August 11, 2022
Gita Ljubicic is a geographer with training in the natural and social sciences, who works primarily at the intersection of cultural and environmental geography. Her work is driven by a deep commitment to respecting and learning from Indigenous knowledge alongside science to address complex socio-ecological issues. Dr. Ljubicic and her research team are dedicated to a cooperative, community-driven approach to research that involves developing and fostering working relationships with Indigenous experts and organizations throughout all stages of the research process. Dr. Ljubicic has primarily worked with Inuit community members and organizations in Nunavut, but through collaborations she has been involved in research with Inuit, Métis, and First Nations communities across the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik (northern Quebec), and Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador). Broadly, her research efforts focus on three main areas: learning from Indigenous knowledge about arctic environments; working with and refining cross-cultural research ethics and methods; and contributing to community efforts to mobilize Indigenous knowledge to inform decision-making. She has worked with Inuit communities and academic partners to learn from Inuit knowledge about sea ice, caribou, plants, and water in relation to implications of climate change, importance in northern livelihoods and well-being, and contributions to decision making from local to national scales. In all projects the research process itself is an important focus, where Dr. Ljubicic and her team explore: collaborative approaches to research; ethics of informed consent in a cross-cultural context; participatory mapping and knowledge representations; and qualitative data management practices. Taken together, the outcomes of learning from Indigenous knowledge, and working together effectively, contribute to efforts to bring together diverse perspectives and evidence for more representative decision making. Dr. Ljubicic and her research team have been engaged in various environmental monitoring, co-management, education, and cultural heritage initiatives as an important means of mobilizing research results.