Arctic Minor Courses – 2021-2022

The following courses are required courses for the Arctic Studies minor or fulfill elective requirements. This page will be updated as course offerings become available. For questions on courses, contact the Canadian Studies Center at


ARCTIC 200: Indigenous Diplomacies and International Relations in the Arctic  **(3 cr.), T 2:30-5:20 p.m., Jason Young, Senior Research Scientist, UW Information School

This course introduces students to international relations in the Arctic, with an emphasis on understanding IR from the perspective of the region’s Indigenous peoples. Students will study dramatic environmental, economic, and social transformations in the Arctic; learn about emerging geopolitical issues; explore Indigenous perspectives on international relations in the Arctic; and challenge themselves to understand international frameworks through the lens of Indigenous knowledge systems.

ARCTIC 498: Conversational Inuktitut **(3 cr.), M/Th, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Alexina Kublu, former Languages Commission of Nunavut, Canada

This course will expand students’ knowledge of Inuktitut in the four areas of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will continue with Dialectology, finishing the tour of the Canadian dialects. Students will keep a journal in Inuktitut to help them use the language meaningfully. At the end of the course, students should be able to recognize different Canadian dialects, write on a range of subjects, be able to express their opinion in Inuktitut, and be able to hold conversations with native speakers.

OCEAN 497 E / OCEAN 506 E: Ocean Memory (3 cr.) T/Th, 3:30-4:50 p.m. Jody Deming, Karl M. Banse Endowed Professor, School of Oceanography

In this course, students will explore multidisciplinary aspects of the emerging line of inquiry called “ocean memory”, which has as its broadest goal to serve society by heightening human connectivity to the ocean through the immediately understandable concept of memory.  Human forms of memory — short-term, long-term, collective and cultural, can be applied to virtually every scientific discipline within oceanography, as can the triggering or priming of memory and the ultimate loss of memory.  Students will explore each of these aspects, both metaphorically and in scientific depth, with an expectation that new concepts and practices, not yet envisioned, will emerge from our collective immersion in this subject.


ARCTIC 498: Conversational Inuktitut **(3 cr.), M/Th, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Alexina Kublu, former Languages Commission of Nunavut, Canada

The second course in the fourth-year Inuktitut language sequence.


ARCTIC 498: Conversational Inuktitut **(3 cr.), M/Th, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Alexina Kublu, former Languages Commission of Nunavut, Canada

The third course in the fourth-year Inuktitut language sequence.

ARCTIC 391/JSIS B 391/HONORS 391: Climate Change: An International Perspective: Science, Art, and Activism (5 cr.), T/Th 12:30-2:20pm, Robert Pavia, UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

This course explores the science of climate change in the context of social and political constraints. It further explores the role of art and activism in communicating climate impacts and mitigation options. Students will gain knowledge of key atmospheric and ocean science principles along with developing a greater understanding of contemporary issues in the context of Arctic nations and peoples. Students will develop skills for critically evaluating the popular portrayal of scientific concepts and their role in policy debates.

ARCTIC 401: Current Issues in the Arctic: Decolonizing Knowledge for Health Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: Health and Wellbeing in Arctic Indigenous Communities (3 cr.), M/W 2:30-4:20pm, Tram Nguyen, 2022 UW Canada Fulbright Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies

This course provides an exciting new opportunity for students to ‘meet’ and engage in interactive discussions (via Zoom) with six Arctic Indigenous practitioners from the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic. Students will gain exposure and understanding of current issues and challenges facing Arctic Indigenous communities by directly connecting with Indigenous practitioners and thinkers in various health-related fields (disability research, mental health and wellbeing, stroke rehabilitation, etc.).

ARCTIC 498/SCAND 490: Literatures of the Arctic: Unsettling Encounters and Cultures of Resilience (5 cr.), M/W 12:30-2:20pm, Andy Meyer, Scandinavian Studies

This course will serve as a study of the way both Arctic communities and outsiders, Indigenous cultures and colonial cultures, have represented the Far North in their literatures. With an origin in the Scandinavian Arctic, students will study primary and secondary texts from a range of perspectives across the circumpolar North. Texts and films in the course will be drawn from Sámi, Norwegian, Inuit, and colonial North American traditions, including Sámi artists Nils-Aslak Valkeapää and Nils Gaup, Norwegian explorer and scientist Fridtjof Nansen, Grenlandic-Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen, Inuit artists Zacharias Kunuk, Zebedee Nungak, Tanya Tagaq, and others. The course will consider the various ways Arctic literatures engage issues like environmental health, colonialism, and cultural identity, resilience, and imagination.

HONORS 222 /ESS 490F: Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Science and Society in a Changing Climate (5 cr.), Th 10:30am-1:20pm, Michelle Koutnik, College of the Environment

In this course students will read and think about Arctic and Antarctic ice loss due to climate change and then distill these scientific articles, reports, films, or books into pieces of writing for non-scientists. This is a critical practice for scientists, but also for anyone who wants to write for the public and communicate broadly. Effective communication of science is vital to society. We all need to understand the implications of declines in snowpack, coastal erosion, Arctic sea-ice loss, Greenland ice melting and instability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The goal of this course is for students to gain experience writing in styles read by the public and on scientific topics that matter to everyone. Following the model of the Calderwood seminars, students will read, write, edit, and share perspectives about ice and climate change.


**This course is sponsored by the Canadian Studies Center and Center for Global Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies with Title VI grant funding administered by the International and Foreign Language Education office in the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.