Hannu I. Heikkinen


Professor of cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology, environmental anthropology

38 peer reviewed publications in international journals.


Prof. Hannu I. Heikkinen is professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Oulu. His current research focuses on how human-environment relations and overall wellbeing and sustainability are mediated by culture and technology, particularly in Arctic and Northern societies. He is especially interested in participatory approaches, citizen science, resource rights and environmental justice. A Docent in Environmental and Applied Anthropology, he has led and been involved in multiple transdisciplinary projects, and has previously worked across a number of institutions, including the Thule Institute, the Arctic Centre, the Finland Futures Research Centre (Turku School of Economics), the Laboratory of Environmental Protection (Helsinki University of Technology) and Finnish Forests Research Institute (Metla). He has published 38 peer-reviewed articles and one monograph (published doctoral thesis); his publications total 88. He has supervised 12 doctoral dissertations and some 75 master’s theses. Heikkinen is workgroup leader in the Nordic Centre of Excellence ‘Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities’ (REXSAC).

Research interests

  • Cultures, human-environment relations, justice, communities
  • participatory approaches, political ecology, cognitive anthropology

Selected publications

  1. Heikkinen, H., I., Bjørst L., R., & Pashkevich A. (In Press) Challenging Tourism Landscapes of South Greenland: Identifying Socio-Cultural Capital for Sustainable Tourism Development. Arctic Anthropology xx(xx) 2021,xx.
  2. Sarkki, S., Heikkinen, H.,I. & Löf, A- (2021) Reindeer herders as stakeholders or rights-holders? Introducing a social equity-based conceptualization relevant for indigenous and local communities. In Nordic Perspectives on the Responsible Development of the Arctic: Pathways to Action. (Ed. Nord, Douglas C. ) Springer Polar Sciences, Heidelberg, Germany. Pp. 271-292.
  3. Sarkki, S., Rasmus, S., Landauer, M., Lépy É. & Heikkinen, H.,I. (2020) Matching societal knowledge demand, research funding and scientific knowledge supply: trends and co-creation dynamics around reindeer management in Finland, Polar Geography, DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2020.1755905
  4. Sarkki, S., Heikkinen, H.,I, Komu, T., Partanen, M., Vanhanen, K. & Lépy É. (2019) How boundary objects help to perform roles of science arbiter, honest broker, and issue advocate. - Science and public policy [Epub ahead of print 29 Nov 2019], 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scz055
  5. Sarkki, S., Heikkinen, H.I, Herva, V-P & Saarinen, J. (2018) Myths on local use of natural resources and social equity of land use governance: Reindeer herding in Finland. Land Use Policy (77), 322–331. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837718303831
  6. Leah, A., Heikkinen, H.I, Tran Han, T., Geisenberger, L., Opfermann, S., Vale, B. and Vale R. (2018) Europe. In Everyday Lifestyles and Sustainability. The Environmental Impact Of Doing The Same Things Differently. (Eds.) Chicca, Fabrio, Vale, Brenda and Vale, Robert. Routledge, London. 63-75. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315529127
  7. Heikkinen H.I., Acosta G., N., Sarkki, S. and Lépy É (2016) Context-sensitive political ecology to consolidate local realities under global discourses: A view for tourism studies. In Political Ecology and Tourism (Eds.) Sanjay Nepal and Jarkko Saarinen. Routledge, Taylor and Francis group. UK.
  8. Heikkinen, H.I. Lépy, É., Sarkki, S., Komu, T. (print 2016, online 2013) Challenges in acquiring a social licence to mine in the globalising Arctic. Polar Record, 52 (4) 399-411.
  9. Heikkinen, H.I ,Sarkki, S., Nuttall, M. (2012) Users or producers of ecosystem services? A scenario exercise for integrating conservation and reindeer herding in northeast Finland. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2012, 2:11. doi:10.1186/2041-7136-2-11.
  10. Heikkinen, H.I., Kauppila, P., Lépy, É., Ponnikas, J. & Rautio, A., (2011) Tourism. In Ecosystem services and livelihoods - vulnerability and adaptation to a changing climate. VACCIA Synthesis Report. Bergström Irina, Mattsson Tuija, Niemelä Eerika, Vuorenmaa Jussi, Forsius Martin (ed.). The Finnish Environment 26en/2011. Helsinki, Finnish Environment Institute. 55-58.
  11. Heikkinen, H.I., Moilanen, O., Nuttall, M. & Sarkki S. (2011) Managing predators, managing reindeer: contested conceptions of predator policies in Finland’s southeast reindeer herding area. Polar Record 47 (242): 218–230.
  12. Heikkinen, H.I., Lakomäki, S. & Baldridge J. (2007) The dimensions of sustainability and the neo-entrepreneurial adaptation strategies in reindeer herding in Finland. The Journal of Ecological Anthropology Vol.11, 2007, pp. 25 – 42.
  13. Heikkinen, H. (2006) Neo-entrepreneurship as an Adaptation Model of Reindeer Herding in Finland. In Nomadic Peoples. Special Issue; Humans and Reindeer on the Move. Ed. by Florian Stammler and Hugh Beach. Berghahn Journals (NS) Volume 10 No.2 2006. 187-208.

On going and former projects

Research groups

  • Team Leader, board member, Resource Extraction & Sustainable Arctic Communities (REXSAC) https://www.rexsac.org/
  • Project and program leader, Cultural anthropology

Research visits

  • Visiting Scholar

    Visit to the department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.

  • Visiting Scholar
    1.8.2019 to 31.12.2019

    Visit to the Global South Study Center and Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Cologne, Germany.