Response to Threats to Science and Heritage in Greenland

The National Science Foundation funded RESPONSE project is part of a larger umbrella program North Atlantic Encounters (NAE) sponsored by the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization and the Humanities for Environment Circumpolar Observatory. This program promotes effective trans-disciplinary cooperation across disciplines including environmental humanities, history, social sciences, natural sciences, place-based education for sustainability and arts and media for sustainability. It promotes co-production of knowledge with local institutions, indigenous communities and scholars and more effective use of digital media for public engagement and education for sustainability. It makes use of over two decades of collaborative experience by the international NABO cooperative, including productive collaborations both with Nordic researcher networks, such as the Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and productive collaborations with local communities in Scotland, Iceland, and Greenland to promote an inter-connected set of projects investigating the experience of human societies in the North Atlantic islands over the past millennium. That rich archive of human experience encompasses the creation of cultural landscapes and seascapes, significant climate impacts, anthropogenic stresses to ecological systems, medieval and early modern world impacts, participation in different colonial systems, and the onset of modernity. The NAE program will connect participating local resident communities in Scotland, Iceland, and Greenland while also linking academics and practitioners. It will pool resources, equipment, and staff to carry out vigorous and sustained cross-case, inter-regional comparative work on all periods taking on the “longitudinal” cross temporal perspective of Historical Ecology emphasizing change in places through time.

Prior interdisciplinary collaborative publications by this team have won the American Anthropological Association Gordon Willey Prize for interdisciplinary publication 2007-2010 (McGovern et al 2007) and the biennial European Society for Environmental History St Andrews Prize in 2019 for best article in European environmental history (Hartman et al. 2017). This the current RESPONSE project thus focuses upon Greenland, but is a part of the larger North Atlantic Encounters program.

More details to follow [November 2019]


Hartman, S., Ogilvie, A.E.J., Hauker Ingimdunarson, J., Dugmore, A., Hambrecht, G. & McGovern, T.H. (2017) Medieval Iceland, Greenland, and the New Human Condition: A case study in integrated environmental humanities. Global and Planetary Change 156, 123-139.

McGovern, T. H., Vésteinsson, O., Friðriksson, A., Church, M., Lawson, I., Simpson, I. A., Einarsson, A., Dugmore, A., Cook, G., Perdikaris, S., Edwards, K. J., Thomson, A. M., Adderley, W. P., Newton, A., Lucas, G., Edvardsson, R., Aldred, O. & Dunbar, E. (9 Jan 2008) Landscapes of Settlement in Northern Iceland: Historical Ecology of Human Impact and Climate Fluctuation on the Millennial Scale. American Anthropologist: 109(1), 27-51.