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Fellows 2020

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.


Aaron Richards

Project Delivery Analyst, Deloitte Consulting LLP


Abstract topic: Because of the anticipated rise in maritime activity in the Arctic region by the midpoint of this century, it is likely that criminals will seek to take advantage of a more accessible Arctic by finding new trade routes to ship illicit goods such as drugs, weapons, and people. The Arctic is of strategic importance for all of the eight nations that make up the High North, therefore, unified efforts should be made to enhance regional cooperation aimed at ensuring that shipping lanes and maritime activity are not threatened or disrupted by criminals and their illicit actions.

I intend to use the diverse network of peers and knowledge gained from the Arctic Summer College to further my understanding of Arctic issues that have a global impact, such as my proposed research topic of how to develop a cooperative strategy to combat illicit activities in the High North. Additionally, I anticipate to use this experience to discuss current developments in the Arctic relating to governance and regional security, as I see the ASC as a unique opportunity to gain new insights and learn about innovative solutions to today’s challenges in the Arctic.
Alexander E. Thornton

M.A.S., Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD

Co-Founder & Executive Committee, International Penguin Early Career Scientists (IPECS)


Abstract topic: Listed as a Candidate under the U.S.’ Endangered Species Act, Pacific walruses are an important subsistence species for indigenous peoples as well as an important link in healthy Arctic ecosystems, but their foraging habitat overlaps key oil and gas development lease areas and walrus are sensitive to even relatively small disturbances routine with these operations. I acknowledge the need for a better framework to regulate the economic (industrial and traditional), ecological, and social threats of the forced endangerment or potential extinction of walruses by examining the value of the species’ contribution to various ecosystem services and, subsequently, deliberating on conservation goals given stakeholder concerns.

I believe scientists are in the unique and ethically imperative position to lend our expertise to ecological stewardship and sustainable resource development efforts; however, it requires interdisciplinary comprehension of the intricacies between global stakeholder positions and best-available science to merge human interests in the Arctic and meaningful environmental policy. With that in mind, I am eager to explore facets of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) ecology and conservation with an international network of professionals equally enthused to influence positive change at the 2015 Arctic Summer College. It is only with international collaboration like this that we can hope to protect these charismatic, endemic Arctic pinnipeds―or any other species―who are facing climate change-induced loss of habitat and increased rates of anthropogenic disturbances.

Alix Varnajot

M.A. University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

France, Sweden

Abstract topic: This study focuses on the relations between tourism and societies on the first hand, and tourism and climate change on the other hand. The goal is to determine how tourism professionals feel, face and adapt to climate change in northern Sweden.

As a growing economy, tourism should have its place in Arctic debates. The tourism industry is closely linked to territorial development, therefore it has to be taken into considerations in Arctic development discussions. Moreover, as a climate-dependant and nature based industry, polar tourism is also closely linked to climate change. In Arctic and sub-Arctic regions like in northern Sweden, changing climate is synonym of both challenges and opportunities.

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.


Andreas Kuersten

Legal Fellow, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of General Counsel, International Section


Abstract topic: The need for Arctic infrastructural development is spurring a wide variety of construction projects aimed at getting residents, companies, and others in the high north the services they need to be connected and productive.  One of the most important projects is the proliferation of high speed submarine communication cables.  Such undertakings, however, must be carried out with a strong respect for vulnerable Arctic seabed habitats and additional research into these ecosystems and environmentally conscious guidelines are needed to ensure this.

The Arctic is both a frontier and a region of established legal frameworks and relationships.  It is important not to forget the latter as the high north increasingly makes its way into the general coverage of current events and public discourse.  Fitting issues of northern security, development, and environmental protection into these frameworks and relationships - as well as applicable general international law and relations - is integral to meaningfully addressing them and making positive progress as the region opens up due to the process of climate change.

Angela Nuliayok Rudolph


Arctic Policy Major at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States

Citizen of Canada


I am an Inuk from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. The Arctic is more than an experience or interest of mine; it is my home. The very existence and survival of my culture and people, the Inuit, comes from the Arctic. I have dedicated my life and academic career to understanding the Arctic and the role it plays in my life and the lives of my fellow Inuit. I am interested in the effect politics has on Inuit and what role we can play in those politics. I am passionate about finding a place for Inuit to play a meaningful role in the development of Arctic politics. The events that happen in the Arctic will have a deep impact on the lives of Inuit and it is important that we build capacity to be able to work within it, so that we can drive change that is beneficial to the lives of Inuit and our fellow Arctic inhabitants.


