Dec. 15, 2016 – As the Arctic continues to experience climate change, resource development and globalization, the policy challenges that Arctic peoples face are many and extend beyond environmental protection and energy to issues of indigenous rights, health and wellness, governance and infrastructure. Seventeen inaugural Fulbright Arctic Initiative researchers and two co-lead scholars from all eight Arctic nations (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States) tackled these Arctic issues through 18 months of research on energy, water, and health and infrastructure, and recently concluded their work with a week of public events in Washington, D.C.
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative was established by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs in October 2014, as part of an effort to support applied research towards a more sustainable Arctic and to coincide with the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The inclusion of all Arctic nations and focus on policy relevance across a range of disciplines represents an innovative research model for Fulbright. Based on the success of the first round of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, plans are underway to continue the program through a second cohort of scholars.
Michael Sfraga, vice chancellor of University of Alaska Fairbanks and Ross A. Virginia, Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science and director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College, served as co-lead scholars of the program.
“The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is innovative, international and interdisciplinary. Whether it be looking at: how health systems perform in the Arctic, including the vitality of indigenous languages; how remote Arctic communities use renewable energy systems; or examining how climate change is affecting Arctic freshwater ecosystems; the scholars looked at real issues affecting the North today and worked with the people living there, to ensure that their research respected the communities’ rights and aspirations,” explains Virginia. “This type of collaboration is imperative to addressing the future of the Arctic, and I hope that other researchers will look to do the same,” he adds.
“To navigate the rapid and unpredictable change we are experiencing in our home, Inuit and others require our indigenous knowledge of Inuit hunters sharing and documenting the environmental changes and adapting accordingly as well as the efforts of researchers such as the Fulbright scholars. These scholars are committed to meaningful partnerships with Arctic peoples and are engaged in studies that will help all of us understand this change, how to adapt and what policies and programs are required to make certain the Arctic remains for Inuit and the global commons,” says Okalik Eegeesiak, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council.
The first round of Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholars convened in Washington, D.C., from October 24 to 28, for Fulbright Arctic Week, to share their research and recommendations with policymakers and the public. Below is a list of projects by the 2015-2016 Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholars. Each scholar was a member of a working group on either energy, water, or health and infrastructure, which outlined policy recommendations that can be used by Arctic communities, policymakers and researchers.
Additional information about the individual research projects and working group recommendations is available upon request.
Highlights from Fulbright Arctic Week can be found on this storify board created by University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Follow the Fulbright Arctic Initiative on Twitter at: @FulbrightArctic.
Fulbright Arctic Initiative Co-Lead Scholars Michael Sfraga at email@example.com, and Ross A. Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org and @RVirginiaPolar, and are available for comment. The 17 scholars are also available.
|2015-2016 Fulbright Arctic Initiative|
|Scholar’s Name||Home||Host||Discipline||Group||Project description|
Sr. Conservation Officer, WWF Sweden
|Sweden||Dartmouth & University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA||Biological Science||Water||International frameworks for the protection of walrus|
|Linda Chamberlain Founding Director and Public Health Scientist, Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project; Adjunct Professor,|
University of Alaska
|USA||University of Oulu & University of Jyväskylä, Finland||Public Health||Health & Infrastructure||Trauma-informed framework for health and wellness in the Arctic|
Executive and Scientific Director, Institute for Circumpolar Health; Research Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
|Canada||University of California,|
Los Angeles, USA
|Public Health||Health & Infrastructure||Health systems performance in Arctic regions|
|Asli Tepecik Diş|
Royal Institute of Technology
|Sweden||Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA||Spatial Plan||Health & Infrastructure||Arctic as a test site for new spatial planning practices|
|Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv|
Professor, University of Tromsø- The Arctic University of Norway; Research Associate, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
|Norway||University of Washington, USA||Political Science||Energy||Tensions between energy and environmental security in the Arctic|
The Danish Center for Environmental Assessment,
Research Associate, Centre for Innovation and Research
|Denmark||University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA||Environmental (Env) Science||Health & Infrastructure||Impact assessment and offshore oil development in the Arctic|
|Tamara K. Harms|
Assistant Professor, College of Natural Science and Math;
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
|USA||University of Umeå, Sweden||Env Science||Water||Flow regimes of Arctic rivers|
Director, Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP)
|USA||National Energy Association of Iceland||Engineering||Energy||Renewable energy systems for remote Arctic communities|
Senior Advisor, Office of International Relations at the Smithsonian; Adjunct Professor
|USA||University of Alberta, Canada||Anthropology||Energy||Knowledge and consultation practices in offshore and gas decision-making in the Canadian Arctic|
Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies,
University of Victoria
|Canada||University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA||Env Science||Health & Infrastructure||Impacts of sea level rise and storm surge on community infrastructure|
Reykjavik University School of Law
|Iceland||Duke University, USA||Law||Energy||Can the United States establish the outer limits of its extended continental shelf under international law?|
|Itty S. Neuhaus-Schuck|
Associate Professor, School of Fine and Performing Arts,
State University of New York at New Paltz
|USA||Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada||Visual Art||Water||Lifecycle of an iceberg, in a series of multimedia installations|
Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies,
University of Saskatchewan
|Canada||University of Alaska Anchorage, USA||Political Science||Energy||Arctic energy policy and governance from a First Nations perspective|
Senior Scientist, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Ltd.
|Finland||Stanford University, USA||Env Science||Energy||Sustainable use of forest bioenergy in the Arctic|
Researcher and Chair,
Center for Independent Social Research
|Russia||University of Washington, USA||Sociology||Energy|
Associate Professor, Department of Arctic Biology,
University Centre in Svalbard;
Akvaplan-niva (Tromsø, Norway)
|Norway||Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA||Biological Science||Water||Seasonal ecology of Arctic marine ecosystems: Fundamentals, multidisciplinary approaches, and relevance to society|
Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and Business Economics,
University of Southern Denmark
|Denmark||University of California, Santa Barbara, USA||Economics||Water||Bioeconomics of Arctic fisheries|
Vice Chancellor and
Professor of Arctic Policy, School of Natural Resources and Extension, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
|USA||University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA||Geography||-||Co-Lead Scholar|
|Ross A. Virginia|
Director, Institute of Arctic Studies and Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, Dartmouth College
|USA||Dartmouth College, USA||Env Science||-||Co-Lead Scholar|