ID:23 Arctic One Health

23 February 2023 | 08:30 - 10:00 (GMT+1)

Open Session - HYBRID


Room: Hörsaal 1


Session Conveners Arja Rautio (University of Oulu and University of the Arctic, Finland); Ulla Timlin (University of Oulu, Finland); Anastasia Emelyanova (University of Oulu, Finland)


Session Description

One Health recognizes the interdependence of human, animal, environmental health, and that a holistic approach to the well-being of all will lead to improved health outcomes and enhanced resilience. One Health is interdisciplinary and inclusive; it invites the participation of community members, scientists, health practitioners, and government agency personnel to identify problems and create realistic sustainable solutions to those. One Health also provides a platform to integrate different knowledges to provide deep knowledge base and allowing us to understand and address issues at their root causes.



  • unfold_more08:30 - 08:35: Introduction to the session

    Session Conveners

  • unfold_more08:35 - 08:50: Living with climate change and permafrost thaw – impacts on mental well-being

    Ulla Timlin1; Arja Rautio1, 2
    1University of Oulu; 2University of the Arctic


    Our study investigated impacts of climate change, with a special focus on permafrost thaw in three regions: Greenland (n=100), Svalbard (n=84) and Northern Canada (n=53). Aim was to investigate associations between variables of self-rated health, well-being, quality of life, satisfaction with life and feeling of empowerment (combines these variables together as mental well-being) and perceived environmental and adaptation factors. The questionnaire data was analyzed statistically by the Pearson χ2 test or by Fisher's exact test when applicable, followed by binary logistic regression analysis to investigate the associations between environmental/adaptation variables and very good well-being, satisfaction with life and quality of life. Overall, participants had either good or very good well-being, quality of life and satisfaction with life. Impacts were observed, e.g., challenges related to economic, infrastructure and physical environment, own culture, and changing nature and weather. Being in nature supported mental well-being. Overall, recognizing different challenges or adaptation activities (varied between the regions) supported very good well-being, quality of life, satisfaction of life and welt empowered to face changes related to permafrost thaw.

    Despite recognized challenges, participants seemed to live overall good life. Still, more research, with larger sample size, is needed to achieve deeper understanding about the investigated context.

  • unfold_more08:50 - 09:05: Climate change in Alaska: challenges and opportunities for tourism development

    Elena Grigorieva


    Abrupt climate changes are of great concern and a challenge for people globally, but can be beneficial for people living in cold regions of the world. The Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) is used to demonstrate the potential opportunities presented by changes of thermal climate for the development of tourism in the Arctic regions in general, and in Alaska, in particular. Our findings show that spatial variations are evident in both climatological thermal stress and its temporal changes. The northern parts of Alaska have a quarter of all hours annually in category of very cold thermal stress with UTCI below –40°C, creating challenges for tourism development in the region. At the same time, Alaska’s southern and interior areas are the most comfortable through the whole year, with 22-25% of hours in the category of neutral thermal stress with UTCI ranging from +9 to +26°C. The most notable finding is the shift of hours with ‘very cold’ UTCI into other categories, particularly into the more comfortable categories. Assuming the comfortable categories are optimal for outdoor tourist activities, these outcomes have important implications for the development of many types of tourism, especially outdoor activities such as skiing in spring and autumn, summer hiking, sightseeing, etc. However, this trend can be offset and even negated by i) wildfires, which can dramatically pollute air and diminish visibility; ii) higher probability of heat waves, especially in Interior of Alaska; iii) increased prevalence of blood-sucking insects and ticks: mosquitoes, black flies, and other outdoor pests.

  • unfold_more09:05 - 09:20: Culturally-grounded approaches to health and well-being: Methods and preliminary findings of a CBPR project in two Inuit communities

    Elspeth Ready1; Peter Collings2
    1Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; 2University of Florida


    We present the results of the first stage of a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) project in Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik, and Ulukhaktok, NWT. We conducted 57 interviews eliciting residents’ perceptions of problems facing their communities and problems affecting health and well-being. Inuit in both communities codify stress as isumaaluttuq, or excess worry, which often manifests physically and leads to social withdrawal. Managing stress involves decisions about whether to “Get It Out” or “Keep It In.” Although Get It Out is a preferred strategy for many stressors, Inuit sometimes choose to Keep It In to avoid the negative consequences of sharing bad thoughts. This model of stress management is rooted in concepts fundamental to Inuit worldview. Our results demonstrate the value of exploratory interviews and text analysis to distill implicit understandings that may be widely shared in communities. Though considerable research in Inuit communities draws on narrative interviews, formal text analysis methods are rarely employed. However, such tools are a means to generate questions and theoretical frameworks grounded in local understandings. Greater attention to more nuanced understandings of culture has the potential to significantly contribute to strengths-based approaches to well-being in Indigenous communities. Because these interviews were intended as a launching point for a CBPR project, we conclude by discussing our follow-up consultations in Kangiqsujuaq in 2022.

  • unfold_more09:20 - 09:35: Selected Wildlife Infections in the Circumpolar Arctic—A Bibliometric Review

    Anastasia Emelyanova1, 2; Arja Rautio1, 2
    1University of Oulu; 2University of the Arctic


    One Health, a multidisciplinary approach to public health, which integrates human, animal, and environmental studies, is prudent for circumpolar Arctic health research. The objective of our bibliometric review was to identify and compare research in select infectious diseases in Arctic wildlife species with importance to human health indexed in English language databases (PubMed, Scopus) and the Russian database Included articles (in English and Russian languages) needed to meet the following criteria: (1) data comes from the Arctic, (2) articles report original research or surveillance reports, (3) articles were published between 1990 and 2018, and (4) research relates to naturally occurring infections. Of the included articles (total n = 352), most were from Russia (n = 131, 37%), Norway (n = 58, 16%), Canada (n = 39, 11%), and Alaska (n = 39, 11%). Frequently reported infectious agents among selected mammals were Trichinella spp. (n = 39), Brucella spp. (n = 25), rabies virus (n = 11), Echinococcus spp. (n = 10), and Francisella tularensis (n = 9). There were 25 articles on anthrax in, while there were none in the other two databases. We identified future directions where opportunities for further research, collaboration, systematic reviews, or monitoring programs are possible and needed.

  • unfold_more09:35-09:50: Emerging climate-sensitive infections of the North

    Tomas Thierfelder; Birgitta Evengård


    As the terrestrial realms of the Arctic thaw with climate change, relative southern infectious diseases carried by vector organisms such as ticks and mosquitoes may migrate with landscape transitions and expand into the far North. The OneHealth effects of such potentially expanding climate sensitive infections (CSI’s) constitute a serious global threat. To identify CSI’s, data concerning human infections were procured from national health reporting systems to cover the current thirty-year climate reference period from western Greenland to the pacific coast of Russia, from approximately 55 to 80 degrees north. The diseases chosen for their relevance to northern communities were borreliosis, brucellosis, cryptosporidiosis, leptospirosis, Puumala haemorrhagic fever, Q-fever, tick-borne encephalitis, and tularaemia. Together, these diseases represent a variety of spreading processes that apply to many human and animal diseases. Inferential results indicate that several of these infections are due to significant regional geographic translation and/or expansion trends, and that the associated northern societies hence are due to changing CSI exposure. In addition, for each of the selected infections, their respective thirty-year average incidences were used to define “diseases climates” for future reference.

  • unfold_more09:50 - 10:00: Poster presentations