Anna Varfolomeeva

PhD student, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University

Russian Federation, Hungary

Abstract topic: The objective of my research project is to study how traditional historical connections of indigenous peoples to extractive industries operate in contemporary negotiations for natural resources in Russian Arctic.  My research during Arctic Summer College will discuss the case study of Vepses, a small Finno-Ugrian minority residing in the Republic of Karelia, North-West of Russia. This case study will show that many traditional views on indigenous peoples are simplified and fail to reflect the complexity of concrete situations.

Today the theme of indigenous groups facing industrial development is especially vital and challenging; it unites the communities with various backgrounds coming from different countries and continents. I believe that my past and current research on indigenous peoples in Sweden and Russia will be a contribution for the Arctic Summer College. Additionally, as a Council member of Association of Polar Early Career Researchers (APECS), I would be interested in sharing our work on Arctic issues.

Carol Devine


Humanitarian Advisor

Médecins Sans Frontières, Canada

Canadian and independent researcher


I am a global and earth health activist and researcher who’s worked for the majority of my career as a medical humanitarian. I can’t help but see of parallels in health challenges in the global North as in some low and middle-income countries in the global south such as access to health care, impact of climate change, remote medicine and decentralized and adapted community health responses. I also have a love for polar regions, led a small volunteer clean up expedition to the Antarctic in collaboration with The Russian Antarctic Expedition and spent years reading and writing about the Antarctic as a social scientist. Now I’m looking North and have started learning about circumpolar health and wellbeing for some four million people living in the Arctic. I’m keen to join the Arctic Summer College to increase my knowledge of policy, ecology, economic, governance, indigenous rights and other current issues in the Arctic region and to contribute by investigating and sharing a picture of circumpolar health concerns and responses today.

Christina Ennis

Intern, Ecologic Institute US

Christina Ennis is an Intern with Ecologic Institute, working specifically on the organization and implementation of the 2015 Arctic Summer College. She is currently studying International Relations with a concentration in Global Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is working closely with the Fellows of Ecologic Institute to broaden her knowledge of environmental issues and policymaking. Christina plans to use the skills gained from this internship to pursue a degree in Human Rights and International Environmental Law. 

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.


Dana Eidsness

Director, Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO)


Abstract topic: How can we use international networks towards solutions-focused activity to address the global effects of the changing Arctic? With the evidence of melting sea-ice, sea-level rise and warming oceans, thawing permafrost, increased shipping traffic and migration in fisheries stock among other things; how can we frame Arctic issues in globally cooperative terms and direct global policy and economic development discourse towards developing solutions? if we utilize existing networks and events that mobilize business and academic resources around Arctic themes and we provide an agenda for collaborative solutions-focused working groups to meet during these events, can our leadership result in strong global action towards mitigating these issues? Conversations can occur either through existing public settings and organizations, such as the Arctic Circle Assembly or Arctic Economic Council—or through other networks, such as the North Atlantic Ocean Cluster Alliance. I propose to work within the context of these events and entities to promote results-driven collaboration among global stakeholders to address two issues that Maine has particular expertise to influence; the issues of the changing North Atlantic/Arctic seafood trade and the need to address the Arctic marine infrastructure deficit.

The challenge of balancing Arctic trade and development with sustainable practices will push the world to a new level of innovation. Business and sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive. I am interested to explore how sustainable development and business can thrive together in an Arctic context to help mitigate the effects of Arctic change and its impacts globally. I also have interest to develop networks that will help the State of Maine prepare to address the impacts of increased shipping activity as Maine will be the Northeast U.S. entry point for the Northwest Passage when it becomes a viable shipping route.

Daria Shapovalova


PhD candidate, School of Law,

University of Aberdeen, UK

Citizen of Ukraine


In my research, I am trying to test whether international law is an adequate and appropriate tool to protect the Arctic environment and for that reason, I need knowledge not only of the law but of Arctic peoples and cultures, ecosystems, and pollutants. As a legal scholar, I believe law has an important role to play in the development of the region. However, any policies adopted must reconcile with the view of Arctic inhabitants and not endanger circumpolar species. I believe Arctic issues must be studied with a multi-disciplinary perspective because changes in the region are so rapid and diverse.


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.


