One Health in Northern Communities and Ecosystems

The "One Health in Northern Communities and Ecosystems" project is funded by UiT and the University of the Arctic. We have created an online-based One Health Master and PhD course (Autumn 2024) and an on-site course (Spring 2024)that will be offered as standalone courses (5ECTS) or together (10ECTS), both with a focus on the Northern regions. Visit the One Health Course section for more information.

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The Circumpolar North is severely challenged by climate change and other threats to the lives and livelihood of their human and non-human inhabitants.

One Health is an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimize the health of people, animals and the environment. It is particularly important to predict, prevent, detect, and respond to global health threats. The One Health approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities at varying levels of society to work together.

The One Health approach is particularly relevant for food and water safety, nutrition, the control of zoonoses, pollution management, social relationships between humans and animals, and combating antimicrobial resistance. These issues are all responding to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals ( One Health is an emerging research field, aligned with Arctic Indigenous Peoples views of health, that has developed as a response to the need of transdisciplinary collaboration to be able to solve problems and challenges in a sustainable manner. Thus, the course is suited for students with a variety of backgrounds, such as life sciences, social sciences, health sciences and humanities.

 This course aims to engage students in the practical dimensions of One Health by the use of case studies, simulations, and interactive exercises. The course is designed to advance transdisciplinary dialogue and problem-solving focusing on the context of the Northern ecosystems.

Students shall prepare for this on-site intensive course by studying selected literature, including peer reviewed scientific articles, grey literature and book chapters.

The course addresses current challenges like zoonoses, species-on-the-move, pollution, antimicrobial resistance and food security through case studies with a One Health approach. Students are also exposed to the complexities of international cooperation through role-playing exercises, allowing them to draft and present collaborative One Health policies.

By active engagement and critical thinking, this course aims to deepen students' transdisciplinary competence in addressing the multifaceted challenges of One Health.

At the same time, we will develop a student network that may become a crucial platform for developing their professional careers. Such a network will also help build relationships with peers, thus improving our research capacity and ability to create funding opportunities to promote health in Northern communities in a long perspective.

This OH course and student network will be linked to other initiatives and expanded to other institutions that are not directly involved with the project.

The course is relevant for students with a background in life sciences, natural or social sciences as well as humanities and health sciences, currently studying at master or PhD levels. The course may also be relevant as continuing education for professionals interested in the One Health topics, the Arctic and transdisciplinary approaches.