The theme of the Winter School is Our connection with a fast-changing Arctic. During one week lectures, discussions and group work will take place in which topics related to the theme will be addressed from an integrated perspective on a sustainable society. Participation can be a crucial asset to many public- and private-sector employers with operations in the Arctic.


Global warming is most prominent in the Arctic with visible changes in ice and snow and enormous challenges for ecosystems and people to adapt to the new situation. Loss of the Arctic as we know it, coincides with new development in this area on conservation, cooperation, economic development, governance and security. Sustainable solutions require multidimensional knowledge and a prudent approach when coming from outside the Arctic, as new business opportunities should take account of the sensitivities of the natural environment and local and indigenous people.

Participants will be introduced in the conditions experienced and adaptations exhibited by Arctic inhabitants, as the effects of global warming are more severe and noticeable in the North. Changing weather patterns, sea level rise and sustainable socio-economic developments, are also relevant for the rest of the world. With a variety of experts, we will discuss the present predictions and future consequences of climate change. In this respect, the Arctic can be seen as a living laboratory for a broad range of societal challenges.


During the week, there will be lectures in the morning and discussions and assignments in the afternoon. There will be general lectures, but also tailormade assignments, based on the needs and expertise in the group and active discussions with experts. We expect that the participants will do some homework before each session. All sessions will be from 9:00 till 17:00 hrs. With a social gathering afterwards on Monday and Friday.

General topics addressed in the lectures

  • Climate Change (climate forcing gasses, arctic amplification, ice caps and sea level rise, polar vortex, mitigation and adaptation)
  • Arctic ecosystems (sea ice as platform for life, permafrost, carbon pools, trophic mismatch, species extinction, grazing)
  • The indigenous peoples of the Arctic (Overview of the different indigenous peoples in the Arctic, colonial history and decolonial actions, Indigenous peoples as rights holders)
  • Governance and science cooperation (UNCLOS, treaties, wilderness concept, pollution)
  • Sustainable development and business (Arctic Economic Forum, tourism, shipping, natural resource exploitation, economic development)


  • Dr. Maarten Loonen
  • Dr. Annette Scheepstra
  • Dr. Sean Desjardins

Guest Lecturers (confirmed)

  • Prof. Richard Bintanja (climate modelling)
  • Dr. Christoph Humrich (governance)
  • Prof. Kim Holmèn (climate science)
  • Dr. Erik Molenaar (international law)
  • Prof. Kees Bastmeijer (wilderness law)
  • Dr. Zdenka Sokolickova (anthropology)
  • Liz ter Kuile (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Others still to be confirmed

General information

  • Dates: 16 - 20 January 2023
  • Location: Groningen
  • Participation fee (including participation, welcome drinks, 5x lunch, coffee/tea all day, 2x dinner, city tour or museum tour) : PhD Student and Academics: € 400 - Small Organisations/NGOs: € 650 - Corporate/Government participants: € 900
  • Winter School Terms and Conditions


Further inquiries can be directed to Annette Scheepstra