Culture and Arctic Climate Change: A scoping workshop to explore integrative frameworks

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 8:00am to Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 5:00pm
Speaker Information: 
Mary-Louise Timmermans

This workshop is motivated by the appreciation that our knowledge of the human role in the Arctic system over millennia can be refined and greatly improved through better integration of Arctic archeology, ice core and other re-constructions of climate parameters and studies of the contemporary Arctic environment. The two-day workshop will bring together researchers working across a range of disciplines in order to explore the complex relationship between the dynamic Arctic environment and long-term human cultural responses.

The workshop will begin at 9:00 am on May 13th and end at 4.30pm on May 14th. All talks and discussion sessions will be held in Kroon Hall (the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences), 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT. The first day of the workshop will consist of talks appropriate to an audience with a broad range of backgrounds, and the second day will consist of discussion sessions and informal networking.

Talks Include:

Eddy Carmack: Winter Holes, Summer Gardens, Hunter Havens, Sunken Ships:
A Possible Guide to Marine Monitoring in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Dennis Darby: What precise source tells us about Arctic sea ice

Ben Fitzhugh: Towards a subarctic human biogeography: the PaleoEcology
of SubArctic Seas (PESAS) project

Jennifer Francis: Rapid Arctic Warming and Changing Weather Patterns in
Mid-Latitudes: Is There a Connection?

Max Friesen: Two Faces of Arctic Climate Change: Past Impacts on Human
Settlement, Future Risks for Archaeological Sites

Tom Haine: Greenland Norse Knowledge of the North Atlantic Environment

Peter Jordan: Bridging scales of analysis: environmental shifts and
humans responses in Northwest Siberia

Tom McGovern: Local and Traditional Knowledge on the Millennial Scale:
Sustainable Waterfowl Management from Viking Age Iceland

Astrid Ogilvie: Climate, Sea Ice and Society in Iceland: Examining the
Past, Looking to the Future

Peter Schweitzer: Human Responses to Climate Change: Western Arctic and
European Alpine Examples

Fiamma Straneo: North Atlantic warming and the retreat of Greenland’s

Goals of the workshop include:

1. To identify the basic framework for linking data from archeology and the environmental sciences to understand the complex long-term relationship between culture and Arctic climate change, and to initiate future collaborative efforts that have been funded by the International Arctic Science Committee.

2. To identify interdisciplinary problems that combine elements of the holocene Arctic archeological record and the dynamic Arctic environment that are  climate change and that are relevant to understanding the past
and present Arctic system.

Topics for discussion may include:

  • What elements of the Arctic archeological record can be explained as a product of climate change?
  • Did distinct cool/dry and warm/wet periods during the Holocene drive changes in human settlement in the Arctic?
  • Can we understand more about particularly rapid Holocene warming and cooling events through an examination of past human activity in the Arctic, and vice-versa?
  • What relationships exist between past states in sea-ice characteristics and cultural shifts in the Arctic?
  • How do Holocene changes in hydrological cycle relate to human history of the Arctic?
  • What are the interconnections between the human history of the
  • Northwest Passage (and other Arctic gateways) and environmental
  • parameters (e.g. sea-ice extent)?

Organizer: Mary-Louise Timmermans; Department of Geology and Geophysics

Kroon Hall See map
195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT