Research Projects - Arctic Anthropology group
Live, Work or Leave? Youth – wellbeing and the viability of (post) extractive Arctic industrial cities in Finland and Russia
In this project we want to find out what the perspectives for young people’s life are in Arctic Industrial Cities, and what can we do for helping to build sustainable communities for young people in such cities. Project by Arctic Centre, University of Helsinki, Aleksanteri Institute, North Eastern Federal University Yakutsk and Petrozavodsk State University, Russia, jointly with the cities of Kemijärvi, Kolari, Pyhäjoki (FIN), Neryungryi, Aldan, Khandyga (Yakutia), Kirovsk, Monchegorsk, Kovdor, Revda (Murmansk Oblast) and Novyi Urengoy (Yamal).
Skolt Sami livelihood
This research project explores forms of livelihood among the Skolt Sami people of Inari Northern Finland. Constructive local level relationships are in the focus of the study.
In this multidisciplinary project methods and approaches of socio-ecological anthropology and genetics will be integrated to investigate biological and cultural adaptations of Arctic animal breeds and societies. In doing so, we aim to contribute new answers to the question of nature's and culture's roles for shaping the diverse environments, resources and livelihoods of the Arctic. We do so by analysing people’s relations and selective breeding practices with three different kinds of animals, one Arctic species (reindeer), and two non-Arctic species that have adapted to the Arctic (cattle, horses). Read more about the ArcArk project.
POLARIS project (2013-2017)
In this EU-funded project, we received mobility grants in order to
analyse how incorporeal cultural heritage is enacted, preserved, and
marketed in Siberia and in Patagonia.
RISES contributed to reconstructing the environmental histories of integrated social-ecological systems in Fennoscandia and Yamal, West Siberia that have been characterized by both climate change and the constant adaptation of people and their reindeer herds through the late Holocene. The team is experienced in strongly interdisciplinary and theoretical research. Intensive study areas for collecting experimental (quantitative) and descriptive (qualitative) data are selected for two bioclimatic zones, near and beyond treeline, in each region.
People living in the Arctic have had decisions made for them, far away in Southern in capital cities, be it in Russia, Finland or any other Northern country. Our project took a bottom-up approach to the writing and reading of the histories of the people of the North, and how their lives developed in the 20th Century.
Anna Stammler-Gossmann coordinated the socio-economic impact assessment of climate change on the fishery sector in the Barents region and activities of the Board of Ethical Issues within EU FP 7 project ACCESS (Arctic Climate Change Economy and Society). The ACCESS project was selected in response to the first call ‘The Ocean of Tomorrow’ of the European Union. The European Commission supported the Arctic Centre research with 359,094.94 Euros. ACCESS evaluated the impacts of climate change on economic sectors such as fishery, oil and gas extraction, marine transportation and analysis of associated risks.
In depth study of relocation history, senses of place, and
community-dynamics in Russian northern industrial cities, with case
studies in Murmansk Oblast and West Siberia. INNOCOM is part of the MOVE project (IPY # 436), under the ESF Eucoroes BOREAS programme,
where we look at state-induced population movements in the circumpolar
North in general. The project is funded by Finnish Academy until 2010.
Researchers involved from the anthropology team are Florian Stammler
(PI), and Alla Bolotova (phD candidate).
A mega natural science project (IPY endorsed) financed by the EU
looking at climate change in the Arctic, in particular the Arctic Ocean.
The social part of Damocles
is tiny in comparison to the natural sciences, but Anna
Stammler-Gossmann looks at coastal fishing in Russia, both fishing
industry and fishing communities.
A project (IPY # 157) that takes the community level as basic unit to
analyse vulnerability and adaptation to climate and other global
change, financed by Finnish Academy. They follow the ’multiple-stressor’
principle that considers the simultaneity of several drivers of change
in their intertwined impacts on communities. Anna Stammler-Gossmann
studies in this project fishing communities in Murmansk and Nenets
Autonomous Okrug of Russia, and Terhi Vuolaja-Magga does an in depth
study of Finnish and Saami communities in northern Lapland (Ivalo,
An interdisciplinary project where biologists and anthropologists
take reindeer pastures as the primary unit of analysis to look at the
impact of change, financed by Thule Institute. Of particular interest
to the biologists is the increase in UV radiation, and how reindeer and
vegetation react to it. Terhi Vulaja-Magga analyses in this project
reindeer herders’ perceptions of changes on their pastures, and their
possible responses to these changes. This feeds in to answering the
question of what are the main factors that make reindeer and pastures
vulnerable, and how can a partnership between academia and herders
contribute to better responding to these challenges.
In Ensinor we assessed the social and environmental impact of
oil&gas development in Russia’s fastest expanding oil extraction
region, the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and in Russia’s biggest gas
extraction region, the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Financed by
Finnish Academy, the project undertook intensive fieldwork 2004-2007 in
both regions, worked together with reindeer herders, municipalities and
the industry to achieve a balanced analysis from all sides. The overall
project was coordinated by Bruce Forbes. Florian Stammler coordinated
the anthropology part and project implementation in Russia. One of the
results was that there is quite a good basis of friendly relationships
between herders and industrial workers on the ground. But problems arise
on higher levels, where decisions are often made without considering
everybody’s interest. The project ended in 2007 with a symposium in Rovaniemi. Participants from research, reindeer herders and other indigenous representatives, regional authorities and industry drafted and adopted a “declaration of coexistence” that continues to be used as one of the guidelines in governing the relations between industry, indigenous peoples and the state in the Russian Arctic. The declaration text can be accessed here in English and in Russian. Interested persons or organisations can also order an A2 coloured brochure / leaflet in both languages for displaying on bulletin boards, walls, doors or handing it out in the tundra.
This project investigates from a theoretical
perspective the processes of production of space and its relationship
with power within the Sámi context. The aim of the project is to
contribute to general debates on issues of power and space as brought
forward by Foulcault, Lefebvre and others, particularly with reference
to those cases where relationships of power and space determine
conflictuous situations. Analysing these situations helps us to
understand the dynamics in which entitlements, time and identities are