Education

PhD education and capacity building are core activities in REXSAC.

PhD positions

A core activity in REXSAC is our PhD training program, which is currently involving 12 PhD students. The funding from NordForsk (supplemented by funding from other sources) covers six PhD students – two in science departments, four in social science/humanities departments. An additional six PhD students are funded by research projects that are closely related to REXSAC. The 12 PhD students are working at the following departments: The Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at KTH (4), the Department of Physical Geography at Stockholm University, SU (2), the Department of Political Science, SU (1), the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies at SLU (1), the Department of Cultural Anthropology, University of Oulu (3) and at the University of Aalborg (1).

PhD training

The REXSAC PhD students participate in a PhD training program which aims to educate and prepare a new generation of researchers to deal with a range of important challenges in the Arctic region. A second ambition is to build a new pan-Nordic model for PhD training. The courses are open also for students in the PhD programs of the REXSAC partners as well as other interested PhD students. The training program involves world leading scholars, drawing on expertise within their respective disciplines and fields of research, and also bringing methodologies and fields of knowledge together from the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences.
The REXSAC PhD training consists of four core courses, focusing on the most central research problems dealt with in the center, and five additional courses on closely related topics. The first core course is an Interdisciplinary introduction to Arctic studies (7,5), which took place at the University of Copenhagen March 14-21 in 2017 (see course home page below). The second course, Methods and ethics: working with stakeholders in a context of change (3) took place at the Stefansson Arctic Institute in Akureyri in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute, September 27-29, 2017 (for further info, see course home page below).

The third core course, Arctic communities in transition: resources and post-extractive futures (7,5), will take place in Alta, Northern Norway, October 25-29 in 2018 (followed by a REXSAC program wide conference October 30-November 1 in the same location). The final core course, Multiple pressures in Arctic communities and environments: resource extraction and climate change (7,5) will take place in August or October 2019. This course will be organized by the University of Oulu in collaboration with Stockholm University and KTH.

The additional five optional courses are already given by partners within the center. These are: Perspectives on ecological restoration (3, Luleå Technological University), Environmental management in planning (15, Stockholm University), Quaternary climate history (7.5, Stockholm University), Natural environments for reconstruction of climate and environmental change (15, Stockholm University) and Environment and Society in a Changing Arctic (10, KTH). This list of additional courses will be expanded over the years REXSAC will be in operation.

A further resource in the PhD- training is visiting researchers from abroad, who will take part in teaching and supervision.

Workshops in the case study areas

The REXSAC PhD student program also consist of field based workshops taking place in our case study areas. During this activity PhD students work together with senior scholars from across the different partner institutions and disciplines in REXSAC, in the collection of data at various sites in our case study areas. With a point of departure in these research activities, we also engage in discussions on how to address the research problems of the PhD students and the overarching research problems of REXSAC. In this way, the workshops in the case study areas contribute both to the PhD education and to developing the research of the senior scientists in the centre.

The first case study areas workshop took place in Gällivare, Norrbotten, Sweden from September 1 to 8, 2017. Two additional workshops will take place in Greenland and in Canada, the exact dates have yet to be determined.

Courses

The REXSAC PhD training consists of four core courses, focusing on the most central research problems dealt with in the center, and five additional courses on closely related topics. The first core course is an Interdisciplinary introduction to Arctic studies (7,5), which will take place at the University of Copenhagen March 14-21 in 2017 (see course home page below, deadline for applications February 1, 2017). From September 25-27 in 2017 the second course, Methods and ethics: working with stakeholders in a context of change (3), will take place at the Stefansson Arctic Institute in Akureyri in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute (for further info, see course home page below). The third core course, Global comparisons and post-extractive futures: Natural resources, climate and communities in change (7.5), is scheduled to begin in February 2018 and will take place at the University of Oslo. The final core course deals with the theme Mining, communities, and sustainable development (7,5) and is scheduled for the summer of 2018. This course will be organized by Stockholm University and KTH in collaboration with the University of Oulu.

The additional five optional courses are already given by partners within the center. These are: Perspectives on ecological restoration (3, Luleå Technological University), Environmental management in planning (15, Stockholm University), Quaternary climate history (7.5, Stockholm University), Natural environments for reconstruction of climate and environmental change (15, Stockholm University) and Environment and Society in a Changing Arctic (10, KTH in collaboration with University of Illinois). This list of additional courses will be expanded over the years REXSAC will be in operation.

A further resource in the PhD- training is visiting researchers from abroad, who will take part in teaching and supervision.

Infrastructure for education

The REXSAC PhD training will contribute to the University of the Arctic (UArctic), of which REXSAC partners Stockholm University, the University of Oslo, the University of Oulu, the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Bergen are members. The REXSAC PhD training offers a ground-breaking training infrastructure with the potential to be scaled up (and broadened) to include a larger second cohort of students hosted by a wider range of institutions. In this manner REXSAC aims to add value to the existing UArctic education networks.

Image: REXSAC Methods and ethics course at the Theistareykir Geothermal Power Plant, Iceland, September 2017. Photo: D. Avango

Methods and ethics course, Akureyri, sept 2017

Researchers

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