University of Washington

November 2013 Report

Dear Friends,
Canada took over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council this year. Marking Canada’s leadership role, the Center was involved in several events in October focused on the Arctic. The Canada Fulbright Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies, Tony Penikett, gave an engaging presentation at the Canadian Consulate focused on the security interests of Arctic indigenous peoples. The Center also co-hosted a visit by Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, who gave a talk entitled, The Emerging Arctic. Dean Graumlich, College of the Environment, opened the event using the opportunity to announce the UW-wide Future of Ice initiative. The Center is a proud partner in this initiative. Finally, please join Vince and me in welcoming our Visiting Québec Scholar, Thierry Giasson, l’Université Laval. Thierry will give a talk on the Québec student protests of 2012 on November 26th at the University Club. Please join us at 4:00 for a reception and to meet Thierry! – Nadine and Vince

Canadian Studies Center, November 2013 Report
Inaugural Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies speaks at Canadian Consulate
by Kristina Bowman

From left, Vincent Gallucci, Chair, Canadian Studies; Resat Kasaba, Director, Jackson School; Jeff Riedinger, Vice Provost, Global Affairs; Tony Penikett, Fulbright Arctic Chair; Judy Howard, Divisional Dean, Social Sciences; Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director, Canadian Studies.

The Canadian Consulate in Seattle was at capacity on Oct. 24 for Vancouver-based Tony Penikett’s talk on “Where is the Arctic, who lives there, what are their security interests.” Penikett is the inaugural Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington.

The talk coincided with the proposed University of Washington’s Arctic minor (, an interdisciplinary program to be housed in the Canadian Studies Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Oceanography, College of the Environment, in collaboration with the University of the Arctic.

Posted around the room were maps of the Earth with the North Pole situated in the center. From this point of view it becomes apparent why the Arctic Council of international stakeholders has formed to collaborate on issues such as food security, land claims, and conservation. The Arctic Council is composed of eight member countries and six indigenous groups with permanent participant status.

For his talk, Penikett focused on Alaska and Canada’s northern territories.

The United States and Canada have historically approached the Arctic in different ways, Penikett said. For example, the U.S. has focused on national security and Arctic stewardship whereas Canada has focused on Arctic sovereignty. Penikett noted that Canada has put more of its resources toward forming communities instead of bolstering defense forces.

For Canada, where indigenous peoples make up half the population in Arctic regions, major concerns include food insecurity, health and education. For the Inuit, who live mostly above the tree line in Canada, 10.8 percent are food insecure. Climate change and ice melt are likely to make it increasingly difficult for the Inuit to hunt and fish for subsistence. In the Yukon, where commercial hunting and fishing used to be given first priority, subsistence users now have the first claim, followed by recreational users, and finally commercial users, Penikett said.

The health of people living in the Arctic is a concern. Suicide rates are high, especially for ages 15-24. Penikett referred to studies that found more self-government protects against suicide and pointed to indigenous groups who are finding new ways to educate their children.

Tony Penikett's presentation at the Canadian Consulate. 

The education of indigenous people in the Arctic region has a dark history. From the late-1800s into the early 1900s, the United States and Canada both forced indigenous children to attend residential boarding schools away from their families and traditions. Today, the concept of residential schools has seen a resurgence, but with a major difference: the schools are run by the indigenous communities they serve. In 1989, Mt. Edgecumbe in Sitka, Alaska, opened as a boarding school for rural high school students. Most students attend college after graduating. The school keeps students connected to Alaska Native traditions and students can return home on weekends, Penikett said.

Many areas of the Arctic are desirable to oil companies. One controversial location for potential drilling is the range of the Porcupine caribou in Alaska and Canada. The animal is the primary sustenance for the Gwich’in indigenous people, and there is uncertainty about the effects of drilling on the herd’s population.

Penikett said that as more sea ice melts and new channels of transportation open up in the Arctic, it is likely to increase tensions regarding unsettled land claims, including the Beaufort Sea, located north of Alaska and Canada.

Vincent Gallucci, director of the Canadian Studies Center, praised Penikett for sharing his insights on the Arctic and said the lecture will become an annual event. “It’s important to study these issues in an interdisciplinary fashion,” he said.

About the Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies

The Arctic Chair position - the first in the nation - is for Canadian scholars, scientists, practitioners or community/political leaders to conduct research at the University of Washington, teach the new ARCTIC 401 course for the Arctic minor, present a public lecture on the Arctic, and engage with UW colleagues on various Arctic initiatives. The application deadline for the 2014-15 academic year is Nov. 15, 2013. Apply:

The UW Canada Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies is sponsored by the UW Office of Global Affairs; Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Social Sciences Division, College of Arts and Sciences; College of the Environment; and, the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States. The Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, serves as the hosting unit for the Canada Fulbright Chair.

