Five of the NEAN members collaborated to host the UArctic Assembly 2022 in Portland, Maine.
(1) The University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Arctic initiative builds on decades of field research in ocean mapping, glaciology, hydrology, permafrost, space sciences, and human-environment interactions, promoting interdisciplinary research, international collaborations, and student training. As an example, the Convergent Arctic Research Perspectives and Education (CARPE) graduate program at UNH trains interdisciplinary teams of students to study the effects of changing Arctic seasonality on ecosystems and people.
(2) The University of New England (UNE) joined UArctic in 2018 upon launching UNE North, the Institute for North Atlantic Studies. UNE North connects researchers, educators, policymakers, and industry leaders from across Maine, New England, and the North Atlantic region to implement collaborative approaches to building resilient communities, healthy environments, and thriving economies. Grounded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, UNE North holds SDG 17 – partnerships for the goals – as a core value, including projects on sustainable development, COVID-19 response, and rural health. UNE is proud to lead two UArctic Thematic Networks: Ocean Food Systems, and Bioregional Planning for Resilient Rural Communities.
(3) The University of Southern Maine's (USM) Maine North Atlantic Institute (MNAI) contributes innovative education and workforce development programs. Through partnerships with Reykjavík University, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and the New England Ocean Cluster, MNAI supports faculty, staff, and student projects in tourism, innovation and entrepreneurship, public health, and ethics and regulatory compliance. Highlights include a graduate-level research exchange among USM and North Atlantic Universities; a practicum engaging businesses involved in Maine-North Atlantic trade; and law internships assisting startup companies on regulatory compliance in the blue economy.
(4) The University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI) fosters an interdisciplinary approach to Arctic and Arctic-impacted research. It has led several international Arctic science programs, such as the Greenland Ice Sheet Project2 (GISP2) ice coring effort, and run undergraduate and graduate student training programs including the NSF Systems Approaches to Understanding and Navigating the New Arctic (SAUNNA) and the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP). The UMaine Arctic Initiative brings together over hundred members from twenty different departments across campus.
(5) Dartmouth College’s Institute of Arctic Studies focuses on rapid environmental change, climate, the cryosphere, Arctic engineering, and inclusive systems of governance and policy. As a founding member of UArctic, Dartmouth serves in many UArctic leadership roles, including former Chair of the UArctic Board (former Dartmouth Provost Barry Scherr), UArctic Assembly Vice-Chair (Lindsay Whaley), Board Member (Ross Virginia), and UArctic Chair for Science Diplomacy and Inclusion (Melody Brown Burkins). Dartmouth co-leads the UArctic Institute for Arctic Policy and helps advance the Thematic Networks on Arctic Geology, Science Diplomacy, Gender in the Arctic Knowledge Production, the Model Arctic Council, and Arthropods of the Tundra.
Senator Angus King (I) has been a vocal supporter of Maine and New England’s engagement in Arctic issues, recognizing the shared challenges and opportunities in the region and the role New England can play in developing collaborative solutions. “As the Arctic region opens up, so do opportunities worth America’s attention. But with this increased activity comes heightened tensions as nations from around the world – some less careful and responsible than the United States – start to make investments to advance economic and geostrategic goals. The High North has long been known as a zone of peace, and the Arctic Council’s track record shows that member nations can collaborate thoughtfully to ensure it remains that way. As the Co-Chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus, I am doing everything in my power to raise awareness of the possibilities ahead of us, while never losing sight of the environmental circumstances that brought us to this point.”
By Holly Parker, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Bioregional Planning for Resilient Rural Communities, Director of UNE NORTH, Assistant Professor, University of New England and Katharine Duderstadt, Chair of New England Arctic Network, Research Scientist, University of New Hampshire
[Originally published in the UArctic Shared Voices Magazine 2022. Read all articles here]