Dr. Gil M. Arruda

Oxford Brookes University

United Kingdom, Italy

Abstract topic: The availability of many species that the Arctic indigenous people rely on for food has become limited due to climate change and the receding ice cover. The assessment of potential impacts of resource development should to some extent rely on traditional knowledge and could benefit climate change researchers in Western academia and policy-making circles as well as help the indigenous communities to tackle the difficult task of promoting their local adaptation. The benefits of the Arctic emerging economy may be seen in the creation of economic development, but it must be part of a sustainable prosperity project of co-management with triple gain to economy, environment and communities.

Arctic-specific natural ecosystems, the presence of indigenous communities and the commercial interest in the region will require an innovative model of energy development based on the highest level of responsible exploitation, diplomacy, regulation and policy-making
Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot

University of Saskatchewan


Abstract topic: The conundrum of how to speed the advancement of technology is one that affects the Arctic in many ways, e.g. agriculture and greenhouses; water and sewer processing; small scale energy generation; and telecommunications.  The Arctic Council, as a supra-regional level of governance, has been ineffective in supporting technology transfer. I would like to further explore the particular challenges of technology transfer in the Circumpolar North, particularly around telemedicine, and see if there are case studies where technology transfer occurred through the region relatively efficiently.

I have a wide range of research interests as pertain to northern governance and development, including: accessible post-secondary education, northern innovation, indigenous health, regional governance, Arctic Council politics, food security & greenhouses, self-determination & taxation, economic development, and regionalization.  I am also very interested in the cleavage between northern and southern perspectives of the Arctic, particularly around development, and providing nuance to Arctic governance discussions beyond climate change.
Dr. Sina Muster


Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

Citizen of Germany


Arctic Policy Many of the changes in the Arctic system that we witness today may not be reversible and will have long lasting effects on not only the Arctic ecosystems but also on the communities, both locally and globally. Arctic climate change is generated by the industrialized countries and will ultimately feed back to them. In my opinion, a transdisciplinary approach is needed to develop adaptation strategies that benefit both natural systems and societies. Experts from academia, the public, and the civil sector need to overcome traditional boundaries and thought patterns in order to find fair and sustainable solutions in the Arctic.


Edvard Glücksman


Senior Environmental & Social Specialist

Wardell Armstrong + External Stakeholder Afficilate at University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Citizen of Sweden


Business ventures in the Arctic pose both risks and opportunities for people living in the region. My work in corporate social responsibility sets out the business case for sustainability, aiming to ensure that development projects, both in the Arctic and elsewhere, contribute positively to affected communities. I look forward to the network of contacts and experience gained from this year’s Arctic Summer College!

Eitan Dehtiar

Independent Consultant


Abstract topic: My focus is on arctic transportation challenges and opportunities and related risk that arise because of and are highlighted by climate change.  Changes in arctic transportation and related infrastructure will forever change the face of the arctic, as the arctic becomes more accessible for exploration and as remote communities gain increased access to the outside world.  These monumental changes will need to be managed responsibly and with a long term view of sustainable arctic development and of economic empowerment to those living in the arctic.

Over the past 15 years, my work has primarily focused on developing opportunities in the arctic, and in particular, addressing transportation and logistical challenges while developing business and training opportunities for northerners.  My involvement with a broad range of economic development, regulatory, and infrastructure related organizations has provided me with unique insight into the arctic at a time of monumental change.  The increased interest in exploration, an particularly of exploration of regions that were not previously accessible highlights the importance of a proper governance structures for responsible development, training and development programs for northern populations, and the development of supporting infrastructure which provides long term sustainable benefits to the arctic and its peoples.

Ekaterina Klimenko

Researcher, Arctic Future Project, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Kyrgyzstan, Sweden

Abstract topic: Energy cooperation in the Russian Arctic in light of Western sanctions. Despite initial policy of limiting access to the Russian Arctic energy development, the need for technology, exploration of the shelf, high costs of investment in the region and no immediate returns have forced the Russian government to open up the Arctic for foreign participation. The energy cooperation with Western companies has started to yield the first results in 2014 when the crisis in Ukraine burst out. The sanctions against Russia introduced by EU and the US in 2014 have significantly limited Russia’s energy cooperation with the foreign partners. The sanctions prohibited the American and European companies to take part in the deep-water offshore projects in Russia, to supply the appropriate equipment, technology and financing. The developments over the last year have raised a number of questions concerning the future of the energy cooperation in the Russian Arctic and development of the resources of the Russian Arctic shelf. First, whether there is future for Russia’s Arctic oil/gas resource development without cooperation with the Western partners? Taking into account Russia’s deepening energy cooperation with Asian states, the question emerges whether Russia will switch to Asia, primarily China to search for partners for its Arctic projects? What impact the changing international context will have on the energy cooperation in the Arctic?