The event was hosted by the Canadian Consulate General, Seattle and the Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

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Canadian Studies Center, November 2013 Report
Welcome Thierry Giasson, Québec Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington!

Thierry arrived in October and will be visiting the Canadian Studies Center for two months. He will dedicate the time to framing the study of online political behaviors in Québec and Canada. He will be working on two projects during his stay here at the University.

The first project looks at how political parties in Québec and France campaigned online during their last legislative and presidential elections (respectively) in 2012. He will be working on two articles while in Seattle. The first will be a paper version of a talk he gave in Stockholm in September on social media use within online campaign strategies. The second deals with online users's demands, expectations and evaluations of what parties provide online during elections. Thierry will also travel to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to give a talk on this project in the Communication Department at the invitation of Professor Dhavan Shah. He will also be drafting two panel proposals on online campaigns for the International Political Science Association's meeting in Montréal in July 2014. This comparative project will end next year with the production of a book dedicated to these two election campaigns.

The second project investigates online citizenship in Canada. Thierry looks at how Canadians use online technologies to engage politically and experience their citizenship. The study will be carried over the next 4 years (2013-2017) and Thierry will be working with his colleagues on their first phone survey which should go in the field around this November. A short visit to the University of Phoenix, at the invitation of Professor Karen Mossberger, is also planned for Thierry.

Thierry Giasson is Associate Professor in the Information and Communication Department of the Université Laval in Quebec City. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Montreal. Mr. Giasson is the principal investigator of the research group in political communication (GPCR) from Laval University. He is also an associate researcher at the Institute of Information Technology and Society (ITIS) at Laval University and the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC) from McGill University.

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Canadian Studies Center, November 2013 Report
Arctic Studies Interdisciplinary Minor featured in Perspectives

The Arctic Studies minor builds from the foundation laid by the Task Force on Arctic Affair. Michael Brown and Nicolas van Tulder in the 2013 Task Force in Québec City, Canada.

The UW College of Arts and Sciences newsletter, Perspectives, just did a story on unique interdisciplinary minors at the UW. The Center's proposed Arctic Studies minor, an interdisciplinary minor with School of Oceanography, is one of the minors featured in this story. Read article here ...

Arctic & International Relations is a Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS)-wide initiative, led by the Canadian Studies Center since 2008, to address the Arctic as an emerging global region and actor on the world stage. JSIS and the Center are working in partnership with a parallel initiative, Future of Ice – a College of the Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, and Applied Physics Laboratory initiative – to enhance the University of Washington’s (UW) profile in research, education and public engagement about the polar regions.  





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Canadian Studies Center, November 2013 Report
Valuing killer whales, Chinook salmon and the ecosystem services they provide to people in the Puget Sound Region

Participants of the 2013 Transboundary Workshop with Rob Williams, center-front and scientist, Erin Ashe, right-front. 

Rob Williams, former Canada Fulbright Chair 2009-2010, conducted the workshop, "Transboundary (Canada-US) Puget Sound/Salish Sea Region Workshop: Valuing Killer Whales, Chinook Salmon & the Ecosystem Services they Provide," at the University of Washington, which brought together industry stakeholders to volunteer a day of their time to share commercially sensitive information about the economic value of their industries, and help academics at UW and UBC to develop ecological and economic models to strike a balance between economic growth and sustainable use of killer whales and wild salmon. Whalewatching, salmon fisheries, and the tourism sector are very important contributors to the economy in the transboundary (Canada-US) Puget Sound/Salish Sea region. Canada and the US share responsibility for conserving the critically endangered southern resident killer whale population. The workshop made an important contribution to wildlife conservation and sustainable development of fishing and tourism sectors for both Canada and the US.

It would be hard to find more iconic species in the Salish Sea than killer whales and their primary prey, Chinook salmon. These two species are ecologically important indicators of the health of the transboundary waters between Washington state and British Columbia. But the species are also tremendous contributors to the economies of the region. They support economically valuable industries, including fishing and whalewatching, and are major drivers of broader recreational and tourism activities to people living in the region. These economic and ecological systems are connected. The more salmon we have, the better off the whales are, but the more human activity in the region, the more underwater noise is produced and the harder it is for the whales to find fish. Currently, the southern resident killer whale population is listed as Endangered by both the US and Canada, and limited availability of Chinook salmon is a major threat to the whales’ recovery. With a grant from the Puget Sound Institute, Dr Rob Williams (our 2009-10 Canada-US Fulbright Research Chair) hosted an interdisciplinary workshop at the Jackson School to explore the social and economic aspects of killer whale conservation, sustainable ecotourism, and wise use of salmon in the form of recreational, commercial and tribal fisheries.

