Everett Report - The Calotte Academy 2015: Resources and Security in the Globalized Arctic - May/June 2015
The Calotte Academy 2015: Resources and Security in the Globalized Arctic
By Karen Everett
The Calotte Academy is a unique conference experience. For the past 24 years, attendees have participated in a week-long symposium that travels through the north Calotte region of Europe (Finland, Norway, and Sweden) and northern Russia to discuss issues and research related to the arctic. Participants include a mixture of graduate students and young and established scholars in different disciplines, as well as researchers from civic organizations who come together to share their work and perspectives. The conference is also different as each speaker presents their research and then has 20 minutes of discussion dedicated to their talk rather than a general question period at the end of each panel. This format proves to be useful, especially for students, as the discussion results in valuable feedback on their research.
This year I had the opportunity to participate in the conference that took place in Rovaniemi, Salla, and Inari, Finland, Apatity, Russia, and Kirkenes, Norway from May 31 to June 7. This is the story of my journey. On the evening of May 31, participants arrived in Rovaniemi and attended a reception where we were welcomed by the conference organizers and the city mayor. Sessions formally began on June 1 (day 1) at the University of Lapland campus. Papers were presented on the broad topics of energy, security, international cooperation, and science diplomacy. Day two took place at the city hall in Salla, Finland, where we were again welcomed by the mayor. There was one paper presented on the topic of human capital in Salla before we began our trek to Russia.
Sessions on day 3 were held at the Kola Science Centre in Apatity, and many of the presenters were researchers at the Centre. Their talks provided a great deal of information on the state of the northern Russian resource and energy sector. Day four was a travel day and we left Apatity for Kirkenes, Norway, making a brief stop in Murmansk and Nikel, Russia. The editor of the Barents Observer joined us for this leg of the trip and acted as a tour guide, providing a great deal of information on the military and resource sector in this part of Russia.
The Barents Secretariat hosted our sessions on day 5 in Kirkenes, Norway, where there were more presentations on the themes of the environment, the military, security, and human and social capital.
Our final day of talks took place in Inari, Finland on June 6, where I presented my own paper on "National Security Policies and the Consequences for Yukon Exports" at the Sami Education Centre. This was an excellent opportunity to gain feedback on my work and to promote Canadian Studies (and the CSN) to an international audience. Finally, we returned to Rovaniemi on June 7 where we said our goodbyes and began our voyages home.
During my time with this group, I was able to make new connections with both Canadian and international scholars who share a similar research interest. As well, participants from other countries brought forth different perspectives on issues, while also demonstrating the similarities between Canada and our arctic neighbours. This conference was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who studies the north.