Arctic Circle Research Trip

I am a student and young professional studying architecture in Philadelphia, PA; this upcoming academic year (2[phone redacted]) will be dedicated to the research and design of my thesis project.

My proposed thesis is focused on indigenous knowledge-sharing in the Arctic Circle; namely, how can indigenous populations’ ongoing adaptation to and observation of climate change be facilitated by architecture in order to contribute to scientific research? Arctic environments are reacting to global climate change faster than any other geographic area on the planet (source), and I believe that the understanding many indigenous societies possess about their natural environment can open new insights or observations in the ongoing study of how our planet is changing.

In order to confirm my hypothesis and collect original research, I will be spending time with indigenous Sami reindeer herders in Scandinavian Lapland in September and October, 2017. My two to four weeks in the area will give me many opportunities to visit various Sami communities, herding grounds, and cultural sites while also engaging with the locals and interviewing them on their culture, lifestyle, and the impact of climate change on their livelihoods.

Obviously, a trip to the Arctic Circle requires more preparation and equipment than travel in other areas in Europe, and I will be taking several forms of transit (planes, trains, and automobiles) into the heart of Lapland in order to reach my hosts and several Sami cultural sites. I am asking for support to fund this research travel and the equipment I will need to obtain and document my observations. Anything you can offer in support is appreciated, and all funds will be used to contribute directly to this trip and to the planned continuation of my research after my graduation in 2018.

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Marie Ruisard 
Philadelphia, PA
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