Mallory Hoffbeck: Summer Project with the Study of Environmental Arctic Change

Hello everybody! This summer I am working as a research assistant with the directors of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). SEARCH is a research project in which teams of people with diverse areas of expertise work together to produce knowledge about environmental change in the Arctic and what it means for people. In this process called “co-production,” SEARCH contributors combine Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge, scientific knowledge, and knowledge of economic and political decision-making to produce publicly available information. These reports, articles, podcast episodes, and other products are made for local communities and the concerned public as a source of information on environmental Arctic change, and for policy makers to better inform decisions about the Arctic. It is an exciting and hugely beneficial project—I feel very fortunate to be a part of it and to learn from each of these incredibly knowledgeable and thoughtful contributors.

SEARCH’s website can be accessed here:

It hosts finished SEARCH products available for reading and listening and is informative about the project. Check it out!

My primary new project this summer has two parts: to develop SEARCH’s online database of sources (using the program Mendeley), and to help the contributors use it efficiently as they research and write. I’ve named myself “the librarian of SEARCH.” I’m doing most of my work remotely, which works well for the online database project, and the fact that most SEARCH meetings occur online due to the contributors living in many different places. However, in June I was fortunate enough to attend and assist with SEARCH’s foundational first meeting of newly assembled team members in Anchorage, Alaska—a particularly educational and inspiring experience both personally and professionally.

For the rest of the summer, I will continue developing SEARCH’s online library, will present to the project contributors on how they can use it, and will continue learning and contributing as much as I can to this outstanding opportunity.

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