Course contents *
AK1214 is a summer course, aimed at students from KTH, University of Illinois (Urbana Champaign) and other Swedish Universities. It is divided into three sections. Section 1 (mid June–early July) takes place at KTH and consists of A) a series of lectures which introduces the students to the themes of the course and B) seminars on literature and for preparing field work. Section 2 (mid July) consists of 10 days of intensive field work in the Arctic. In this period the students will be trained in field research and collect data for an essay. Section 3 (end of July) takes place at KTH and consists of seminars in which the students present their essays (examination tasks).
Intended learning outcomes *
After the course, the student will be able to:
1. Recount major climatic and environmental changes in the Arctic, with a focus on the last 15.000 years
2. Interpret climate change within the specific cultural and historical context of the Nordic region
3. Describe and explain the main processes of societal change in the Nordic / European Arctic: Settlements and colonization, Development of scientific research, and Development of natural resource utilization industry and tourism.
4. Discuss the main changes in international politics and economics in the Arctic and its relation to scientific research, military strategies and indigenous peoples
5. Conduct basic field research through documentation of natural phenomena, cultural remains or by interviews
6. Perform simple research tasks by using and combining different types of sources (i.e. those mentioned under point 5) and present it in written and oral form
7. Critically analyze current events in the Arctic, in relation to the course contents.
The major learning activities are the following:
Lectures: 14 in section 1, six in section 2, normally lasting two hours.
Excursions: visits to museums in Stockholm, which in various ways deal with the Arctic.
Field work: The students will be trained in documentation of natural phenomena and cultural remains as well as interviewing, during a 10 day week field work period in the Arctic (northern Sweden or Svalbard). As a part of the field work, the students will collect data for use in their essays.
Seminars: The seminars will be in three different forms. In section 1 there will be literature seminars, devoted to discussing the course literature. In section 2 there will be field work seminars, focusing on the students findings during field work. In section three there will be essay seminars, devoted to presentations and discussions on the essays the students write.
Writing an essay: The students will write an essay on a topic they can choose from a given list of topics. The essay should be based on course literature, lectures as well as on data the students collect during the field work. The essay will be presented at a final seminar.