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Fellows 2014

Elizabeth Tedsen

Director, Ecologic Institute US

Elizabeth Tedsen is a Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute with a background in environmental law and policy. Elizabeth has developed and coordinated the Arctic Summer College program since 2012. She edited and wrote chapters for the book Arctic Marine Governance: Opportunities for Transatlantic Cooperation, examining existing governance structures in the marine Arctic and considering  how policy frameworks can adapt to address new challenges in the region. She also led Ecologic Institute's work on the project Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of Development of the Arctic, an initiative aiming to facilitate a two-way exchange of information between the European Union and stakeholders in the Arctic. Elizabeth coordinated Ecologic Institute's Arctic program from 2012 until 2015.


Alyson Azzara
Marine Researcher, International Council on Clean Transportation
I am interested in the Arctic Summer College as a way to advance my understanding of the legal and political history of Arctic issues and the developing policy conversation on them. I have been actively engaged in policy research related to Arctic marine transportation and infrastructure since 2012. In that time, my perspective has shifted from a primarily US-centric one to an international view. The Arctic region is undergoing a transformation in real time and as such requires cooperation and data sharing to facilitate cross-nation and stakeholder planning. I am excited to connect with forward-thinking professionals who are now, and will continue to be, my contemporaries in fields of Arctic research, science, and policy.


Coco Smit

Environmental & Social Policy Consultant, Royal HaskoningDHV

The Netherlands

Over the past years I have studied the governance of oil, gas and mining activities in Greenland and the wider Arctic. Sustainability, cooperation and environmental protection are hot topics when it comes to governance in the Arctic. The biggest challenge is to find a balance between the development of industrial activities and the environment. A tool to enable a constructive dialogue and informed decision making is a strategic environmental assessment. This would not only provide a comprehensive overview of all the regulatory frameworks and policy networks, but would also be a tool to determine the optimum locations for the development of certain (industrial) activities. The Arctic Summer College is a unique opportunity to learn more about recent developments in the Arctic and create a network with other emerging professionals from various sectors including knowledge institutes, governments and companies.


Cornelius Eich

M.A. Political Science University of Heidelberg, Ecologic Institute

USA, Germany

Arctic Cooperation is based on common goals and agreements about what the Arctic Region is supposed to be in the future. I personally see a big window of opportunity to improve cooperation among the Arctic states because of their common interests. The only way to prepare the ground for long-term and stable Governance is to highlight these common goals through fact-oriented communication processes and active cooperation on the local level.


Dayanita Ramesh

Arctic Climate Change Emerging Leaders Fellow, The Atlantic Council

M.A. International Relations and Economics, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)


The Arctic is a frontier, much like the former American West, but should avoid the same rapid and corrupt development. We need strong, democratic, multilateral and environmentally minded government structures that will prevent the undo influences of the loudest voices and amplify those voices that are the quietest and most honest. The Arctic can be a model of cooperation and collaboration if all voices are listened to.


Don Logan

Emergency Management Specialist, National Energy Board


In his capacity as a Conservation Officer under the  Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, Don has traveled to remote locations in the North to verify environmental compliance and has led the Environmental Assessment of several major oil and gas projects.  Through this experience, he has observed that network coordination and capacity development at each level of decision making is critical to sustainable and cooperative Arctic governance.  As resources are often limited in the Arctic, developing functional international relationships is a key way to do more with less.


Dorothea Wehrmann

M.A. Bielefeld University


In my Phd-thesis, I am examining the growing interrelations between pivotal political actors in the Arctic and Antarctic regions and focusing particularly on environmental policy-formulation processes as I wish to find out about the involved stake- and rights-holders in addition to the measures they take to exert influence. Against this backdrop, I am very much looking forward to participating at the Arctic Summer College which provides the great opportunity to discuss current developments in the Arctic and research approaches with professionals who do not exclusively belong to the academic “ivory tower” but also have an insight into how our ideas and the lenses that we use to understand processes work in practice.


Eleonora Milazzo

ACCEL Fellow, Ecologic Institute

Italy, Germany

The Arctic is going to face transboundary challenges connected to climate change. The opening of navigation in the Northern Sea Route and the prospect of commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean call for improved legal regulation. The potential of this region and its fragile ecosystem must be preserved by combining a strong leadership of the Arctic Council with enhanced international cooperation. As a young researcher, I see the Arctic Summer College as a unique opportunity to gain new perspectives on Arctic governance and sustainability.


Emmy Stavøstrand Neuls

International Project Officer, International Centre for Northern Governance and Development, University of Saskatchewan

Norway, Canada

Northern communities have reflected uttermost resilience to dramatic environmental and societal changes over the past decade. With new economic opportunities being pursued in the North, the potential of further transformations are for some terrifying while for others a glimmer of hope for regional economic independence. Decision and policy-makers are left with the difficult balancing act between opportunities for growth and ensuring future sustainability. The key to this balancing act will be to embrace knowledge creation and to facilitate dialogues between communities within the region regarding lessons learned. It will be crucial for decision-makers to foster a collaborative environment susceptible for new thinking and innovative solutions.


Erica Dingman

Associate Fellow and Director of Arctic in Context, World Policy Institute

USA, Canada

At a time when it is abundantly clear that extractive industrial concerns have an eye on the Arctic, it is critical that those interests do not undermine the need for sustainable practices and measured development that puts environmental sustainability before profit. To promote environmentally sustainable practices, knowledge sharing inclusive of Arctic indigenous peoples is essential to establishing creative solutions toward driving policy.


