UArctic´s Thematic Networks are the primary means of cooperation between member institutions and their researchers. Currently nearly 50 UArctic Thematic Networks collaborate on a wide variety of arctic issues. The five new Thematic Networks were approved by the Council of UArctic in their annual meeting held in September 2018 in Oulu, Finland as part of the UArctic Congress 2018.

Arctic Indigenous Skills

UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Indigenous Skills is hosted by Sámi Education Institute and led by Tiisu-Maria Näkkäläjärvi (Lead) and Mika Aromäki (Vice-Lead).

The goal of the network is to support Arctic Indigenous traditional skills and education by organizing annual “Arctic Indigenous Skills” competitions in traditional livelihood skills, referring to the whole Arctic area and covering all of the Arctic states.

The network will bring together the youth, their teaches and other experts of education and livelihoods and enables them to share their knowledge, experiences and best practices over a variety of themes in indigenous livelihoods, languages and education. The network will be a joint effort in building indigenous capacity in the north, especially focusing education.

Arctic Plastic Pollution

UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Plastic Pollution is hosted by GRID-Arendal and led by Joan Fabres (Lead) and Kriss Rokkan Iversen (Vice-Lead).

The overall objective of the network is to foster networking and exchange of knowledge and coordination amongst the experts of the many different disciplines that have a bearing on plastic pollution.

The need for complex integrated monitoring and for prioritizing actions for combatting plastic pollution, make it clear that an interdisciplinary and cross-border approach is required for improving environmental assessments, source identification and solution development to tackle the problem.

Circumpolar Archives, Folklore and Ethnography (CAFE)

UArctic Thematic Network on Circumpolar Archives, Folklore and Ethnography (CAFÉ) is hosted by the University of Aberdeen and led by David Anderson (Lead) and Lena Vinokurova (Vice-Lead).

The network focuses on how archival collections, ethnographic fieldwork, and the study of folklore enrich the representation of and communication across the circumpolar region and its people and on how the digitalization is improving access to the collections and making it possible to share collections with host communities.

The network is centered around the existing folklore, photographic, and ethnographic collections held by its founding members and will seek to involve community organizations, indigenous research institutes, local artists and media producers, and new academic partners to create a forum for discussing the role of these archives in cultural revival as well as collaborating to create innovative ways for archival materials to reach wider audiences.

Renewable Energy

UArctic Thematic Network on Renewable Energy is hosted by the University of Saskatchewan and led by Greg Poelzer (Lead), Gwen Holdmann (Vice-Lead) and Yngve Birkelund (Vice-Lead).

The goal of the Thematic Network on Renewable Energy is to reimagine energy security in northern and Indigenous communities by co-creating and brokering the knowledge, understanding, and capacity to design, implement and manage renewable energy systems that support and enhance social and economic values.

The network will pursue integrative activities across the Circumpolar North and the work in each region will be led by country-based, local study teams, working with communities and utilities.

Smart Societies in the High North (SmartNorth)

UArctic Thematic Network on Smart Societies in the High North (SmartNorth) is hosted by Nord University and led by Anatoli Bourmistrov (Lead) and Nadezda Nazarova (Vice-Lead).

The idea of the network is to unite the efforts of the academic personnel from universities and research institutions as well as representatives from public sector institutions and businesses in the High North who share an interest in the concept of smart societies.

The Thematic Network on Smart Societies in the High North is to develop, promote and disseminate knowledge in potentially thematic areas that are relevant to Smart Cities and Societies in the High North.


New thematic network are given provisional status for a one-year period, once approved by the Council. If the new Thematic Network has initiated their activities during this period, their endorsement will become final.

For more information on the UArctic Thematic Networks, see here