Shari Fox

Research Scientist III


PhD, University of Colorado Boulder, 2004


Arctic environment and change; sea ice; collaborative research with Inuit hunters, Elders, and communities; leading multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural research teams; knowledge co-production; community-led research and monitoring; environmental geography

  • Arctic Rain on Snow Study (AROSS)
  • Research Coordination Network (RCN): Learning from Indigenous Community-Based Researchers Engaged in Science around the Arctic
  • Working with Inuit Elders and Youth to Identify, Document, Quantify, and Share Human-Relevant Environmental Variables (HREVs) in Clyde River, Nunavut
  • Water, Energy, and Food Security in the North: Synergies, tradeoffs, and building community capacity for sustainable futures (Sustainable Futures North)
  • Collaborative Research: Working with Inuit Elders and Youth to Identify, Document, Quantify, and Share Human-Relevant Environmental Variables (HREVs) in Clyde River, Nunavut (Silalirijiit Project continued)
  • The Dynamics of Human-Sea Ice Relationships: Comparing Changing Environments in Alaska, Nunavut, and Greenland (also referred to as the "Siku-Inuit-Hila" project)
  • Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA)
  • Inuit Women and Subsistence: Social and Environmental Change
  • Igliniit Project
  • The Dynamics of Human-Sea Ice Relationships: Comparing Changing Environments in Alaska, Nunavut, and Greenland
  • Traditional Knowledge Transect: Engaging Communities in Discussions of Environmental Change through a Dog Sled Expedition Across Alaska
  • An Integrated Investigation of Coupled Human and Sea Ice Systems: A Comparison of Changing Environments and their Uses in the Western and Eastern North American Arctic
  • Inuit Observations of Environmental Change – An Interactive CD-ROM
  • Inuit Knowledge of Climate and Climate Change in the Eastern Canadian Arctic


  • 2022: Shortlisted for the Shackleton Medal
  • 2019: Recipient, Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation
  • 2018: Appointed to the Canadian delegation to the Second Arctic Science Ministerial, Berlin, Germany, 25-26 October 2018
  • 2018: Shari and her team awarded the inaugural International Mohn Prize, for "outstanding research related to the Arctic" for the research and resulting book, The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities
  • 2017: Published The Meaning of Ice in three Arctic Indigenous languages - Kalaallisut, Inuktitut, and Iñupiaq
  • April 2015: Nunavut Quest Dog Sled Race, Arctic Bay to Pond Inlet, Nunavut
  • 2014: Awarded Polar Libraries Colloquy 2014 William Mills Prize for Best Non-Fiction Polar Book for, The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities
  • 2014: Selected as Lecturer of the year, 2014 Annual William Fagg Lecture, British Museum, London, England
  • August 2013: Book release, The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities
  • May 2013: Worked with Inuit Elder and co-researcher Ilkoo Angutikjuak to film the IMAX 3D feature Wonders of the Arctic
  • May 2013: Collaborated with visiting scientists and Inuit experts to complete fieldwork for the Silalirijiit project
  • February 2012: Traveled to Nepal with a group of Inuit from Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada. In a high-latitude, high-altitude exchange project, the team visited and shared knowledge with Tsumbas, the Indigenous residents of the Tsum Valley, a remote Himalayan region experiencing rapid environmental change, much like parts of the Arctic.
  • May 2011: Together with co-researcher Esa Qillaq, awarded the 2011 Dr. Grant Ingram Distinguished Lectureship at the University of British Columbia.
  • 2010: Led the establishment of the Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) Weather Station Network. A community-led project and community-based network of automated weather stations providing near-real time weather information in Inuktitut and English to the Inuit community of Clyde River and the public.
  • August 2010: Contributed to the Dr. Seuss book Ice is nice!: All about the North and South Poles, part of the Dr. Seuss books "Cat in the Hat's Learning Library" series.
  • June 2010: Science profiled Fox's climate research and collaborations with Inuit hunters in an article called Trusting the Public.
  • December 2009: Invited presentation "Using Traditional Knowledge in Climate Change Decision Making" at an official side event of the Inuit Circumpolar Council at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15).
  • June 2009: The BBC filmed Fox and Inuit hunters working on the Igliniit Project for a documentary series Frozen Planet, released in 2011.
  • August 2008: Fox and Lene Kielsen Holm (of the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Greenland) were invited to give the keynote address at the 6th International Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association, in Nuuk, Greenland.
  • April 2008: "Silavut: Inuit Voices in a Changing World" opened, featuring collaborative research by Inuit experts and Fox. The exhibit ran from April 15, 2008, through May 1, 2009, at the University of Colorado Museum in Boulder. Silavut is now available as a traveling exhibit. For more information, see the University of Colorado Museum website.
  • February 2008: Natural History magazine featured an article about Shari Fox's work in Nunavut, "A Change in the Weather"
  • March 2007: Kalaallit Nunaat Radioa TV filmed Fox and collaborators in Greenland for "Inuit Isaannit Silaannaq," a documentary about the Siku-Inuit-Hila Project (Greenlandic).
  • February 2006: Finished appointment to the National Academy of Sciences Study Committee on "Designing an Arctic Observing Network"
  • December 2005: Completed postdoctoral appointment at Harvard University with a fellowship from the NOAA Postdoctoral Program in Climate and Global Change
  • 2005: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) was released. Fox was co-lead author of Chapter 3, "The Changing Arctic: Indigenous Perspectives"


