University of Washington

Arctic Studies Minor

A interdisciplinary minor in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington is a joint offering by the Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Oceanography, College of the Environment, in collaboration with University of the Arctic. The purpose of the Arctic Studies minor is for undergraduates to have an opportunity to gain skills relevant to addressing major science and policy issues in the Arctic.

Faculty Members & Researchers Teaching Arctic Content Courses

The following faculty members and researchers teach Arctic content courses that will be part of the Arctic minor elective offerings, and/or have proposed new courses for the minor:

Jody Deming, Walters Endowed Professor, Biological Oceanography
Jody's research interests include: Adaptations of marine microorganisms (from Bacteria, Archaea and their viruses to sea-ice algae) to life within physical support structures; cold adaptation in marine microorganisms and relevance to polar geochemistry and ecology, limits of microbial life, especially in ice, as they relate to astrobiology, biotechnology, and bioremediation; role of benthic bacteria in biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems, from coastal to deep-sea environments; hydrostatic pressure in the evolution and ecology of marine bacteria, especially at very cold (in deep-sea and polar environments) and hot (at hydrothermal vents) temperatures.
Arctic Minor Courses: OCEAN 235 Arctic Change; OCEAN 482 The Changing Arctic Ocean

Nives Dolsak, Associate Professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs; Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Nives's research examines institutional challenges in governing common pool resources at multiple levels of aggregation.
Arctic Minor Courses: SMEA 407 International Organizations & Ocean Management

Nadine C. Fabbi, Associate Director, Canadian Studies Center
Nadine's research concerns indigenous diplomacies and international relations in the Arctic as part of her doctoral program at the University of British Columbia. Nadine has travelled to Alaska, the Yukon, Churchill, Manitoba, Greenland, Iceland and Siberia. In addition to the Arctic-focused Task Force classes, she has taught on Inuit history and political mobilization at the University of Alberta and the University Centre of the Westfjords, Ísafjörður, Iceland. Her recent publications include "Inuit Political Involvement in the Arctic" (2012) in the Arctic Yearbook 2012; “Geopolitics, Arctic Council, and Arctic Resources” (2012) with V. Gallucci and D. Hellmann, in Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change; and, "Inuktut Uqausiit (Inuit languages) in Canada," (2008) written for the Arctic Indigenous Languages Symposium.
Arctic Minor Courses: proposed ARCTIC 200 Introduction to Arctic Studies: Indigenous Diplomacies & International Relations

Ben Fitzhugh, Associate Professor, Anthropology
Ben's recent research has focused on understanding late Holocene human-environmental interactions in the subarctic North Pacific Rim with an emphasis on sustainability and resilience in insular environments. This has led to an expanded interest in social networks as both adaptations to and sources of socio-environmental risk and uncertainty. The study of past socio-ecological dynamics has direct relevance to contemporary issues in the arctic and subarctic, where rapid climate/environmental change and global socio-economic pressures are increasingly forcing northern communities to balance tradition, new opportunities, and new economic and political uncertainties.
Arctic Minor Courses: ARCHY 377 Archeology of the Arctic and JSIS582/ JSIS482/ ATM586/ ESS586/ OCEAN586 Arctic as an Emerging Region

Vincent Gallucci, Chair/Director, Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Director, Center for Quantitative Sciences, College of the Environment; Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Adjunct Professor, Russia, East European and Central Asian Studies and the School for Environmental and Marine Affairs
Vince's research focus is the geopolitical dimensions of Arctic development as viewed from international actors' impact on the Arctic Council and related issues. He is also deeply involved with Arctic and sub-Arctic marine fisheries management and policy as well as endangered species protection. He has experience in Russia and published in the Russian Fisheries Science literature. He will help develop the scientific / political aspects of the Russian Federation's perspective in the Arctic debate. He has taught with a colleague a course on marine policy for over ten years. He serves on a Arctic Biodiversity Assessment team appointed by the Arctic Council helping represent diversity in both Arctic ecosystems and marine fishes. This will help establish a baseline for change that may occur due to global climatic or anthropomorphic factors.
Arctic Minor Courses: proposed ARCTIC 400 Integrating Policy and Science in Arctic Studies

Gary Hamilton, Henry M. Jackson Professor of International Studies and Associate Director of the Jackson School, with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology
Gary's primary research is on the organization of East Asian economies and the connection of these economies to the global economy. His interest in Arctic research stems from the recognition that the imminent opening of the Arctic to ocean shipping will quickly alter patterns of global trade.
Arctic Minor Courses: Gary is currently developing a new course for the minor.

