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The Circumpolar World

George at Snæfellsjökull, Iceland, the volcano known as the starting point in Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth."

July 1, 2009

George Roth, a junior in Geography, first became interested in the Arctic last summer through a UW Exploration Seminar in Greenland. He is currently the UW’s first student enrolled in the Circumpolar Minor through the Center. He spent this last summer in Iceland.

I just returned from an independent trip around Iceland in August, exploring everywhere from cities like Reykjavik and Akureyri to the fjords, waterfalls, and lava fields that lie in between. It’s a kind of personal goal of mine, to visit and learn about as much of the Arctic as I can. It’s so isolated and beautiful, but at the same time extremely dynamic, and more often than not, its fate depends on decisions made far to the south. I’m very excited to be starting in the Bachelor in Circumpolar Studies this fall, because I believe that students with a strong, interdisciplinary background in the Arctic will become the future’s key scientific, political, and cultural links between the North and South.

George is enrolled in “Introduction to the Circumpolar World “ that introduces students to the landscape, peoples and issues of the circumpolar region and “Land and Environment I” that provides a more in-depth understanding of the lands and environments that defines the Circumpolar North, as well as the key issues involving interaction between humans and environment.

The Circumpolar Minor project has been supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

By George Roth