  • Engaging in research, projects, and action that support and advance Inuit self-determination in research
  • Engaging in research, projects, and action that support and advance knowledge co-production
  • Inuit Elder-Youth land camps as a methodology for understanding Inuit knowledge of weather patterns, forecasting, and traditional navigation, and as a means for knowledge exchange between Inuit experts and visiting scientists
  • Ongoing collaborative work with Inuit hunters and Elders to document Inuit knowledge of climate and environmental change and facilitate local efforts and leadership in research, response, action, and education
  • Investigating connections between high-latitude communities in the Arctic and high-altitude communities in Nepal that have in common livelihoods closely tied to changing snow and ice environments
  • Characterizing local-scale sea ice and assessing local sea ice changes by linking Inuit knowledge, community-based monitoring, and scientific measurements
  • Assessing changing weather and wind patterns at the east coast of Baffin Island by linking Inuit knowledge, methods in meteorology and environmental modeling
  • Developing innovative data collection approaches, management, and presentation tools to help document, preserve, communicate, and mobilize Inuit knowledge and contribute to efforts in Indigenous data sovereignty
  • Working with Inuit women to understand women's roles in local subsistence systems and sharing networks, as well as women's knowledge of the changing environment and their roles in response


Educator and zodiac driver with Students on Ice Foundation

Co-Lead Author, Arctic Human Development Report II, "Community Viability and Adaptation"

Member, International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA)

Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre of Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada

Dog sledding

Inuktitut language



Huntington, H.P., M. Carey, C. Apok, B.C. Forbes, S. Fox, L.K. Holm, A. Ivanova, J. Jaypoody, G. Noongwook, and F. Stammler. 2019. Climate change in context: putting people first in the Arctic. Regional Environmental Change 19:1217-1223, doi:10.1007/s10113-019-01478-8.


Huntington, H. P., P. A. Loring, G. Gannon, S. F. Gearheard, S. C. Gerlach, and L. C. Hamilton. 2018. Staying in place during times of change in Arctic Alaska: the implications of attachment, alternatives, and buffering. Regional Environmental Change 18(2): 489-499, doi:10.1007/s10113-017-1221-6.


Huntington, A. P., A. Begossi, S. F. Gearheard, B. Kersey, P. A. Loring, T. Mustonen, P. K. Paudel, R. A. M. Silvano, and R. Vave. 2017. How small communities respond to environmental change: patterns from tropical to polar ecosystems. Ecology and Society 22(3), article 9.

