ASSW 2023 Science Symposium Keynote Lectures 3

22 February 2023 | 14:45 - 15:30 (GMT+1)

Open Session - HYBRID


Room Audimax


ASSW 2023 Science Symposium Keynote Lecture 3:

Wearing many hats: a good way to keep warm and engage more effectively in Arctic research

Lauren Divine (Ecosystem Conservation Office, Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government, Alaska)

It has long been considered standard to expect an individual working in and with Indigenous communities to “wear multiple hats”. This means that one individual takes on multiple (and oftentimes many) roles across disciplines and serves as a contact for outside researchers. The problem with this system is that only so many communities have the capacity to keep an individual or individuals long-term in these roles without burnout or turnover. This leads to a system in which researchers find ways to conduct research in communities but without community involvement or support. These methods have become too common across scientific fields. We, as non-Indigenous researchers, must recognize that the unique perspectives, priorities, leadership, and rights of Arctic Indigenous Peoples necessitate transformation in approaches in scientific research. We must put on the “ally” hat ourselves in order to support Indigenous self-determination in environmental research and governance. Non-Indigenous researchers in academia and from non-academic organizations working in scientific research, management and conservation are all responsible for creating opportunities for transformation from across all stages of research, including developing priorities, questions, and framings, preliminary research, observing and monitoring, data collection, analysis, reporting, evaluation, networking, data stewardship, funding, research governance, archiving, and the application of research outputs in policy. The future of Arctic research lies in decolonizing scientific research practices, and we must act on the current opportunities for transformative change.

Dr. Lauren Divine is the Director for the Ecosystem Conservation Office and Director of the Bering Sea Research Center for the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, a Federally recognized Tribe in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska. Her education and experiences in Alaska have brought her to a unique position with the Tribal Government where she has the opportunity to span the boundaries across western sciences; local and traditional knowledges; tribal, federal and state management; and stakeholder engagement through community-based and citizen science programs. Lauren seeks to strengthen relationships across these boundaries in order to better serve the community, wildlife, and overall marine and terrestrial ecosystems of St. Paul, the Bering Sea, and pan-Arctic.