As a researcher within the SIPRI Arctic Future Project , I am focusing on the security and military cooperation in the Arctic region and Russia’s Arctic military and economic policy. Participating in the Arctic Summer College will broaden my understanding of the problems faced by the Arctic states and peoples beyond the area of my expertise, particularly issues of fisheries, transport, and human dimension.

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.


Freja C. Eriksen


M.A. Candidate in Journalism Media and Globalization

Universität Hamburt & Aarhus Universitet

Citizen of Denmark


Greenland, with its melting ice caps and polar bears, has been physically and symbolically central to global narratives of anthropogenic climate change since the emergence of this discourse. The Arctic nation's human inhabitants, however, remain astonishingly underrepresented in media coverage and academic research. How Greenlanders themselves make snese of climate change and its impacts - through media and personal experience - is thus a question largely left unanswered. My wish is to shed light on the Greenlandic discourses of climate change.


Ilker Basaran

PhD Candidate, International Maritime & Environmental Law

USA, Turkey

Abstract topic: Arctic has become an attractive venue for commercial activities. Globalization and technological advancement combined with the sea ice melting have made it conceivable to reach hydrocarbon, mining, fishing and even clean water resources that the region possess. But this ever-growing interest poses potential threats to one of the most fragile marine ecosystems of our planet in the Arctic ocean, and its approximately four million residents are in danger because their survival also depends on protection of this ocean.

Arctic can only be linked to the future global market with safe, reliable and environmentally sound marine transportation system. Therefore, despite strong criticism, adoption of the IMO Polar code, first ever maritime rules for the polar region, is a historical achievement for the Arctic shipping.  These set of rules will form the foundation of the changes that we expect from flag and costal state regulations in the near future. 

Jean-Pierre Ferdinand Lanckman


Senior Data Manager, Arctic Portal, Iceland


The Arctic is one of the largest untouched resource area on Earth while experiencing the strongest projected temperature change. Thus, global attention and awareness of changes in boreal regions extended from scientific interest to economy and policy, associated with growing needs of innovative initiatives that contribute sustainably to reusable methods and improved global networks and research and data infrastructures.



Jessica Rohde


Web Manager / Project Coordinator at the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, United States

Citizen of the United States


My professional goal to enhance international communication on Arctic research and policy issues will be greatly enhanced by the opportunity to expand my networks to include individuals from various sectors through the 2016 Arctic Summer College program.


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.


Katrina McLaughlin

Research Asistant, Resources for the Future


Abstract topic:  My research topic this summer concerns ecosystem services and governance in the Arctic. The Arctic system presents a clear case of what environmental economists term ecosystem services, which are generally thought of in four categories: provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. The distributional implications of Arctic ecosystem services affect how they are managed. Some, like subsistence hunting, are profoundly local; some, like weather system regulation, are profoundly global. How might these distributional effects impact management approaches, are there lessons from other instances of cross-boundary ecosystem services that might be useful for the Arctic, and how should we think of these different ecosystem services as the Arctic system changes?

I am an early career researcher focused on energy and climate policy. At a time of high interest and polarized opinions on the future of the Arctic, it is my hope that the Arctic Summer College and its network of peers can offer a long-term outlook by developing people and ideas outside of our usual echo chambers. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from others across disciplines, backgrounds, and viewpoints. 
Kiira Keski-Nirva

Energy Policy Advisor, Aula Europe

Finland, Belgium

Abstract topic: The role of energy in the complex international relations and the geopolitical situation in the Arctic region should not be underestimated. Relations with the Arctic states play a major role with regard to the EU energy policy. The approach that the EU will choose to take in its new Arctic policy – focus mainly on the European arctic or rather to the circumpolar region as a whole – and the choices with respect to possible focus areas, might have an influence on the EU energy policy objectives, and is worth a closer look.