Huntington, H. P., S. Gearheard, L. K. Holm, G. Noongwook, M. Opie, and J. Sanguya. 2017. Chapter 25: Sea ice is our beautiful garden: Indigenous perspectives on sea ice in the Arctic. In Sea Ice, ed. D. N. Thomas. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Johnson, N., S. Gearheard, J. Natanine, S. Elverum, et al. 2016. Community actions to address seismic testing in Nunavut, Canada: Building capacity for involvement. Practicing Anthropology 38(3): 13-27. doi:10.17730/0888-4552-38.3.13.


Johnson, N., L. Alessa, C. Behe, F. Danielsen, S. Gearheard, V. Gofman-Wallingford, A. Kliskey, E. M. Krummel, A. Lynch, T. Mustonen, P. Pulsifer, and M. Svoboda. 2015. The contributions of community-based monitoring and traditional knowledge to Arctic observing networks: reflections on the state of the field. Arctic 68(5).

Rasmussen, R .O., G. K. Hovelsrud, and S. Gearheard. 2015. Community Viability and Adaption. In Arctic Human Development Report II: Regional Processes and Global Linkages, eds. J. N. Larsen, J. N. and G. Fondahl. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.


Gearheard, S., L. Kielsen Holm, H. P. Huntington, J. M. Leavitt, A. Mahoney, M. Opie, T. Oshima, and J. Sanguya (editors). 2013. The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities. Hanover: International Polar Institute. 412 pp.


Elder, K., S. Gearheard, H. Huntington, G. Liston, et al. 2012. Meteorological tower design for severe weather and remote locations, Proceedings, 2012 International Snow Science Workshop, Anchorage, AK, Vol. 2, 968-975.

Pulsifer, P., S. Gearheard, H. Huntington, M. A. Parsons, C. McNeave, H. McCann. 2012. The role of data management in engaging communities in Arctic research: Overview of the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA). Polar Geography. doi:10.1080/1088937X.2012.708364.


Gearheard, S., C. Aporta,G. Aipellee, and K. O'Keefe. 2011. The Igliniit project: Inuit hunters document life on the trail to map and monitor arctic change. The Canadian Geographer 55(1): 42-55. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0064.2010.00344.x.

Huntington, H. P., S. Gearheard, A. R. Mahoney, and A. K. Salomon. 2011. Integrating Traditional and Scientific Knowledge through Collaborative Natural Science Field Research: Identifying Elements for Success. Arctic 64(4): 437-445.


Dowsley, M., S. Gearheard, and N. Johnson. 2010. Should we turn the tent? Inuit women and climate change. Études/Inuit/Studies 34(1): 151-165.

Gearheard, S., G. Aipellee, and K. O'Keefe. 2010. The Igliniit Project: Combining Inuit knowledge and geomatics engineering to develop a new observation tool for hunters. In SIKU: Knowing Our Ice: Documenting Inuit Sea-Ice Knowledge and Use. Eds. I. Krupnik, C. Aporta, S. Gearheard, G. Laidler, and L. Kielsen Holm, 181-203. London: Springer.

Gearheard, S., M. Pocernich, R. Stewart, J. Sanguya, H. P. Huntington. 2010. Linking Inuit knowledge and meteorological station observations to understand changing wind patterns at Clyde River, Nunavu. Climatic Change 100(2): 267-294. doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9587-1.

Gearheard, S., and J. Sanguya. 2010. Preface. In SIKU: Knowing Our Ice: Documenting Inuit Sea-Ice Knowledge and Use. Eds. I. Krupnik, C. Aporta, S. Gearheard, G. Laidler, and L. Kielsen Holm, ix-x. London: Springer.

Huntington, H. P., S. Gearheard, and L. Kielsen Holm. 2010. The power of multiple perspectives: Behind the scenes of the Siku-Inuit-Hila project. In SIKU: Knowing Our Ice: Documenting Inuit Sea-Ice Knowledge and Use. Eds. I. Krupnik, C. Aporta, S. Gearheard, G. Laidler, and L. Kielsen Holm, 263-281. London: Springer.

Krupnik I., C. Aporta, S. Gearheard, G. Laidler, and L. Kielsen Holm, eds. 2010. SIKU: Knowing Our Ice: Documenting Inuit Sea-Ice Knowledge and Use. London: Springer.

