How did you get involved into the Student Ambassadors program?

The head of my institution in my university nominated me and I did not hesitate to say yes to this great opportunity to get more involved in the Arctic issues. When this opportunity appeared to me, I thought ‘Yes, that’s it!’ The reason for why I was chosen by my university is because I am one of the first or even the first Greenlandic student who have taken the online course that is offered through UArctic. The online course I have taken emerged my interest and changes my view of the Arctic regions completely. I am becoming a researcher in the area of the Arctic, so it is a huge privilege for me that my function as a student ambassador can expose me to the wider community of other researchers in the arctic and aiding me in the transmission of specialist knowledge.

What do you think about Student Forum and the UArctic Congress?

I am living in an isolated society with very few people, so it is not always easy to find people with the same or similar interest as me. It was an enjoyment to have been part of such an incredible event with incredibly inspiring & talented people who do the scientific work in the Arctic region. We all come from different places and cultures, some of us come from Arctic region while some of us are not. It was really fascinating to experience that our common interest combines us all together. I will say that our different backgrounds and expertise only make us stronger – I believe that we all together can provide a groundbreaking knowledge!

What is your major and its importance to understand the Arctic issues?

As the citizen of the Arctic I can tell you that the climate change is really affecting our way of living. My country, which is Greenland, used to be a kind of ‘unknown’ country for the most of the people in the world, but in the recent years we are experiencing rapidly growing interest from the global society. This change is huge and can feel overwhelming for some of the people who used to live on their own terms. While for some of the people the change only gives an amount of curiosity. My academic discipline is Social Science. For me the change makes my field very interesting and challenging. We are living in this contemporary world where the change is happening with or without our permission. The pressure of globalization is serious. Generally, the areas of indigenous societies have a lack of profitable competences or transferable skills and I believe that raising the investment in research for arctic areas can be a part of developing economic sustainability in arctic regions. Personally, I feel that it is important to include the people of the arctic in the process, because I believe that there is a lot of things at risk if the development tends toward modernity that only occur in Western ways of civilization. 


Photos provided by Ulunnguaq Markussen, Svetlana Sleptsova