Inuit Studies Conference October 2012: Learning From the Top of the World
This grant provides funding to the 18th biennial gathering of Arctic scholars known as the Inuit Studies Conference (ISC) for broadening participation of Arctic indigenous people, students and early career scientists in the conference and to support digital media platforms to widen the public audience for the conference. The 18th ISC will be addressing the central theme, "Inuit/Arctic/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World," which will be held for the first time in the "Lower '48" at the Smithsonian Institution 24-28 October, 2012. The conference will address the outstanding issue of the Arctic world today, it's rapidly changing climate and the dramatic reduction of sea ice that is transforming a "frozen" world into a seasonally ice-free environment. These physical changes have already had a profound impact on Arctic cultures and residents, on the natural resources that sustain northern peoples, and for the first time directly affect the wider world as a result of new access to formerly frozen lands and waters. The conference will focus on communicating new research on a broad array of northern topics and will raise awareness about these issues in a series of plenary sessions, workshops, symposia, panel discussions, media events, and exhibitions. An important part of the NSF support will be to expand the traditional format by situating ISC-18 in a contemporary digital environment by developing an extensive website and by broadcasting key sessions and events in streaming media with interactive communication techniques. This grant seeks funds to ensure participation of young as well as seasoned scholars and to implement a digital communication plan that expands the impact of the conference from attendees to the wider world.