Through my studies on indigenous peoples and my work at the Arctic Council Secretariat I’ve had an opportunity to develop my understanding of Arctic issues with a variety of topics. While working on EU energy policy has allowed me to specialize on one of the most topical issues in the Arctic, it has also been an opportunity to develop my understanding of the EU's approach on the Arctic. 
Kirasheva Natalia Ivanovna


Masters student, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation

Citizen of the Russian Federation


The traditional environmental management of indigenous peoples in Arctic regions is based on the sparing relation to the environment and the foundation of the existence of these people. It's supported by the religious and cultural traditions promoting preservation of a condition of habitat which is favorable for economic activity. Nowadays, there is the steady tendency of including the elements of traditional environmental management of indigenous people into tourism programs, which is of great interest to me.


Kristina Bär

Public Information Officer, Alfred Wegener Institute/Management Support Team, EU-PolarNet


Abstract topic: Bringing Arctic stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and specific interests together creates a need to find a common basis for understanding. One way to do this might lie in listening to the way people talk about the specific issue and to identify the underlying, so called frames, within which stakeholders formulate their ideas, but also interpret and evaluate given information. These insights are believed to help to create a shared understanding amongst the selected actors and to ultimately facilitate the creation of a common frame, upon which the stakeholders could act.

Science is increasingly gaining influence on European policymaking, especially so in the Arctic. This opens up new chances for a sustainable development of the High North, but at the same time evokes new challenges: How are scientific results translated into policy recommendations and how is science made relevant to local communities, industry, NGOs, etc? I find these questions very interesting and I see the Arctic Summer College as a rare opportunity to discuss these issues and to engage in an on-going dialogue that offers the chance to approach Arctic topics in new, creative and multidisciplinary ways.
Léon Fuchs

Visiting Researcher in the Anthropology Research Team of the Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi. M.A. Arctic Studies, Versailles.

France, Finland.

Abstract topic: This abstract questions the impact of climate change on reindeer herding in Sweden; briefly reflects on several possibilities to sustain Sami traditional livelihoods; introduces the concept of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), and focuses partly on the notion of indigenous governance.

Like other native peoples of the Arctic, the Sami are among the first affected by environmental changes. Many reindeer herders have already observed significant variations during the last decades, and the unreliable weather, the increase in precipitation, the rising temperatures and the changing snow conditions have strongly impacted Sami reindeer husbandry. Climate change is immediate and stressing, rather than something that might happen in the future. The development, promotion and protection of Sami Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) will play an important role in the near future.
Leonardo Parigi


Journalist at The Media Telegraph, Italy

Citizen of Italy


I want to use as best as I can the knowledge gained from this experience to improve my understanding of shipping and defense for my job. Arctic issues in Italy are considered “exotic” because they seem to be far away from national interests, but they are not. I want to increase my knowledge about what is going on in the Arctic to better understand future developments and dangers that are relevant to my country and beyond.


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. 


Marina Aizen

Journalist & Editor, Clarin Newspaper and Viva Magazine


Abstract topic: Defining what is sustainable development in a landscape dominated by disappearing ice at the top of the world. How to protect an area that has so much oil.

The Arctic is the region of the planet where climate change meets a new geopolitical reality. Because of its dominance on the rest of the globe -for instance, the ocean circulation depends on it- one could compare the need to protect this vast and complex area with the necessity of preserving a delicate system such like the jungle of the Amazon forest, that is considered as the lungs of the planet.  The Arctic, on the other hand, is the air conditioner of the world. But paradoxically it has become a hot issue: not only because temperature has risen here more than double that anywhere else, but also what is at stake.
Martin Kossa

PhD Candidate Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong

Slovakia, Hong Kong

Abstract topic: This research seeks to answer a series of questions, namely: what should the role of Asian states be in the Arctic Council, will they be satisfied with their newly gained status, will they challenge the current Arctic governance structure, and can they constitute a unified ''Asian voice'' in the Arctic Council.

I have a longstanding interest in the Arctic, going back to my Masters degree at Zhejiang University. I am currently conducting research on Asian engagement with the Arctic region – comparatively analyzing approaches taken by South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India and China towards the Circumpolar North.  Against this backdrop, I am very pleased to be a part of the Arctic Summer College which will give me the opportunity to further expand my knowledge in this area and to engage in stimulating discussions with Arctic specialists and fellow students.

