I am research coordinator on Arctic issues at the Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland and the UArctic Networks Vice-President. In addition, I am involved in several Arctic and polar projects, few of those are mentioned below.

I was born and raised in Finland where I also completed my Master and Doctoral degrees on plant ecology in the University of Oulu. After completing my PhD, I was invited to lead a project at the Thule Institute in 2000. This was the starting point for my Arctic career.

I am quite passionate about my work at UArctic. I started to work at UArctic in 2005 when a new program on Thematic Networks was established and I was offered a position to start to build that concept. Back then there were four networks, but by 2020 there are almost 60. For many years, I held the position of UArctic Director of Thematic Networks. During those years the Thematic Networks grew into a strategic area and currently my work continues to support their activities as a UArctic Networks Vice-President. UArctic has been an important step in my career and it has made me to understand the diversity of the Arctic, its peoples and cultures, pressures on land use and ecosystems, among other things.

Over the past fifteen years I have also worked in Polar coordination actions. I managed several national and international projects on Arctic research, coordination and knowledge sharing including organising several international events and graduate education. I am currently on my second term as the chair of European Polar Board (2017-2021). I support the Arctic research conducted at the University of Oulu, and I work in European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded projects.

In INTERACT – International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (H2020 2016-21, 2020-24) my task is to function as a Transnational access Watch Dog and in EU-PolarNet 2 project on coordinating and co-designing the European Polar Research area (H2020, 2020-2024) I lead a work package on stakeholder involvement. EU-PolarNet 2 is continuing the work of EU-PolarNet 1 (2015-2020) on stakeholder involvement in Polar research. Currently I am planning on how to best coordinate joint stakeholder and rights holder involvement, co-design and co-product the knowledge in European Polar Research, for which EU Polar Cluster and its stakeholder task group, which I co-lead, has been established.  

If you would like to contact me or learn more about me:

Email: kirsi.latola@oulu.fi

Twitter: @klatola

Website: https://www.oulu.fi/thuleinstitute/kirsi_latola

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirsi-latola-62910172/

My latest publications on stakeholder involvement:

Interview from 2020

Latola, Kirsi, Annette J.M. Scheepstra, Janet Pawlak, and Gertrude Saxinger. (2020). ”White paper on Status on stakeholder engagement in Polar research.” EU-PolarNet publication. https://eu-polarnet.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/EU_PolarNet_Stakeholder_final.pdf.

Baer, Kristina., Kirsi Latola, and Annette J. M. Scheepstra. (2019). “Tell us how to engage you! Asking polar stakeholders about their engagement preferences.” Polar Record 55(4): 245-250.   https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247419000354.

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