Eva Berckmans

Potential PhD Student

After assisting with Arctic projects at GRID-Arendal's Polar Centre for ten months between 2012 and 2013, I feel drawn back to Arctic issues and would love to continue my career by studying various aspects in-depth. Thus, I am planning to write a PhD regarding Arctic governance, namely through the Arctic Council and the Council's geopolitical importance in international relations governing the Arctic. The relevance of this summer school for my career lies in immersing myself again into the complex Arctic realm, learning the most recent developments in Arctic issues by talking to other professionals about these and gaining personal insights.
Falk Huettmann

Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)

USA, Germany

The current status of Global Change and Biodiversity is primarily a crisis of governance. Most globalization experts agree that current governance systems are outdated and that new and better ones are to be found regardless. Before it is too late, hopefully we can at least have a soft landing, instead of a hard crash.


Katherine Weingartner

Congress-Bundestag for Young Professionals (CBYX) Fellow, Ecologic Institute

USA, Germany

The opening of the Arctic passage and its repercussions for security, the environment, politics and economics will mark what happens in the Arctic in the coming years as an international focal point. It is of the utmost importance that a long-term strategic vision is at the core of Arctic planning which utilizes the expertise of various nations and disciplines. The Arctic Summer College provides exactly this interdisciplinary network to address the emerging and complicated issues affecting the Arctic in the present and the challenges these will bring in the future. I intend to use the knowledge gained in this course as a springboard to become more immersed in this topic which I feel I simply must know more about in my pursuit of a career in environmental security.


Linda Jabs

Air Implementation Program Coordinator


I firmly believe that both traditional land use and ecological knowledge must be used in setting policy and legislation and  decision-makers must be fully informed when they are making decisions. Policy decisions have to be made based on sound scientific information and indigenous peoples can contribute to the scientific information through many generations of observation and understanding of the natural world. The corollary of that is to let the indigenous peoples know how and when their knowledge will be used and close the loop with them.  Quite often when indigenous peoples work with researchers, their knowledge is captured and yet they are unaware as to how it was captured in the report or findings and have not had the opportunity to review the document to ensure the information they gave was captured accurately. At the same time, policy makers and researchers need to develop a means to put a value on loss of culture for indigenous peoples – whether they are in the Arctic or elsewhere. 


Nadezhda Filimonova

International Relations Specialist, Russian State Hydrometeorological University


At a time of ongoing transformation of international political order, one should not separate the Arctic region from general internal and external actions of Arctic states and non-Arctic states, expressing an interest in the region. The Arctic region encompassing a whole spectrum of various issues, including geopolitical, economic, military, environmental and legal, and hence, could represent a basis for cooperation building at a time of political tension existing in the international arena. To set up a platform for cooperation, there is a strong need to work out, based on the existing institutional and legal frameworks, a governance regime for the Arctic region. It should be based on the interests of both sides (Arctic and non-Arctic states) and should be mutually beneficial for them which will in turn lead to diminishing conflicts over division of untapped hydrocarbon resources, fishing and shipping routes and will effectively tackle emerging challenges.


Nengye Liu

Marie Curie Fellow, University of Dundee

China, United Kingdom

I believe that a comprehensive and integrated approach is needed to address the interconnected and complex challenges facing biodiversity and to ensure informed policy decisions in a changing Arctic. It is expected that my knowledge and network on the Arctic issues will be enhanced by actively participating in the 2014 Arctic Summer College.


Niko Niemisalo

Project manager, Multidimensional Tourism Institute, Finland


Most critically, the issue of sustainability must be made more understandable to grassroots level actors (entrepreneur, public, association) and their situations and needs must be recognized. We propose that the systemic approach (best practice in tourism safety) could work well in developing sustainability in the appropriate way. Actors needs must be recognized and respected, work must be based on constant research on the topic and the activities must be implemented in committed partnership among all actors.


Qingchuan Zhang

Masters Student, Wuhan University, China


In my opinion, the most critical steps to sustainable development and international cooperation in the Arctic are to reduce the exclusivity of the Arctic Council and enhance the participation of non-Arctic countries in Arctic affairs. I have been participating in the “Arctic Law and Governance in People’s Republic of China and in Finland” project and my jobs focus on the Svalbard Treaty and the relationship between the Arctic Council and China. I hope to get a better understanding of other countries’ views on these issues and a more comprehensive acquaintance of the Arctic through the ASC.


Sara Aparício

Environmental Engineer, APECS – Portugal, CENSE


The elephant in the room can’t be ignored. Upcoming years promise a tricky balance between environmental values and sovereign rights. Finding solutions that bring benefits to all Arctic States – and indigenous communities - could be a challenging complex puzzle to be assembled with great care and dexterity. A cooperative Arctic governance will provide a sustainable development and protection to such vulnerable region. Despite raising awareness, a way to achieve cooperation should pass by connecting policy makers, stakeholders, industry, scientists and population. Bringing all to the same table. Broadening perspectives. I believe that this is the time where we have the chance to emerge with an innovative approach to policy making. Chance favours the connected mind.

Victoria Herrmann

Fulbright Researcher and Gates Cambridge Scholar, Fulbright Canada

USA, Canada

The College’s interdisciplinary approach to bring together a diverse body of young policy professionals with early career scientists epitomizes my personal dedication to a multidisciplinary method of Arctic research. Learning about scientific, economic and political feedback loops through the College’s many Arctic Themes provides both a chance to better understand areas I have studied less, like fishery management regimes, and an opportunity to provide substantive analyses on subjects on which I have worked, like geopolitical developments in the region. It is my intent that learning from my peers and my own contributions will not stop with the end of the formal program, but will continue for years to come to co-develop innovative solutions to address a variety of Arctic challenges in an international and interdisciplinary environment.