Peter Sköld, President

Peter SköldPresident
Director at the Centre for Arctic Research at Umeå University

Peter Sköld is a professor in history, Sami culture and society development at Umeå University, Sweden. He is the director of the Centre for Arctic Research (Arcum). Skölds' research profile includes historical demography, indigenous health transitions and northern cultures. Apart from being the president for International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), Sköld is council member of UArctic and vice chair for WG Human and Social Sciences in the International Arctic Science Committe (IASC). He is also Swedish delegate of the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Social, Economic and Cultural Expert Group (SECEG). 2014-2018 Sköld is co-leader of the 4,5 million Euro project New Governance for Sustainable Development in the European Arctic, involving 30 researchers.


Gail Fondahl

Gail FondahlOutgoing president (ex-officio)
University of Northern British Columbia
Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Gail Fondahl is professor at the Universityu of Northern British Columbia, and served as UNBC's Vice President of Research 2008-2012. Her research foci have been on indigenous land rights and legal geography in the Russian North, and working toward sustainable resource management with Tl'azt'en Nation in northern British Columbia. More broadly, she is interested in human development in the Arctic, and was a co-lead on the second Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR-II). She serves as Canadian representative and vice-chair of the Social and Human Sciences Working Group of IASC co-chair of the Social, Economic and Cultural Expert Group of the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG), and on the scientific council of the Institute Polaire Francais. Gail has been a member of IASSA since 1992.

Gail Fondahl is Professor of Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia, and served as UNBC's Vice-President of Research, 2008-2012. Her research foci have been on indigenous land rights and legal geography in the Russian North, and working toward sustainable resource management with Tl’azt’en Nation in northern British Columbia. More broadly, she is interested in human development in the Arctic, and was a co-lead on the second Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR-II) . She serves as Canadian representative and vice-chair of the Social and Human Sciences Working Group of IASC.


Gertrude Eilmsteiner-Saxinger

Gertrude Eilmsteiner-SaxingerCultural and Social Anthropology, University of Vienna and APRI - Austrian Polar Research Insitute Vienna, Austria. 

I am a trained anthropologist and post-doctoral researcher/lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria, where I work in a research team on "Environments, Mobilities, Technologies" with Peter Schweitzer. As a founding member of the new Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI), and spokesperson of the Regional Group Circumpolar and Siberian Studies of the German Association of Anthropologists (DGV), I am actively promoting Arctic social sciences in non-Arctic countries. Serving on the IASSA Council means that not only represent scholars from these regions, but also to foster scientific collaboration among newly emerging research groups and established scholars and centers. Furthermore, I am active in the University of the Arctic's Extractive Industry Working Group and the Pan-Arctic Ph.D program on extractive industries.

Apart from my research with indigenous communities, I consider it critical to give more attention to non-indigenous residents of the Arctic. For the last five years, I was leading the research group "Lives on the move" focused on fly-in/fly-out petroleum workers in the Russian Far North at the Department of Geography and Regional Research at the University of Vienna and the ISR at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The key themes that interest me in the Arctic social sciences are mobility and multi-local livelihoods in the context of the extractive industries and - more broadly speaking - the material world. In this realm my approach is oriented toward the cross-cutting issues of politics, gender and power.

As part of my research, I am interested in exploring opportunities for community based research. I am a proponent of combining applied research and theory building in the Arctic social sciences. This endeavor is reflected in the new three years ReSDA research project in the Yukon "LACE-Labour Mobility and Community Participation in the Extractive Industries" where PhD student Susanna Gartler and I are studying with community based methodology the relation of working in mines and susistence activities.


Diane Hirshberg

Diane HirschbergProfessor of Education Policy
Director of Center for Alaska Education Policy Research
Institute of Social and Economic Research
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508

Diane Hirshberg is Professor of Education Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), and director of the UAA Center for Alaska Education Policy Research. Her research interests include education policy analysis, indigenous education, circumpolar education issues, and school change. She is co-author of the Arctic Human Development Report II chapter on Education and sits on the steering committee for the NSF-Funded Arctic FROST RCN. She has a PhD in Education from UCLA, a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.


Grete K. Hovelsrud

Grete HovelsrudResearch Director,
Nordlandsforskning - Nordland
Research Institute, Bodø, Norway
Professor, University of Nordland

Professor Grete K. Hovelsrud is an anthropologist with a PhD from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, USA. She is Research Director/Research Professor at Nordlandsforskning (Nordland Research Institute) and Professor at the Unviersity of Nordland in Bodø, Norway. She is the Vice-President of the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research, Member of the Research Board, Division on Energy Resources and the Environment at the Research Council of Norway, and Lead Author of Arctic Human Development Report, Arctic Resilience Report, and Adaptive Actions for a Changing Arctic. She was a Lead Author and a Contributing Author to the IPCC Fifth Assessement Report (AR5), Member of the ICSU/WMO International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 Joint Committe.

