Young Arctic leaders in Research and Policy (YALReP)

General description

Creating an effective system for integrated environmental management and socio-economic governance is important for successful development of the Arctic. Improving governance and management practices requires training a new generation of scholars, managers and leaders who are capable of understanding complexity, systemic change and resilience of coastal social-ecological systems using up-to-date systems science, management techniques and implementation frameworks.


The goal of the YALREP initiative is to begin building a cohort (7-8) of Indigenous early-career scholars, leaders and professionals, or “agents of change,” capable of approaching Arctic coastal development in a transdisciplinary way. The target groups are: (1) young Arctic researchers with at least 3 years of working experience, (2) private sector professionals from multiple business structures, (3) middle managers from federal, regional and municipal governments, (4) Indigenous and local community leaders, (5) media and journalism professionals. Our aim is to reach out and provide leadership training to people with real-world experience who are aware of Arctic coastal concerns and who are receptive to new thinking, innovative technologies and practices for local governance. The target participants will come from Arctic coastal states if they demonstrated potential in tackling issues related to the Arctic coastal development and resilience.


The initiative’s education program will apply a transdisciplinary approach to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the complex suite of biogeophysical, socioeconomic and political factors driving current and future Arctic coastal transformation, including introducing the resilience model. This program is a direct response to a recommendation from ICARP II Science Plan 10 (2005): “to foster the training of young scholars in the skills of multi- and interdisciplinary collaborative research and in the skills of building partnerships with Arctic residents.”

The proposed approach will focus on the leadership and professional development training. The program will select competitively a cohort of 7-8 participants that would undertake a rigorous and continuous training over the course of the 3 years until completion of the RCN grant. Leadership and professional development curricula will include interactive training though workshops, mentorship program and community interaction opportunities.


The workshops will be help annually to provide professional development and leadership training and meet with mentors. The First workshop was held in Cedar Falls, USA in March 2017 and the Second will be held at Columbia University in New York .

Mentorship program

Each participant will be assigned mentor(s) based on the background and area of interests. The intention is to keep relationship between mentor and yearly career participant permanent, with regular online communications. In person communication will be organized as a part of annual workshops and other meetings, as well as a specifically designed experiences, such as job shadowing, extended team work, etc.

YALREP is co-sponsored by NSF awards PLR #1441381 and #1338850



Joanna Absalonsen Greenland/Denmark Inuit youth aspirations in education
Lubov Sulyandziga Russia Russian Arctic communities and extractive industries
Natalia Vaskova Russia Arctic Indigenous Youth
Stacy Lucanson USA Implications of Raising Minimum Student Count in Public Schools for Communities in Alaska
Svetlana Isakova Russia The International cooperation and biodiversity
Tone Frank Greenland Sociocultural perspective on sexual abuse in the Greenlandic  Inuit communities
Zakery Mayers Canada Youth for the Future


Andrey Petrov President, IASSA USA Sustainable development
Dalee Sambo Dorough Assoc. Professor, UAA USA Political science, public policy, Indigenous rights
Diane Hirshberg Professor, UAA USA Education policy
Pavel Sylyandziga United Nations, WG on Human Rights and Business Russia Traditional knowledge, benefit sharing
Varvara Korkina Indigenous leader, UNI USA/Russia Cultural economy in the Arctic
Vera Metcalf Eskimo Walrus Commission USA Biodiversity



New York, New York, 15-22 April, 2018

United Nations Headquarters and Columbia University, USA

15th April Sunday


7-9 pm Project updates


16th April  Monday 

United Nations Headquarters, New York

The opening of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

“Indigenous peoples’ collective rights to lands, territories and resources”


17th April Tuesday

United Nations Headquarters, New York

Participation of the sessions of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)


18th April

United Nations Headquarters, New York

Side-event : “Agenda 2030 from the Arctic perspective”


19-20th April

Columbia University, the Earth Institute

Conference “The impact of climate change in the Arctic from Indigenous perspective”


YALREP Coordinator: Varvara Korkina korkivaa[at]uni.edu