Greenland Science Week 2019 was held in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland during 1–5 December. This symposium aims to connect science with the Greenlandic society, and create a networking platform for the Greenlandic and international Arctic science communities. Residents of Greenland as well as international and Greenlandic researchers participated in this symposium. Five ArCS researchers participated in it to introduce activities of ArCS Research Theme 2 "Variations in the ice sheet, glaciers, ocean and environment in the Greenland region".
We have been continuing our research in the Qaanaaq region since 2012. Through the research activities on glaciers and the ocean, our team have developed relationships with local residents and expanded our interests to the impact of environmental changes on human society. One of the focuses of our research is direct impact of changing climate on the human life in Qaanaaq, such as destructions of roads and buildings due to floods of glacial streams and landslide. We have also investigated possible influence of glacial stream discharge into the ocean on marine resources. To introduce the activities in Qaanaaq and get help of Greenlandic people for finding the direction of future research, we organized a session on the Public Outreach Day of the Symposium “Greenlandic and Japanese collaboration for sustainable future of coastal environment and society in Qaanaaq”. Firstly, Shin Sugiyama gave an overview of our research and collaborative activity with local residents. Secondly, our local collaborator Toku Oshima talked about her experience with Japanese researchers and her visit to Japan in February 2019. Finally, Lene Kielsen Holm, a social scientist in GINR (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources) led discussion on involvement of local communities in research activities in Greenland.
During the poster session, we set up a booth to present posters, movies and an experimental device to show our activities to visitors. We enjoyed interactions with a wide variety of visitors, i.e. school children, teachers, family, researchers, and governmental officers. In particular, we were impressed by how many young visitors are interested in our activity in Greenland. We also met natural and social scientists studying in Qaanaaq.
The symposium was a wonderful opportunity for us to promote the research activity of ArCS to the citizens and researchers in Greenland. Our style of research, that is, carrying out field studies with making a close engagement with the local community in Qaanaaq was highly praised by Greenlandic participants during the symposium.We were able to create a network with researchers working in various fields of science in Greenland, which will provide us opportunities of collaboration in the future.
Ken Kondo (Hokkaido University)