In March 2022, fourteen members of the collaborating team, the three PI’s and a research assistant for a Navigating the New Arctic grant met on zoom to begin discussions on the project, “Co-Designing Civic Education for the Circumpolar North.”
In the workshop three questions were discussed concerning civic education: how do we define Arctic civic education; what unique aspects of the Arctic need to be considered in designing civic education for the region; and is “civic” education the right term for describing educational programs that support collaboration and leadership in addressing Arctic challenges?” The team engaged in a rich discussion over the course of the two-hour workshop.
The collaborators included UW faculty, a faculty member from University of North Dakota, an Iñupiaq conservation biologist from Greenland, the CEO of Fulbright Canada and Executive Director of Fulbright Norway, the Director of Education with the Nunatsiavut Government Department of Education and Economic Development and for Education at the Alaska Pacific University, and members of the Laera Institute for Circumpolar Education representing the University of Northern British Columbia, Trent University and Norwich School in the UK.
This project is part of the National Science Foundation program Navigating the New Arctic (NNA). NNA embodies an important forward-looking response by the Foundation to profound challenges in the Arctic as a result of warming temperatures. The planning project was awarded $300,000 (2021-2023) to identify key elements of Arctic civic education, to determine how educational programs can be developed with an Arctic-centered approach, and to explore how distance education can be designed and implemented to connect students from Arctic and non-Arctic regions.
Jason Young, UW’s Information School is PI on the grant; Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center and Michelle Koutnik, UW’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences are co-PIs; and Kayla Stevenson, an MA student in the School of Marine and Environment Affairs (SMEA) and Jackson School of International Studies, is working as a research assistant on the project. This spring quarter Chase Fuentes, an MA student in SMEA, will also join as a research assistant.