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NOMAD: Reindeer herding from a reindeer perspective

imageThe central idea of NOMAD is the establishment of a mobile observation platform. This is facilitated by a nomadic tent camp that houses an interdisciplinary group of researchers. They follow the annual migration of semi-domesticated reindeer in Kola Peninsula, Northwest Russia. This is a novel effort, putting social and other scientists on the reindeer trek on a long-term basis. By positioning themselves in close contact with migrating reindeer herds the researchers observe the delicate ecology and conditions of renewable resource use in the subarctic. Updates on the progress of the project, photographs and fieldwork diary entries can be found on this website.

In March 2007 a team of social scientists sets out from the village of Lovozero on snowmobiles with a tent and other equipment loaded on freight sleds. They connect with one of the herds of the Reindeer Herding Cooperative “Tundra” and move with the animals. The team of researchers continues to accompany the herd through the annual cycle (until February 2008). The researchers plan to involve at least one school teacher from an EU country in the NOMAD camp in autumn 2007, and several university students from Murmansk Region at various stages of the project.

The NOMAD Blog and Forum will start as soon as the first photographs and entries of the fieldwork diary will be sent over from the camp to the Max Planck Institute. We reckon this will happen in late April 2007.

NOMAD is financially supported by: the Siberian Studies Centre of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle, Germany); the Roald Amundsen Centre for Arctic Research, University of Troms