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2013 Speakers

Dr. Steven C. Amstrup

Chief Scientist, Polar Bears International

Dr. Steven C. Amstrup is the Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International (PBI). He also is an adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Before joining PBI, Dr. Amstrup was a research wildlife biologist with the United States Geological Survey at the Alaska Science Center, Anchorage AK., where he led polar bear research in Alaska for 30 years. He earned a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Washington (1972), a M.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Idaho (1975), and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (1995). Dr. Amstrup led research on all aspects of polar bear ecology in the Beaufort Sea between 1980 and 2010. He is a past chairman of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group and has been an active member of the group for over 32 years. His interests include distribution and movement patterns as well as population dynamics of wildlife, and how information on those topics can be used to assure wise stewardship. He is particularly interested in how science can help to reconcile the ever-enlarging human footprint on our environment with the needs of other species for that same environment. Prior work experiences include studies of black bears in central Idaho, and pronghorns, and grouse in Wyoming.

Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, P.C., O.C., O.M.

President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Winnipeg

Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg, graduated in 1961 with a BA from United College (now The University of Winnipeg), and received an MA and PhD from Princeton in 1963 and 1972 respectively. Dr. Axworthy enjoyed an extended political career, spanning 27 years, six of which he served in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and twenty-one in the Federal Parliament. He held several Cabinet positions, most notably Minster of Foreign Affairs from 1996-2000 where he is known for the advancement of the human security concept.  At The University of Winnipeg, Dr. Axworthy is working to renew the campus and its downtown community with the view to making post-secondary education more accessible to inner-city, Aboriginal, new immigrant, and refugee students. He has been a board member for a number of organizations, including The MacArthur Foundation, STARS Air Ambulance, the Conference Board of Canada, Apathy is Boring – Council on Youth Electoral Engagement, and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. In 2010, he was made an honourary member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and was given an Ojibwe name - Waapshki Pinaysee Inini, which translates to White Thunderbird Man.

Robert J. Blaauw

Senior Advisor Global Arctic Theme, Shell International Exploration and Production B.V.

Robert J. Blaauw joined Shell in The Netherlands in 1980. He started in technical and operational functions and thereafter moved to commercial and general management roles in Shell operating companies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Mr. Blaauw then moved to Australia to become Shell’s General Manager Exploration and Production and Joint Venture Operations. In 2002, he relocated to Shell’s corporate headquarters in The Netherlands, where he was Business Development Manager for the Caspian, Middle East and Russia. Since 2010, he has managed Shell’s Global Arctic Theme (technical, social, environmental and communications). This includes working with strategic partners in support of Shell’s business in the Arctic and the International Oil & Gas Producers Association, where Robert chairs the Arctic Task Force, to improve global industry standards in the Arctic. Mr. Blaauw grew up in The Hague and studied at the Technical University Delft where he received an Msc. in Civil Engineering.

Mitch Bloom

Vice President, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mitch Bloom is vice president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), where he leads the agency’s policy, research and communications efforts, as well as its Northern Projects Management Office, which coordinates federal efforts around major projects across Canada’s North. Mr. Bloom has over 20 years in the Public Service of Canada, where he has held numerous positions, both in federal government central agencies and in line departments. His specializations include economic and social policy, with extensive experience in research and statistics. Over the years, Mr. Bloom has covered diverse areas such as sales tax policy, seniors and pensions, public safety, fisheries and oceans, people management and the machinery of government. He is the Co-Chair of the Arctic Council's Task Force for a Circumpolar Business Forum.

Joel Clement

Director, Office of Policy Analysis, U.S. Department of the Interior

Joel Clement is the Director of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Policy Analysis, which provides economic, scientific, and program analysis to support and promote effective decision-making and policies across the Department. Mr. Clement has a background in conservation science and environmental policy and serves as the United States co-Head of Delegation to the Arctic Council’s Ecosystem-Based Management Expert Group, U.S. Government representative to the Arctic Council’s Arctic Resilience Report, and Interior’s Principal to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. In 2012, he was appointed by the DOI Deputy Secretary to co-direct a federal interagency initiative to develop an Arctic management framework that more effectively integrates cultural, ecological, and economic objectives in the face of rapid climate change. For more information on this approach, termed Integrated Arctic Management, see:

Heather A. Conley

Senior Fellow and Director of the Europe Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies

Heather A. Conley is senior fellow and director of the Europe Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS, Ms. Conley was a senior adviser to the Center for European Policy Analysis. From 2005 to 2008, she was the executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board at the American National Red Cross. From 2001 to 2005, she served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for U.S. bilateral relations with the 15 countries of northern and central Europe. From 1994 to 2001, she was a senior associate with an international consulting firm led by former U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage. Ms. Conley began her career in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State where she served as the State Department liaison for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Global Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP). Following this assignment, she was selected to serve as special assistant to the coordinator of U.S. assistance to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Ms. Conley received her B.A. in international studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Dr. Heike Deggim

Head, Marine Technology Section, International Maritime Organization

Dr. Heike Deggim joined the International Maritime Organization in September 1993, having worked in the naval shipbuilding industry and later in various positions in the German maritime administration after graduating from Rostock University in 1983 with a degree in marine engineering, followed by a PhD.  Having been in charge of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) for several years, she later took over as Secretary of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE), which deals with matters related to ship design, hull construction, structure, machinery and electrical installations of all types of ships, vessels and craft covered by IMO instruments, as well as life-saving appliances and survey and certification.  Since 2010, Dr. Deggim has been Head of IMO’s Marine Technology Section, with overall responsibility for the sub-committees dealing with ship design and equipment (DE), stability, load lines and fishing vessels safety (SLF) and fire protection (FP).  She is also in charge of the implementation of the newly adopted goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers and the associated verification scheme.

Gail Fondahl

President, International Arctic Social Sciences Association

Gail Fondahl is President of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (2011-2014). She also represents Canada on, and serves as Vice-chair of, the Social and Human Sciences Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee. Her research has focused on the legal geographies of indigenous rights in the Russian Federation, and on resource co-management and research co-management; currently she is co-leading the second Arctic Human Development Report project. Dr. Fondahl is a Professor of Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada’s northernmost research university.

Kevin Harun

Arctic Program Director, Pacific Environment

Kevin Harun is Pacific Environment’s Arctic Program Director, based in Anchorage. He fell in love with the wilds of Alaska when he arrived as a young adult, and he has built his career working to conserve this wilderness, and the lives of the people who depend on it. Mr. Harun served for seven years as the Executive Director of the Alaska Center for the Environment, and for three years as Program Officer of forestry, oceans and Arctic programs at the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Most recently he has worked to elect Democratic candidates to the state legislature and U.S. Senate, and served as the Director of the Sustainability Department of Anchorage. Mr. Harun attended University of Alaska at Anchorage and Fairbanks, and has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard.

Henry P. Huntington

Senior Officer, International Arctic Program, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Henry P. Huntington earned his bachelor’s degree in English at Princeton University and his master’s and doctorate in Polar Studies at the University of Cambridge. He lives with his wife and two sons in Eagle River, Alaska, where he works for the Pew Charitable Trusts, and also continues work as an independent researcher. Dr. Huntington’s research activities include reviewing the regulation of subsistence hunting in northern Alaska, documenting traditional ecological knowledge of beluga whales and bowhead whales, examining Iñupiat Eskimo and Inuit knowledge and use of sea ice, and assessing the impacts of climate change on Arctic communities and on Arctic marine mammals. He has also been involved as a researcher and writer in a number of international programs and assessments, such as the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, the Program for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, and the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment. He has written many academic and popular articles, as well as three books. His conservation work has focused to date on offshore oil and gas activity, commercial fisheries in Arctic waters, and Arctic shipping. He is currently co-chair of a U.S. National Academy of Sciences committee on emerging research questions in the Arctic. Dr. Huntington has also made long trips in the Arctic by dog team, open boat, and snowmobile.

Martha McConnell

Manager, Polar Programme, IUCN

Prior to joining IUCN, Dr. Martha McConnell served as Marine Science faculty at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Dr. McConnell was also a study director for the Ocean Studies Board and Polar Research Board at the National Academy of Science and has served as a congressional fellow for Senator Lautenberg (NJ) focusing on ocean acidification legislation. She has spent time teaching on sailing school vessels at the Sea Education Association, Inc., and participated in two fields seasons in Antarctica for aerogeophysical research projects. Dr. McConnell holds a BA in geology from Colgate University and a MS and PhD in paleoceanography/paleoclimatology from the University of South Carolina. 