Mary F. Ehrlander


Director, Arctic & Northern Studies Program and Professor of History

University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States

Citizen of the United States


I am concerned with the high rates of sexual violence in the north, especially in small remote communities. Some researchers suggest that colonial histories and marginalization of Indigenous peoples explains the high sexual assault rates. Others point to more recent disruptions to traditional lifeways that have robbed men of their prestigious role as hunters and providers. Others blame alcohol abuse. Still others note the small size of remote rural communities, the lack of law enforcement, and the family ties that discourage victims from reporting these crimes and leave them suffering in silence. Likely multiple interrelated conditions contribute to the high rates of sexual violence against both children and adults.


Melina Kourantidou


Department of Environmental and Business Economics

University of Southern Denmark

Citizen of Greece


My research focuses on the effects induced by the recent ecological and related socioeconomic changes taking place in the Arctic ecosystems and particularly in the Arctic marine environment. I specialize in stewardship issues of Arctic marine resources threatened by marine invasive species as a result of the many economic and ecological changes developing in the region. Along with the growing human activity and the worldwide climate change effects, there arises a severe risk for future invasions and their ecological and economic consequences for pristine Arctic waters.


Meredith LaValley


MS Candidate in Environmental Policy at Bard College and intern at IARPC, United States

Citizen of the United States


During my Master's coursework I have focused on Arctic issues ranging from changing opportunities in natural resource development to the integration of IK and scientific research. Currently I am interested in the possibility of empowering Native women through the need for their IK. I am also interested in the impact of climate change on the mental health of Arctic residents.


Michaela Louise Coote

MSc Environment and Natural Resources, Háskóli Íslands

England, Iceland

Abstract topic: The Arctic Council (AC), since it arose out of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy in 1996, can still be seen as historically concerned with environmental matters whilst being commended for its inclusion of Indigenous Peoples. Arctic state officials, experts and indigenous representatives (the Permanent Participants), ‘sit at the same table’ to discuss and research key issues, which may proceed to inform the national policy of the Arctic states. In this study, interviews are carried out with those holding specialist knowledge in the AC - including Permanent Participant presidents and Working Group authorities - to paint a picture of the means Indigenous People can use to influence environmental policy in the AC framework, and the extent of their impact.

I am very passionate about finding new ways to manage the environment more effectively, using interdisciplinary studies as a primary apparatus. I have completed numerous ecological studies and soon, will complete my MSc project looking at, how and to what extent, do indigenous people influence environmental decision-making in the Arctic Council. I think the Arctic can potentially provide a ‘new frontier’ in science where we may find, through cooperation, more effective and holistic environmental management solutions amidst the fast paced changes occurring in the region. 

Mikayla Duarte


B.S. Meteorology Major at Northland College, United States

Citizen of the United States


In addition to many other things, the Arctic has a huge impact on the meteorology of the entire world. I have always been interested in cold weather patterns as I have spent most of my undergraduate career studying lake effect snow and have lived on Lake Superior. As such, participating in this program would contribute to my interest in cold weather climates by exposing me to beneficial information about climate change and the environment to complement my major. While helping to enrich my cold weather knowledge, the program will add additional insights into the non-weather aspects of the Arctic climate.


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.


Nadia French


PhD candidate, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Studies

University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Citizen of the Russian Federation


Having been born in Siberia, I am not researching the High North at the University of Birmingham, UK, specifically on how different tiers of regionalisation of the Arctic affect the environmental governeance in a specific locale within the Russian Arctic. The Russian Arctic that occupies over a third of the total Arctic area has become a focal point of Russian politics and development with the Yamal Peninsula representing a point of convergence of different scales of governace and creating an interesting case for further exploration of the contested Arctic futures.


Nathaniel Betz

State of Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs


Abstract topic:  I will examine how education can contribute to increased agency for local and community stakeholders in the Arctic.  Further, I will draw on a range of inter-disciplinary resources to identify a set of mechanisms for practical, strategic investment in Alaska’s human potential.

Arctic society occupies a unique position at the front end of a narrow time-window, during which the stage will be set for a period of unprecedented activity and attention. A variety of actors already seek to shape the Arctic future, drawn by environmental treasures, new transportation corridors, the prospect of massive resource wealth, and a variety of climate-related policy priorities.  I am interested in exploring the ways in which Arctic societies can utilize their existing resources to invest in human and cultural capital.  
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.


Olga Krylova


MSc Environmental Change and Management, ECI, University of Oxford

World Meteorological Organization, Switzerland

Citizen of the Russian Federation


Participation in the Arctic Summer College is an opportunity to gain additional insights into crosscutting issues related to environmental aspects of cooperation in the Arctic region. This also is an excellent platform to expand professional network and to accelerate writing and publishing materials on relevant issues.