Grete's work focuses on interdisciplinary studies on vulnerability and adaption to climate change, resilience and adaptive capacity of coupled social-ecological systems, and on the transformation of society in the context of climatic and societal change.

With her backgruond as an anthropologist with extensive fieldwork experience from many parts of the Arctic, she brings the need for a bottom up approach to studying societal transformation. She considers the local context as critical starting point for understanding impacts, transitions and change, and continues to conduct fieldwork in Arctic communities in parallel with linking the results to national and international processes. She currently leads a number of major research projects taking place in the northern regions.


Andrey Petrov

Andrey PetrovDepartment of Geography
University of Northern Iowa
205 ITTC UNI 50614-0406

My name is Andrey Petrov and I am a social scientist with a 'circumpolar' career; I was born, raised and educated in Russia, recieved my PhD in Canada (Toronto) and work as Associate Professor of Geography and Director of the Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Lab (ARCSES) at the University of Iowa, USA. I also hold Adjunct Professorship at the Yukon College. I am the U.S. Representative on the IASC Social & Human Sciences Working Group and Vice-Chair of the Polar Geography Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers.

My research primarily focuses on economic issues in northern communities and policies of regional development in the Arctic. A also study human-environment relationships and Arctic socio-ecological systems. I lead a number of circumpolar research initiatives, most importantly the NSF research coordination network in Arctic sustainability (Arctic-FROST). I have also been participant of the Arctic Social Indicators, Arctic Human Development Report, ReSDA and other major international projects.

I was privileged to be first elected to the IASSA Council in 2011 and since have directed my efforts to supporting representative and transparent gevernance process in this thriving organization. One of my specific tasks was to be the IASSA representative in the ICASS VIII organizing committee and to assist in funding ICASS through NSF and SSHRC grants.


Florian Stammler

Florian StammlerPh.D., Senior Researcher Anthropology Research Team
Arctic Centre University of Lapland
PL 122
96101 Rovaniemi Finland
Tel: +358 400 138807
Fax: +358-16 362 934

Florian Stammler holds a position as Research Professor in northern anthropology at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, where he coordinates the anthropology research team. He is also an Institute Associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK, where he has worked between 2003 and 2005 as a post-doctoral research associate.

He received his PhD from the Max-Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany, specialising in postsocialist transition studies on the example of Siberian Yamal reindeer herders. His publications are mainly on human-animal-environment relations, reindeer nomadism and the impact of the extractive industry on northern livelihoods - a topic he has been working since the mid 1990s.

He has also been working on relocation and sense of place among industrial migrants in the North, Arctic Urban industrial anthropology, and oral history of indigenous and incomer populations in the Russian and European Arctic. He has done extensive fieldwork in various regions of the North, with a special focus on West Siberia, Yakutia and European Russia.



Tatiana Vlasova

Tatiana VlasovaResearcher at Institute of Geography
Russian Academy of Sciences
Moscow, Russian Federation

Tatiana Vlasova is a leading researcher at the Institute of Geography, Russia where she recieved her PhD in social/economic geography. She graduated from Moscow State University's Geographical Department as a physical geographer. Her experience in the Arctic is based on her fieldwork and participation in several international multidisciplinary projects such as; Arctic Climate Impact Assessement where she served as a representative from RAIPON, Local Health and Environmental Reporting from the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North (UNEP Grid-Arendal), Arctic Social Indicators, and the Arctic Resilience Report as an IASSA representative. During the IPY 2007-2008 she served as a member of the IPY Committe of Russia and on the Sub-Committe on Observations. Her current research interests include socially-oriented observations and assessments of quality of life conditions and human capital development involving traditional and local knowledge. She is the leader of the project team devoted to the construction to the "Integrated Arctic Socailly-Oriented Observation System" (IASOS), a network of observation sites in the Russian North, supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). Tatiana has represented IASSA on several projects (e.g. Arctic Resillience Report), meetings (e.g. Arctic Environment Minister's Meeting) and other initiatives and events. She would like to see her future role in involving more Arctic communities and stakeholders of the Russian North in circumpolar cooperation through IASSA activities and in a long-term circumpolar socially-oriented monitoring network construction. Being a co-chair ot the International Geographical Union Commission "Cold Region Environments" (IGU CRE) Tatiana Vlasova also see her place as a linking nexus between IASSA and IGU CRE Commission, which sessions are going to be held during the IGU Regional Conference in Moscow 17-21 August 2015 where Polar studies are announced as one of the main themes.


Alona Yefimenko

Alona YefimenkoArctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
Technical Advisor
Tromsoe, Norway

Alona Yefimenko is a Technical Advisor of the Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat (IPS), a support organisation for the Arctic Indigenous Peoples' Organizations that are Permanent Participants to the Arctic Council. It is based in Tromsø, Norway. She received her Marster's Degree in Philology from the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia and the Far Eastern State University. Alona came from the Even/Chukchi reinder herding family of Russian Kamchatka Peninsula.

Contact Information

IASSA Secretariat
Umeå University
SE 901 87 Umeå



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