A workshop on Communicating and Mobilizing Research and Community Data, Information and Knowledge brought together UAK project partners, domain experts, and some early career researchers to explore new ways of communicating and disseminating research for a wide range of different audiences. The workshop was hosted by the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, as part of the UAK project.

Workshop Details

Dates: 1 – 3 October 2019 at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Location: University of Colorado Boulder Student Recreation Centre (1835 Pleasant St, Boulder, CO 80309, USA), in the Ice Overlook Large Meeting Room (2nd floor).


Last NameFirst NameOrganizationCountryRole
SandvenSteinNansen CenterNorwayUAK Partner
MurrayMaribethAINA, University of CalgaryCanadaUAK Partner
PulsiferPeterNSIDC, University of ColoradoUSAUAK Partner
IversenLisbethNansen CenterNorwayUAK Partner
GalleyRyanUniversity of ManitobaCanadaUAK Partner
SørensenMathildeUniversity of BergenNorwayUAK Partner
SagenHanneNansen CenterNorwayUAK Partner
HamreTorillNansen CenterNorwayUAK Partner
JohnsonNoorELOKA, NSIDC, University of ColoradoUSAUAK Partner
DruckenmillerMattELOKA, NSIDC, University of ColoradoUSAUAK Partner
JonesJoshIARCUSAEarly Career
MichálekJanUniversity of BergenNorwayEarly Career
SpiersKentAINA, University of CalgaryCanadaEarly Career
SchiøttSaschaGreenland Institute of Natural ResourcesDenmark, GreenlandEarly Career

Meeting Background and Outline of Methods for Participants

As we experience significant and rapid environmental and social change, science and research are more important than any time in history. Meeting the challenges of current and future generations will require the best available information and knowledge. Moreover, sharing information and knowledge between and among a wide range of actors in society will help to ensure that research has the best possible scientific and societal impact. 

Traditionally, research has been shared within the academy through expert-to-expert communication platforms such as journals or scholarly meetings, for example. Increasingly, there is societal interest in ensuring that research results and methods are communicated to broader audiences including policy and decision makers, elementary and secondary school students, researchers from outside disciplines, industry, civil society, governments at all scales, and the general public. Individual researchers or research organizations may not have experience or expertise in communicating and mobilizing community and research results and data. The purpose of this workshop, under the Useful Arctic Knowledge project, is to learn about different theories, methods and examples of research and knowledge communication and mobilization, and to apply what we learn to case studies focused on the particular research domain of workshop participants. Potential products emerging from the workshop include a special issue focused on the results of the workshop and other work of participants and others, and teaching and learning modules for use in teaching environments. 

Science and research communications can be broadly defined as the practice of informing, educating, sharing curiosity, and raising awareness of science and research-related topics. Methods include engagement with the media (newspaper, radio, television, blogosphere, social media etc.), compelling story-telling, film making, podcasting, public engagement, and many others. 

The term “knowledge mobilization” relates to science and research communications, however refers to more proactively moving available knowledge into active use, particularly by connecting researchers with policy makers and other practitioners “on the ground”. Knowledge mobilization includes communication but goes beyond to include processes such as participatory action research, formal collaborations that involve researchers and other actors, models of knowledge co-production that are prominent in current dialogues in Arctic research, and the development of diverse networks that include many different kinds of knowledge holders/producers and researchers (e.g. community-based Indigenous Knowledge holders, local researchers, university-based researchers). 

We will use a multi-tiered approach to enhance participants’ knowledge and inform their practice in the future. 

First, a series of speakers who have professional experience in the domain of communicating and mobilizing research and community data, information and knowledge will share their experiences and knowledge of strategies and methods that can be used by researchers and community members. This will provide all participants with a foundation in the topic. 

Second, participants will present “case studies” (approximately 15 minute presentations on Day 1 and additional time throughout the workshop) that include several pieces of information for their specific research domain:

  • A brief summary of the nature of their research including key questions within their field and some of the research activities that they are engaged in. 
  • A statement of the types of broader impacts that the participant would like to see come out of their research (e.g. have more impact on policy; be used in elementary level education etc.). 
  • An overview of the communication and knowledge mobilization activities that the participant and/or their organization are already engaged in. If none, then outline the impediments to engaging in these activities. 

Third, during the last session of Day 1, the group will synthesize these case studies to create a preliminary “framework” that can be applied to a particular domain case study. The framework will be developed at the workshop, however we can expect it to build on the content of keynote talks and the participant case studies and may include:

  • Rationales for engaging in communication and knowledge mobilization activities 
  • Possible types of communication and mobilization strategies, methods, and approaches etc. that could be used
  • Methods for identifying appropriate audiences 
  • Ways of engaging with different audiences
  • How to package, preserve and effectively share results of communication and mobilization 
  • Network building approaches 
  • Obtaining resources for activities
  • Other elements emerging from keynote talks, discussion, and case studies 

Fourth, on Day 2, the framework will be applied to a set of case studies presented on Day 1 with the objective of creating an actual communications and mobilization strategy and materials for the case study (e.g. marine acoustics, a particular community-based research project, seismic etc.).</p> 

Fifth, on Day 3, we will establish a plan for how to “mobilize” the results of the workshop (e.g. special issue, teaching materials) and carry forward the effort through the remainder of the Useful Arctic Knowledge project.