Social-science migrating field station: monitoring the Human-Rangifer link by following herd migration
The aim of this project is to establish mobile field-stations as an innovative research instrument for long-term comparison of human-Rangifer interactions in the subarctic zone. The primary focus of observation is the human-Rangifer link under current impact of socio-economic and climate change. Establishing a mobile observation facility ('nomadic camp') offers the best possibilities for long-term observation in the natural environment of the tundra. Thus, researchers use the same practice of following herds that most Rangifer users themselves have used for centuries. The trajectory of the mobile station is determined by the annual migration of a chosen Rangifer herd. The data is recorded in a standardized form, dealing with impact/response description related to socio-economic and climate change, respectively. This data is transmitted from the field on a web-site of the project at regular sessions. After completion of the first migration in the center of the Kola Peninsula (NW Russia), the station shall be made available to other researchers of the human-Rangifer link. Every effort shall be made to continue the work of the station on a longitudinal basis, inviting the cooperation of interested sub-arctic oriented institutions.