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International Policy Institute Fellows Engage In First-Ever “One Arctic” Conference

May 31, 2016

International Policy Institute (IPI) Arctic Fellows at the Arctic and International Relations Institute in Washington DC, April 2016. From left, Jason Young, doctoral candidate, Geography; Jordan Habenicht, BA student, International Studies; Kira Siebert, Master’s in Applied International Studies (MAAIS); Moh Kilani, MAAIS; Dr. Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center (IPI Advisor); Rachel Freeman, MA student, Marine and Environmental Affairs; Brandon Ray, MA student, International Studies; and Jae-Kwon Park, MA student, International Studies.

A group of University of Washington and Jackson School undergraduate and graduate students who also serve as International Policy Institute Fellows recently discussed policy in the “other Washington” in a first-ever workshop to explore the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council from the perspective of the “One Arctic” agenda.

“I can easily say that participation in the Arctic and International Relations Institute [One Arctic Workshop] has been one of the most exciting opportunities of my graduate experience. No other event has given me such direct contact with the great visionaries of Arctic research and policy,” said Jason Young, a Ph.D. candidate in geography at UW. “The event was also a wonderful opportunity to build community with other UW graduate students and faculty studying policy and social issues in the Arctic. This is a rich and interdisciplinary community of scholars that will enrich the UW’s leadership on Arctic issues.”

Held at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. over two days in late April, the One Arctic Workshop was co-hosted by the Jackson School of International Studies, the New York-based World Policy Institute and Trent University.

Toward Arctic Futures is a 30-minute film featuring the insights of four of the workshop’s speakers. The video offers insights into the challenges that lay ahead for the people living in the Arctic, and what Arctic change means for the rest of the world.

Rosemarie Kuptana, former president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and Jim Gamble, executive director of Aleut International Association, offer indigenous perspectives. They are followed in conversation with Susan Harper, Canada’s Senior Arctic Official at the Arctic Council, and David Kennedy, Senior Arctic Advisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This film was made possible by funding from the Jackson School’s International Policy Institute.

The Canadian Studies Center at the Jackson School also served as co-chair of the event that brought Arctic experts, academics, policymakers, and representatives from indigenous communities together to engage on urgent issues of the Arctic, from climate change to economic development.

Trent University’s Heather Nicol, conference co-chair, is also the 2015-16 Canada Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington.

The following students participated in a 2-credit spring course “One Arctic: The US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council” that prepared them for the workshop in D.C. and set the theme for their policy papers:

  • Jordan Habenicht, B.A. International Studies, who also joined the 2016 Task Force on the Arctic that went to Ottawa, Canada
  • Moh Kilani, M.A. in Applied International Studies (MAAIS)
  • Kira Siebert, MAAIS
  • Brandon Ray, M.A. in International Studies and Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellow (Russian)
  • Jae-Kwon, M.A. in International Studies
  • Jason Young, Geography Doctoral Candidate affiliated with the Canadian Studies Center (FLAS Fellow in Inuktitut)
  • Rachel Freeman, M.A. in Marine Affairs and FLAS Fellow (French)

Their policy papers about the Arctic Council in international relations will be part the outcome of the conference.


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This publication was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.