Rob’s co-investigators include Erin Ashe, a PhD student at the University of St Andrews, and Andres Cisneros and Professor Rashid Sumaila, who are fisheries economists at University of British Columbia. The workshop brought together representatives from the tourism and fishing sectors, economists, sociologists, salmon biologists and managers from NOAA. The aim of the project is to understand and quantify the services that killer whales and salmon provide to the economies of both Canada and the US. In the process of building economic and ecological models, the team plans to make their software available as free, open-source tools, so that researchers in other parts of the world can better quantify economic value of wildlife and benefits of conservation.

Rob noted that his tenure as Fulbright Chair in Canadian Studies was central the main impetus for this work. His 2009-10 work considered transboundary issues in marine conservation and management, using ocean noise and ecosystem-based fisheries management as case studies.  

Dr. Rob Williams is a Canadian marine conservation biologist who conducts applied conservation research projects on a number of marine mammal populations around the world. Rob’s work addresses two broad themes: estimating wildlife abundance and distribution; and assessing impacts of human activities on behaviour and energetics of marine mammals. Although he works primarily in British Columbia, he has studied river dolphins in the Amazon, minke whales in the Antarctic, and blue whales in Patagonia. Most recently, he was a Marie Curie research fellow with the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews, where he modelled the population-level effects of ocean noise on fin, humpback and killer whales. He was the 2009-10 Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies.

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Canadian Studies Center, November 2013 Report
Canadian Studies Plays a Key Role in the UW Future of Ice Initiative

The Canadian Studies Center is part of a university-wide initiative to advance teaching and research on the Arctic region. The Future of Ice Initiative was just announced by Dean Graumlich from College of the Environment. Read the letter here ...






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Canadian Studies Center, November 2013 Report
Task Force Student Wins National Award for Research Paper on Québec's Arctic Policies

Nicholas with Luc Ferland, Member of Parliament for Ungava, Parti Québécois, Chair of the Committee on Institutions and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources (Northern Affairs file). Nicholas served as Monsieur Ferland's host during our Task Force research trip to Québec City (Québec City, January 2013).

Nicolas Van Tulder, International Studies major, was just awarded the Martin Lubin Undergraduate Award in the Social Sciences for his paper on Québec Arctic policy. He is the first recipient of this new award. 

Van Tulder’s research paper, Le Québec Total: Creating a Unifying Vision for Northern Development (Un Plan Pour Tous) argues for the creation of a new vision for northern development in Québec based an understanding of Québec that includes both regions. Van Tulder compares the northern strategies of both the Government of Québec and the Inuit in Nunavik to define the diverging agendas of these two regions. He uses the work of renowned Québec geographer, Louis-Edmond Hamelin, to point out that Québec’s identity is indeed split with the south seeing itself as distinct from the indigenous north. Van Tulder uses the concept put forward by Premier Marois – un plan pour tous – to argue that Québec Arctic strategy must take into account the northern perspectives of the Nunavimmiut. The research paper was part of the course requirements for JSIS 495 Arctic Securities co-taught in Winter Quarter 2013 by N. Fabbi and J. Plouffe.

Van Tulder will be awarded on Friday, November 22, 7:00pm—9:00pm (Grand Salon E) at the biennial meeting of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.

Read his paper here

Task Force is the capstone course for the International Studies major. The first Task Force on Arctic Canada was offered in 2009. In Winter Quarter 2013, the Arctic Canada Task Force, "Arctic Securities," focused on Québec’s role in the Arctic and received significant funding from the Government of Québec.

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Robyn Davis, FLAS Coordinator, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, at the Study Abroad Fair FLAS booth (10/13).

Victoria Choe, Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty (2011) with Roberta Burns and Michael Young with the Office of Ocean & Polar Affairs in Washington, DC. (10/13)

Rob Williams, former Canada Fulbright Chair 2009-2010, and his wife Erin Ashe lead "Transboundary (Canada-US) Puget Sound/Salish Sea Region Workshop: Valuing Killer Whales, Chinook Salmon & the Ecosystem Services they Provide." (09/13)


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