Projects /

UArctic EALÁT Institute


Adaptation to Globalisation in the Arctic: The Case of Reindeer Husbandry, was developed by UArctic EALÁT Institute for Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry and the Sámi University College in collaboration with Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland. The course was delivered by UArctic EALÁT Institute for Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry in collaboration with participating institutions including: Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi (Finland), Norwegian Meteorological Institute, CICERO, NORUT Alta, University of Tromsø (Norway), University of Umeå (Sweden), University of Manitoba (Canada), Florida International University (USA) and ISUMA (Canada). Academic lead of the pilot course was in the hands of Professor, Svein D. Mathiesen from International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, Sámi University College and Norwegian School of Veterinary Sciences.

Course Description

Climate variability, climate change and the societal/cultural transformations associated with globalization have been, and continue to be, responsible for major changes in the physical environment, the biota and the cultures of the indigenous and other communities in the Arctic. Human-ecological systems in the Arctic are particularly sensitive to change, perhaps more than in virtually any other region. This is due in part to the variability of the Arctic climate and the livelihoods of Arctic peoples. Production systems of Arctic peoples in variable and unpredictable climates are based on the sequential utilization of, often, a large number of ecological or climatic niches. The essence of such systems is flexibility and the distribution of risk through diversity. Understanding vulnerability requires assessment of systems’ ability to adapt to impact and the extent to which freedom to adapt is constrained. International law has established the right of indigenous people like reindeer herders to participate at all levels of decision making in issues that concern their rights, livelihoods and future, and it is therefore an issue to consider in discussing adaptation. The course uses reindeer husbandry as a case based study for understanding rapid change in the Arctic. The cumulative impacts of climate change and globalisation on reindeer husbandry will be looked at and examined in terms of their impacts on the livelihood. Key drivers of change, vulnerability and adaptation will be identified and tools and barriers for adaptation for reindeer herders will assessed.

This course was offered in early 2011, and was followed by over 40 people from all over the Arctic. 6 students completed the course for credit, completing their research papers and all relevant course work. Read the course description and requirements here.

More courses will be offered by the Institute following the success of this pilot.