Dr. Hans Meltofte

Chief Scientist, Arctic Biodiversity Assessment

Dr. Hans Meltofte was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1946.  Since childhood, nature, birds, people, and travelling were his main interests. Originally trained as a radio technician and meteorological assistant, he worked at weather stations in NE Greenland for several years. This was followed by more than 35 expeditions and travels to the Arctic and five travels to the Antarctic. Since 1973, he has worked as a freelance ornithologist. He has volunteered at a number of NGOs including positions as board member of the Danish Ornithological Society and Wetlands International and earned a doctor of science degree from the University of Copenhagen in 1994 on a thesis analyzing Western Palearctic/African shorebird migration strategies. Dr. Meltofte was a driving force behind the establishment of the Zackenberg Research Station in NE Greenland in 1995, where he worked for 11 seasons as head of the biological monitoring program. He currently works in the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University, Denmark, primarily with research in Arctic ecology and waterbird biology. Dr. Meltofte has authored or co-authored about 600 scientific and popular articles/reports and produced 15 books. Privately and professionally, he has visited more than 100 states on all continents.

Lev Neretin

Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility

Dr. Lev Neretin is a Programme Officer in the Secretariat of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) based in Washington, DC. STAP is hosted by UNEP and plays an important role in identifying and proposing the course of action on scientific and technology issues for the entire GEF partnership. He manages the Secretariat’s work related to climate change and transboundary water cooperation. His special interests relate to the inter-linkages between GEF’s focal areas, particularly the connection between ecosystem resilience and climate change, international water security, and global change in the polar regions. Before joining UNEP, Dr.Neretin worked as Task Manager for GEF projects in the Russian Federation and as Biodiversity Expert of the Caspian Environment Programme in Iran. Earlier he was a Scientist with the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Germany, where he studied biogeochemical cycles in the ocean and microbial life in the deep subsurface, as well as led several research projects. He has received a Ph.D. degree in Oceanography from the Russian Academy of Sciences and M.A. degree in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Mark Nuttall

Professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair of Anthropology, University of Alberta; Professor of Climate and Society, University of Greenland

Mark Nuttall is Professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. He is also Professor of Climate and Society at the University of Greenland and Greenland Climate Research Centre, where he directs the Climate and Society Research Group. He was previously Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Oulu in Finland. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2008, is a member of the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research, and is Arctic Regional Editor of The Polar Journal. He was a lead author and steering committee member of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and is a lead author and steering committee member of the Arctic Resilience Report. He has carried out extensive anthropological research in Greenland, Scotland, Alaska, Canada, and Finland. His work focuses on the social, cultural, and political dimensions of climate change and Arctic energy issues. In particular, he works on oil, gas, and mining development in Greenland and Canada, and he has research interests in Fennoscandia and the Barents region. His research focuses on social and environmental aspects of extractive industries, the political ecology of pipelines, decision-making processes and public participation, regulatory procedures, the politics of Arctic energy, local energy practices, and the place of the Arctic within the context of globalised energy futures.

Dr. David J. Scott

Executive Director, Canadian Polar Commission

Dr. Scott joined the Canadian Polar Commission in March 2012. He has had a long career with the Geological Survey of Canada, most recently serving as Director, Northern Canada Division.  Prior to that, he was acting Director General, Planning and Operations Branch, and led the GSC's Gas Hydrates and Northern Resources Development programs. From 1999-2003, he was based in Iqaluit, Nunavut, as the founding Chief Geologist of the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office.  Dr. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology (McMaster Universit, Hamilton, Canada) and a PhD in Geological Sciences (Queen's University, Kingston, Canada) where his thesis research investigated the tectonic origin of two-billion year old oceanic crust in Arctic Quebec. He was a Research Associate in uranium-lead geochronology at the GEOTOP laboratories of the University of Quebec at Montreal.

Whit Sheard

Pacific Counsel and Senior Advisor, Oceana

Whit Sheard is Pacific Counsel and Senior Advisor to Oceana.  Prior to joining the Oceana staff, Mr. Sheard spent the last fifteen years working to protect the Arctic Ocean, advocating for wolf reintroduction in the Pacific Northwest, protecting old growth forests, establishing marine protected areas in Alaska, teaching Environmental Studies and litigating grassroots environmental and civil rights cases. Additionally, he served on the International Bering Sea Forum, researching the legality of Russian Far East log imports, and authoring the Alaska portion of "Hook, Line, and Trawler."  Mr. Sheard is also currently a board member and the Executive Vice President of the Circumpolar Conservation Union and serves as the conservation representative on the Aleutian Islands Shipping Risk Assessment Advisory Panel.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Miami University and both a Juris Doctorate and Master’s of Science from the University of Oregon.