Integrating Archaeological and Ethnographical Research, Volume 2. Conference Proceedings: 20th International Symposium, Irkutsk, May 24th - 30th 2013. Irkutsk State Technical University, Russia.
 -Joy, Francis 2013. To All Our Relations: Evidence of Sámi Involvement in the Creation of Rock Paintings in Finland, in: Polar Record / First View Article, pp 1-4. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013
 -Joy, Francis 2011. ‘The History of Lapland and the case of the Sami Noaidi drum figures reversed’. Publication in: The Estonian Journal of Folklore, Volume 4

Minka Labba is Master of Social Sciences and currently studies sociology at the University of Lapland. Minka is originally from Enontekiö in Western Lapland, and she is interested in indigenous people, northern politics, people´s  relationship to nature, and traditional knowledge and how it can be implemented in the modern society. Currently Minka is working as International studies coordinator at the University of Lapland. From the 1st of April 2014 she will be linked to the project “Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Sami Homeland Region in Finland” at the Arctic Centre. 

Inkeri Markkula is a project worker in  “Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Sami Homeland Region in Finland” –project. Her research interests include Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Arctic region; the implementation of Article 8 (j)  of the Convention on Biodiversity; and effects of climate warming on soil faunal communities. Inkeri has Master of science degree in ecology and environmental science, and has also studied cultural studies at the University of Turku.  Publications: 
-Turunen M., Oksanen P., Vuojala-Magga T., Markkula I., Sutinen M.-L., Hyvönen J. (2013) Impacts of Winter Feeding of Reindeer on Vegetation and Soil in the Sub-Arctic: Insights from a feeding experiment. Polar Research 2013, 32, 18610, 
-Elina Helander-Renvall & Inkeri Markkula (2011) Luonnon monimuotoisuus ja saamelaiset. Biologista monimuotoisuutta koskevan artikla 8(j):n toimeenpanoa tukeva selvitys Suomen Saamelaisalueella. Suomen ympäristöministeriö. Suomen ympäristö 12/2011. 

Masumi Tanaka is a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland and from Hokkaido, Japan. She has been researching on how the Sami reindeer herders in Kaldoaivi reindeer herding district in Utsjoki perceive biological diversity based on their traditional ecological knowledge. Now she is preparing to start new investigation on Ainu people’s traditional ecological knowledge to make a comparative study with Sami’s from Spring 2014. 

From Autumn 2014:
Heidi Konttinen is a student of Master´s program in Creative sustainability at Aalto University in Helsinki. She is also studying industrial design at the University of Lapland. 
Heidi is also interested in: indigenous cultures, industrial design, human environmental relationship,  and picture and text processing. Heidi Konttinen will assist in the project “Traditional Ecological Knowledge  in Sami Homeland Region in Finland” during  two months in the Autumn of 2014.