Olivia Mussells


Research Associate, University of Ottawa, Canada

Citizen of Canada


The Arctic is an emerging area of interest where isolation and harsh terrain, while offering beautiful and delicate landscapes, create difficult challenges for the provision of sustainable energy sources. As a region where the effects of climate change are already being felt acutely, sustainable development is important both to reduce carbon emissions as well as to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of northern communities.


Paul E. Bachem


Uni Research Climate, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway

Citizen of Germany


My background is in the research of past climate change in the Arctic region. I find that there is still a distressing lack of communication and connections between the diverse disciplines that deal with earth's environment, and how is handled by humanity. As a geoscientist and climate researcher, it is my great wish to apply my scientific knowledge to the social and economic discussions, as well as the policy debates surrounding the Arctic environment.


Philip Wight


Rose and Irving Crown Fellow and History Ph.D. Candidate

Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Citizen of the United States


The Arctic is a tremendously diverse region that suffers from popular misconceptions and journalistic platitudes. Recent events and debates concerning Arctic energy extraction highlight many journalists’ limited understanding of the deep history of Arctic natural resource development, indigenous communities, and the climatic stabilizing effects of its cryosphere. My fascination with the region comes from a belief that the Arctic is a vital ecosystem and human community that, both ecologically and culturally, is essential for the health of the planet’s biosphere. Arctic Summer College provides me the opportunity to understand the long history behind the contemporary geopolitical struggles surrounding "extractivism", indigenous rights, and environmental protection.  


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.

Sarah-Grace Ross


Communications Officer
Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Citizen of Canada


My primary academic interests concern the participation of Arctic Indigenous peoples in the legal developments that affect their lands, particularly as Arctic and non-Arctic states respond to evolving geopolitics in the region as a result of climate change. My professional background in northern food security, the duty to consult, and treaty negotiations, as well as my experience living and working in Canada’s Arctic, have allowed me to approach Arctic policy with a critical consideration of how it intersects with Indigenous law and culture. Through the Arctic Summer College I hope to deepen my knowledge of the frameworks that advance the protection of Indigenous rights and Arctic land and waters.

Sophia E. Albov

M.S. Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Montana


Abstract topic: My interest in the Arctic lies primarily in the sustainable development of agricultural systems. While there are not numerous agricultural holdings above the Arctic Circle, each farm holding has the potential to impact the surrounding environment substantially. I specifically want to explore the geo-socio interaction of players involved in high Arctic winter wheat farming. 

My master’s level academic work has focused on the human dimension of sub-arctic organic and alternative agricultural systems in Finland. I would like to expand the scope of my study area for my PhD work to include agricultural systems that are above the Arctic Circle. Participation in the Arctic Summer College is the next step to my ability to continue to pursue human subject focused agricultural research in the Arctic. 


Stéphanie Plante


Program Manager

Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada

Citizen of Sweden and Canada


As the importance of the Arctic becomes more apparent, how can we ensure that the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable are heard in decision-making processes, especially regarding the allocation of resources? And how can we leverage Arctic institutions to help determine best practices from ‘south of 60'?


Supriti Jaya Ghosh


Knauss Marine Policy Fellow

U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System, United States

Citizen of the United States


Arctic stakeholders are in the process of determining the balance between resource use and conservation in the region. Through the Arctic Summer College, I look forward to learning more about and engaging with the priorities of different Arctic stakeholders and understanding how they come together to collectively manage Arctic resources.


Tobias Neuhold


Applied Geosciences Major at the University of Leoben, Austria

Citizen of Austria


I consider doing this program as a marvellous chance to extend my knowledge and, of course, I would be very excited to get to know people doing professional research in the polar environment. I am convinced that my participation is a great opportunity to prepare myself for my favored master´s degree or the profession I will follow later in life. Moreover, I would simply love to grow my interest in the cryosphere once more.


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.


Zdenek Dvorak


Advisor at the Department of Economical Development, Nordland County Council, Norway

Citizen of Slovakia


There is a great need to define sustainable ways of economic development in the Arctic by taking into consideration the environment, climate change and people who are living in the Arctic, both indigenous and local communities. Through participation in this course, I intend to learn more about how this can be done and to get to know best practices from other Arctic countries.