Simo Sarkki

Burning for science

Dr. Simo Sarkki

Simo Sarkki


Anthropology of Environmental Governance

48 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 1184 times, of which the most cited publication accounts for 163 citations. The author has a h-index of 17.00. (Google scholar)


Researcher, Cultural Anthropology, University of Oulu. PO 1000, 90014, University of Oulu, Finland.

Email: simo.sarkki(at)

Simo Sarkki has PhD in anthropology (2011) and holds docentship on “anthropology of environmental governance” at University of Oulu (2013), Finland. Sarkki has worked in various research projects related to environmental governance. Sarkki’s research interests include science-policy interfaces, land use in northern areas, scenarios, participatory approaches and multi-level governance under the broader theme of environmental governance. 


Research interests

  • Arctic
  • Environmental governance
  • Science-policy-society interfaces
  • Qualitative scenarios
  • Participation
  • Social innovations
  • Land use

Ongoing projects

SIMRA: Social Innovations in Marginal Rural Areas. EU Horizon 2020. (2016 – 2020)

ReiGN (Reindeer Husbandry in a Globalizing North – Resilience, Adaptations and Pathways for Actions, 2016 – 2020). Nordic Center of Excellence.



Involvement in past projects

Understanding the Cultural Impacts and Issues of Lapland Mining: A Long-Term Perspective on Sustainable Mining Policies in the North. Academy of Finland (2014 – 2018).

GOHERR: Integrated governance of Baltic herring and salmon stocks involving stakeholders. BONUS (2015 – 2018).

SENSFOR: Enhancing the resilience capacity of SENSitive mountain FORest ecosystems under environmental change. European Commission, ESSEM COST Action ES1203 (2012 – 2016). 

SPIRAL: Science-Policy Interfaces for biodiversity: Research, Action and Learning. European Commission, FP 7, contract 244035 (2010 – 2013)

SCENES - Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring State. European Commission, FP6 contract 036822. (2006 – 2010).

FiDiPro programme Human-Environment Relations in the North: resource development, climate change and resilience (2007-2012) funded by Academy of Finland

EU-Life Landscape laboratories -project


Recent publications

Sarkki, S., H.I. Heikkinen, T. Komu, M. Partanen, K. Vanhanen & È. Lépy. 2019. How boundary objects help to perform roles of science arbiter, honest broker and issue advocate. Science & Public Policy (Available online 29 Nov 2019) 10.1093/scipol/scz055

Haapasaari, Päivi, Suvi Ignatius, Mia Pihlajamäki, Simo Sarkki, Jouni T. Tuomisto & Alyne Delaney. 2019. How to improve governance of a complex social-ecological problem? Dioxins in Baltic salmon and herring, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 21 (6), 649-661. DOI: 10.1080/1523908X.2019.1661236

Mozumder, M.M.H.,, A. Pyhälä, Md. A. Wahab, S. Sarkki, P. Schneider, M.M. Islam. 2019. Understanding Social-Ecological Challenges of a Small-Scale Hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) Fishery in Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16(23): 4814. doi:10.3390/ijerph16234814

Nilsson, Annika, E., Marcus Carson, Douglas S. Cost, Bruce C. Forbes, Riina Haavisto, Anna Karlsdottir, Joan Nymand Larsen, Øyvind Paasche, Simo Sarkki, Sanne Vammen Larsen & Alexander Pelyasov. 2019. Towards improved participatory scenario methodologies in the Arctic, Polar Geography, DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2019.1648583

Sarkki, S., E. Balian, U. Heink, H. Keune, C. Nesshöver, J. Niemelä, R. Tinch, S van den Hove, A. Watt, K.A. Waylen & J. Young. 2019. Managing science-policy interfaces for impact: Interactions within the environmental governance meshwork. Environmental Science & Policy (Accepted 8 May 2019).

Sarkki, Simo, Andrej Ficko, David Miller, Carla Barlagne, Mariana Melnykovych, Mikko Jokinen, Ihor Soloviy, Maria Nijnik. 2019. Human values as catalysts and consequences of social innovations. Forest Policy and Economics, 104: 33-44.

Sarkki, S., T. Parpan, M. Melnykovych, L. Zahvoyska, J. Derbal, N. Voloshyna & M. Nijnik. 2019. Beyond participation! Social innovations facilitating movement from authoritative state to participatory forest governance in Ukraine. Landscape Ecology. 34: 1601.

Sarkki, S. & Acosta Garcia, N. 2019. Merging social equity and conservation goals in IPBES. Conservation Biology. Online 2019 Feb 6. doi: 10.1111/cobi.13297.

Sarkki, S., Pihlajamäki, M. 2019. Baltic herring for food: Shades of grey in how backcasting recommendations work across exploratory scenarios. Technological Forecasting & Social Change 139: 200 – 209.

Sarkki, S., H. I. Heikkinen, V-P Herva, & J. Saarinen. 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.



Sarkki, S. 2011. The Site Strikes Back: Multi-level forest governance and participation in northern Finland. PhD thesis. Thule Institute & Discipline of Anthropology, University of Oulu, Finland. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis B 102.

Professional and community activities

  • Invited to work (2018-2019) in EKLIPSE ( Expert Group to bring in social science expertise in developing a Protocol for assessing barriers for effective ecological restoration.
  • Deputy member in International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) ( Group on Social Innovation and entrepreneurship since 2019.

Research groups

  • Transarct:

Thesis supervisions

Chocó challenges : communities negotiating matters of concern and care on Colombia’s margin
  • Nicolas Acostá García

Pursuing the good life in the North : examining the coexistence of reindeer herding, extractive industries and nature-based tourism in northern Fennoscandia
  • Teresa Komu


Transformation and Social Innovation for Sustainable Arctic Communities

Strategic research project of the University of OuluFocus institute: EudaimoniaFaculty: Humanities