Weatherhead, E., S. Gearheard, and R. G. Barry. 2010. Changes in weather persistence: Insight from Inuit knowledge. Global Environmental Change 3: 523-528. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.02.002.


Huntington, H. P., S. Gearheard, M. Druckenmiller, and A. Mahoney. 2009. Community-based observation programs and Indigenous and local sea ice knowledge. In Field techniques in sea-ice research: A sea-ice system services approach. Eds. H. Eicken, R. Gradinger, M. Salganek, K. Shirasawa, D. Perovich, and M. Leppäranta, 345-364. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press.

Mahoney, A., S. Gearheard, T. Oshima, and T. Qillaq. 2009. Sea ice thickness measurements from a community-based observing network. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90(3): 370-377.


Mahoney, A., and S. Gearheard. 2008. Handbook for community-based sea ice monitoring. NSIDC Special Report 14. Boulder, Colorado: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Stroeve, J., M. Serreze, S. Drobot, S. Gearheard, M. Holland, J. Maslanik, W. Meier, T. Scambos. 2008. Arctic sea ice extent plummets in 2007. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 89: 13-14. doi:10.1029/2008EO020001 .


Barry, R. G., R. Armstrong, T. Callaghan, J. Cherry, S. Gearheard, A. Nolin, D. Russell, and C. Zaeckler. 2007. Chapter 4: Snow. In Global outlook for ice and snow, ed. United Nations Environment Programme, 39-62. Hertfordshire, England: Earthprint.

Gearheard, S. and J. Shirley. 2007. Challenges in community-research relationships: Learning from natural science in Nunavut. Arctic 60(1): 62-74.


Gearheard, S., W. Matumeak, I. Angutikjuaq, J. Maslanik, H. P. Huntington, J. Leavitt, D. Matumeak Kagak, G. Tigullaraq, and R. G. Barry. 2006. "It's not that simple": A collaborative comparison of sea ice environments, their uses, observed changes, and adaptations in Barrow, Alaska, USA, and Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada. Ambio 35(4): 203-211.

Meier, W. N., J. Stroeve, and S. Gearheard. 2006. Bridging perspectives from remote sensing and Inuit communities on changing sea ice cover in the Baffin Bay region. Annals of Glaciology 44(1): 433-438. doi:10.3189/172756406781811790.


Gearheard, S. 2005. Using interactive multimedia to document and communicate Inuit knowledge. Études/Inuit/Studies 29(1-2): 91-114.

Huntington, H. P., and S. Fox. 2005. The changing Arctic: Indigenous perspectives. In Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), eds. C. Symon, L. Arris, and B. Heal, 61-98. New York: Cambridge University Press.


Huntington, H. P., T. V. Callaghan, S. Fox Gearheard, and I. Krupnik. 2004. Matching traditional and scientific observations to detect environmental change: A discussion on Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Ambio 33(7): 18-23.


Fox, S. 2003. When the weather is uggianaqtuq: Inuit observations of environmental change. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado Geography Department Cartography Lab. Distributed by National Snow and Ice Data Center. CD-ROM.

Jolly, D., S. Fox, and N. Thorpe. 2003. Inuit and Inuvialuit knowledge of climate change in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. In Native Voices in Research: Northern and Native Studies, eds. J. Oakes and R. Riewe, 280-290. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Native Studies Press, University of Manitoba.


Fox, S. 2002. "These are things that are really happening”: Inuit perspectives on the evidence and impacts of climate change in Nunavut. In The Earth is Faster Now: Indigenous Observations of Arctic Environmental Change, eds. I. Krupnik and D. Jolly, 12-53. Fairbanks, Alaska: Arctic Research Consortium of the United States.

Search for more articles by Shari Fox Gearheard in Google Scholar.


Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic

Igliniit Project

Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre, Clyde River, Nunavut

Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) Weather Station Network

Silalirijiit Project

When the Weather is Uggianaqtuq: Inuit Observations of Environmental Change