A network of scholars, students,
storytellers, and knowledge holders
researching coastal Arctic migrations.
MIH-RCN is three-year international, cross-disciplinary network of Arctic migration researchers funded by a National Science Foundation grant to Georgetown University, under the direction of Dr. Victoria Herrmann, Assistant Research Professor and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute. We are traditional knowledge holders, natural scientists, engineers, students, humanities scholars, economists, social scientists, storytellers, engineers, health professionals, practitioners, and educators working on the many dimensions of Arctic migration.
To facilitate open communication, foster cross-disciplinary
exchange, and build a community for migration researchers.
From the hunter-gatherer populations who traversed across Siberia and into Beringia during the Late Pleistocene period to the 21st century Sami reindeer herders across Sápmi in Northern Europe, the Arctic has been on the move for millennia. And yet, the accelerated pace of ecological, societal, and climate changes today is introducing a new normal for the Arctic with new, at times unpredictable, patterns of movement for peoples, economies, and species.
Our Research Coordination Network aims to facilitate open communication, foster cross-disciplinary exchange, and build new collaboration teams of scientists, stakeholders, and practitioners to investigate our organizing question: What are the ways in which the drivers and consequences of Arctic coastal migrations intersect and interact with one another, and what are the implications for society? Over the next three years, we’ll find the answers together.
Sustainable, equitable, and science-driven decisions are best made when we work together.
Urbanization, globalization, and the impacts of climate change are activating the simultaneous migrations of species, ecosystems, settlements, and cultures across Arctic coastlines in new and unpredictable ways. Arctic port cities are witnessing increased maritime traffic and inflow of migrant labor; rural villages are facing displacement from slow and sudden-onset disasters; sea ice melt and ocean warming are shifting marine species ranges; and terrestrial ecosystems in transition are upending Arctic food webs and introducing southern disease vectors.
Each of these intersecting mobilities challenge the quality of life, sustainable development, and environmental health of the circumpolar north. A lack of integration across siloed research communities has hampered the expansion of knowledge to understand these interactions and provide decision makers and stakeholders with the necessary qualitative and quantitative data to make science-informed decisions. We want to change that.
What we are building
An Arctic community to share ideas, support students, and collaborate on migration projects.
MiH-RCN will advance knowledge on how the migrations of Arctic ecosystems, economies, peoples, and cultures interact with one another, and how the social, geohazard, and economic drivers and consequences of migrations intersect across different fields. We do this by (1) engaging local leaders, practitioners, and researchers from diverse disciplines in North America and Europe to bridge research divides and synthesize existing data; (2) linking ongoing major research initiatives to fill this research gap; and (3) implementing creative participatory methods to broaden participation in migration research.
From high school students at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka to graduate students in SURGE Design and Development Launch Pilot from NSF INCLUDES, MiH-RCN is dedicated to elevating student involvement and voices. And by having collaborators in Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Indigenous leaders, our networking is strengthening international collaboration. These collaborations can contribute regional solutions to societal problems that migration creates in public health, economic development, and cultural loss and damage.
At its core, this network is about bringing people together. We strive to break down the barriers that divide us, facilitate open communication amongst our members, and build new collaborations in pursuit of more equitable, inclusive research teams. To do this, the leadership of the MiH-RCN commits to sustained, antiracist and anticolonial actions that:
1. Diversify our stories, research, and resources in order to amplify marginalized voices through our network events, publications, and initiatives.
2. Develop space, unique support, and responses resources for members from excluded or marginalized groups on our website and communication channels.
3. Devalue traditional hierarchies of authority by providing leadership opportunities for all members, especially early career participants, Indigenous participants, and participants from other marginalized groups.
Our skills, knowledge, and expertise are stronger when we collaborate in an open, just community. Our network leverages our participants from all walks of life to develop impactful research teams. Everyone has a valuable contribution to make, and we strive to incorporate principles of understanding, openness, and equity into all our work.