Don Hellmann, Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
Don's research interests include Japanese political economy, international institutions, Pacific Rim relations, and U.S. foreign policy. Don also wrote a paper with Vincent Gallucci and Nadine Fabbi which focuses on the geopolitics of the Arctic Ocean and how it will determine the extent that the Arctic Ocean's alleged bounty of natural resources is utilized and in turn the fate of the peoples of the North and their environment. This paper reviews the role of the Arctic Council and some of its limitations.
Arctic Minor Courses: proposed ARCTIC 400 Integrating Policy and Science in Arctic Studies

Christine Ingebritsen, Director, Professor, Center for West European Studies
Christine conducts research on the position of small states in international relations. Her work seeks to explain how and why Scandinavian governments (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland) have responded differently to contemporary challenges — from a more globalized international political economy to an integrated Europe.
Arctic Minor Courses: JSIS B350/ENVIR 360/SCAND 350 Environment Norms in International Politics; POL S 437/SCAND 437 Politics in Scandinavia; SCAND 326/POL S 326 Scandinavia in World Affairs; SCAN 479/JSIS A 429 Eco-Capitalism


Kristin Laidre, Assistant Professor at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Kristin's primary research interests lie in spatial modeling of movement and spatially-explicit foraging ecology of top marine predators. She is interested in how environmental features and habitat variables manifest themselves as constraints on movement and behavior, and how these constraints differentially impact demographics of sub-populations or metapopulations of marine species. Her research is focused on exploring these relationships using satellite and archival telemetry, in combination with remotely-sensed satellite data and quantitative spatial models in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Her research also links spatial environmental fluctuation to bioenergetic models and food webs in the marine ecosystem. Much of her research is focused in the high Arctic, where both short food chains and very limited and specific production periods strongly shape the behavior of top predators.
Arctic Minor Courses: FISH 464 Arctic Marine Vertebrate Ecology

Kristy Leissle, Lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Kristy's research areas are, broadly, feminist international political economy, development studies, global trade, and sub-Saharan Africa. She also has an interest in the polar regions, like the coral reefs, one of the great barometers of the health of the environment. She's interested with what's happening in the Arctic, especially with the ice melting and how it tells us a lot about the state of the planet, and also has major effects on the state of the planet.
Arctic Minor Courses: BIS 490 Economics of Ice: Globalization & the Polar Regions

Tom Leschine,  Director and Professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs; Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of the Human Dimensions of the Environment; Adjunct Professor, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences.
Tom's research focus is environmental decision making, with an emphasis on marine pollution management and policy. He currently chairs the Marine Board of the US National Research Council, which focuses on, among other things maritime, efforts to assure safe marine transportation and oil development in the Arctic. These themes are prominent in an elective class he teaches annually at SMEA, SMEA 514, Marine Pollution. His own recent research includes risk analysis of spills from marine transportation through the Aleutian Islands, a topic on which he serves on a panel of technical experts, and an assessment of U.S. efforts to develop oil and gas reserves in offshore regions of the Arctic. He has also written about the state of international cooperation in development of the resources of the high Arctic and conducted cooperative research on behalf of the Korean government on this topic.
Arctic Minor Courses: SMEA 514 Marine Pollution Management Issues

Scott Montgomery, Lecturer, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
Scott has been teaching in the Jackson School for 11 years and was the recipient of its Student Services Award in 2014. A number of his courses have dealt directly with the Arctic and its many issues, particularly those concerning natural resources, pollution, territorial disputes, endangered native languages, and early exploration by Europeans. As a geologist with experience in the energy industry, he has written many papers and several monographs about Arctic energy resources, as well as the political conflicts over ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) in Alaska.
Arctic Minor Courses: ARCTIC 200 Introduction to Arctic Studies: Indigenous Diplomacies & International Relations

Marc Miller, Professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs 
Marc's research and teaching focuses, in part, on matters of conservation, cultural patterns, and globalization in the context of sustainable coastal and marine tourism. He is extremely interested in arctic/polar tourism issues including those having to do with ethnic tourism, tourism-fishery interactions, rural tourism, cruise ship tourism, and nature/wildlife/ecotourism.
Arctic Minor Courses: Marc teaches and conducts research in the Westfjords, Iceland.

Robert Pavia, Affiliate Associate Professor and Lecturer, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
Bob's recent research includes identifying emerging risks in marine transportation and the role of role of information during environmental disasters in the U.S. and Canadian Arctic.Bob served as Deputy Chair of the Federal Interagency Joint Analysis Group for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, conducting a comprehensive review of deep subsurface dispersed oil transport. Other work includes responding to human-caused and natural disasters, marine protected area management, and the application of observing system data.
Arctic Minor Courses: ARCTIC/HONORS/JSIS 391 Climate Change – An International Perspective: Science, Art & Activism and SMEA 514 Marine Pollution Management Issues


Margaret Willson, Affiliate Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Margaret Willson’s current research interests focus on issues relating to Arctic and Northern concerns, including fisheries, gender and small-scale communities. Specific ethnographic research includes work with Icelandic fisher women, a critique of practices and policy related to resilience in coastal communities, complexities of indigeneity in a Northern context, and a comparative analysis of the roles and concerns of rural and coastal communities of the North, particularly in Canada and Iceland. View her recent publication, “Icelandic Fisher Women's Experience: Implications, Social Change, and Fisheries Policy,” in Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, online April. Pp. 1–26. 2013.
Arctic Minor Courses: Margaret teaches a biennial study-in-Arctic course to Iceland.

Rebecca Woodgate, Associate Professor, Oceanography
Rebecca's research has a special focus on the circulation of the Arctic Ocean, interactions between sea-ice and the ocean, and the role of the polar oceans in climate. Her research concentrates on the collection and analysis of in-situ oceanographic data.
Arctic Minor Courses: OCEAN 235 Arctic Change


Arctic & International Relations
Box 353650
Thomson Hall, Room 503
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
T (206) 221-6374
F (206) 685-0668
Vincent Gallucci, Chair
Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director
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