The Center welcomes Scott Montgomery, Jackson School of International Studies, to the Arctic Studies faculty. His first course, ARCTIC 200, filled to capacity with an enrollment of 50 undergraduate students.
The Arctic has emerged in the 21st century as one of the most dynamic and unique regions in global geopolitics. Roughly the size of Africa, this huge area is at once ancient in the imagination of humanity yet vitally new today. With the Cold War now more than two decades in the past, the Arctic region raises the curtain on issues of sovereignty, natural resource use, climate science and impacts, and the role of indigenous peoples in international relations. With a population of only 4 million, 10% of whom are native to the region, the Arctic is nonetheless a focus of enormous interest. At the center of such interest is growing access to a vast, but still largely unexplored abundance of natural resources—“opened,” as the term goes, by the impacts of climate change. No less important is the creation of major new trade routes with the long-term promise of expanding and also rearranging the worldwide transport of goods. In the imagination of today, the “new Mediterranean,” as the Arctic was once titled, is anything but a distant, frozen, world. It has instead become a laboratory of the global future.
Scott L. Montgomery 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. He is excited to be teaching the Arctic 200 course this fall and intends to make it a mind-altering experience for students.
The 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. Students interested in registering for the Arctic Minor should contact Joni Marts. For more on the Arctic Minor, click here.