Home Events 2015 03

Symposium - Canada and the US: Partners in the Arctic

Monday, March 9, 2015 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
UNI Museum, First floor
Rod Library, West 27th Street,Cedar Falls, IA, United States

Monday, March 9th UNI Museum, along with the UNI Geography Department and the Consulate General of Canada will be hosting Canada and the US: Partners & Allies in Arctic Research, Sustainability and Development, a symposium that aims to educate and facilitate conversations about Arctic exploration, sustainability, and governance. Speakers include Dr. Lee Huskey, University of Alaska Anchorage, Consul General Jamshed Merchant, Consulate General of Canada, Dr. Chris Southcott, professor at Lakehead University, Dr. Andrey Petrov, professor and Director of Arctic-FROST and ARCSES at UNI, and Norma Kassi, Yukon Gwich’in leader and Co-founder of the Arctic Institute of Community-based Research. There will also be a screening of Ms. Kassi’s film, Our Changing Homeland, Our Changing Lives and a poster session highlighting student research at UNI.

The symposium will run from 10am-2pm, with an opportunity to speak with the presenters afterwards. Refreshments will be served, and the sessions are free and open to the public. Those interested in attending can RSVP to Ann Crawford, at ann.crawford@uni.edu or 319-273-3713.  Join the conversation on Twitter with #ArcticUNI and follow us at @CanCGMPLS, @RodLibrary, and @NorthernIowa.

Follow the event live on our webinar channel!



Welcome and Introductions 

Why the Arctic Matters to Us

  • Dr. Lee Huskey, Professor Emeritus, University of Alaska Anchorage and ARCSES Visiting Scholar, University of Northern Iowa

Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship:  Development for the People of the North

  • Consul General Jamshed Merchant, Consulate General of Canada - Minneapolis

The US Arctic Council Chairmanship: One Arctic: Shared Opportunities, Challenges and Responsibilities

  • Dr. Adrianna Muir, Deputy Senior Arctic Official for the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, US Department of State
11:15 Coffee break and Student Research Poster Session

Sustainable Development in the Arctic: Research in the U.S. and Canada

  • Dr. Chris Southcott, Principal Investigator, Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA), Professor, Lakehead University
  • Dr. Andrey Petrov, Principal Investigator, Arctic Frontiers of Sustainability (Arctic-FROST), Director, Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Research (ARCSES) Laboratory, University of Northern Iowa

Traditional Knowledge in Arctic Research

  • Norma Kassi, Vuntut Gwitchin, Co-Founder, Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research 
1:00 Lunch and Polar Geospatial Center demonstration
1:30 Film "Our Changing Homeland, Our Changing Lives"



Lee Huskey, Ph.D. is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Visiting Scholar in Geography and Arctic Studies at UNI. His research focuses on the economies of the remote and rural regions, especially Alaska. He has examined the role of institutions and geography in regional and community economies and has taken both a historic and comparative approach. An important focus of his work has been the migration of residents within, into, and out of the north and its communities and the complex role of jobs and subsistence as determinants. Born and raised in the Midwest, Dr. Huskey has worked at the University of Alaska Anchorage for more than 30 years and has served the Chair of the Economics Department, as well as the President of the Western Regional Science Association.  

Jamshed Merchant @Jamshed_MPLS began in October of 2012 as the Consul General of Canada in Minneapolis, Canada’s senior representative in the Upper Midwest. Merchant started his career as a faculty lecturer in Geography at McGill University in Montreal and later joined the Alberta government’s Ministry of the Environment as a soil scientist working on land reclamation. From 1985 to 2001, Merchant was a soil conservationist in Alberta and Saskatchewan for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Between 2003 and 2007, Jamshed worked with the Treasury Board of Canada. He returned to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2007 and was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of the Agri-Environment Services Branch in 2008. 

Adrianna Muir, Ph.D. is the Deputy Senior Arctic Official at the U.S. Department of State for the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. As part of the Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, she works with the U.S. Senior Arctic Official and other key stakeholders to formulate arctic policy and to represent U.S. interests at the Arctic Council.  Prior to joining the Department of State, Dr. Muir served at the Department of the Interior in the Office of Policy Analysis and the Office of the Deputy Secretary, focusing on Alaskan energy issues and other Arctic matters.  From 2010-2012, Dr. Muir was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow, working at the Department of State on issues such as Arctic science and conservation policy and international cooperation on invasive species.  Dr. Muir has a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. in biology and environmental studies from Tufts University.  

Andrey N. Petrov, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Northern Iowa where he directs the Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Research Lab (ARCSES) and the Program in Research and Outreach in Geography between Russia and the United States (PROGRUS). He is serving as a Councilor of the International Arctic Social Science Association, member of the International Arctic Science Committee and Vice-Chair of the Polar Geography Group of the Association of American Geographers. Dr. Petrov is also an Associate Editor of Polar Geography journal and Director of the Arctic-FROST research coordination network in Arctic sustainability. His research interests include human well-being and regional development strategies in the Canadian and Russian North, knowledge-based and resource-based economies in remote regions, Indigenous demographics and labor migration in the North, and geospatial techniques in regional analysis. 

Chris Southcott, Ph.D is Professor of Sociology at Lakehead University in Canada. He has been involved in community-based research in the circumpolar north for over 26 years. He has published over 100 scientific reports, books, book chapters, and articles dealing with social and economic change in Northern Canada and the rest of the circumpolar world.  Over the past 12 years he has successfully led a number of major Canadian and international research initiatives dealing with social and economic development in northern regions.  Currently he is the Principal Investigator for an international project, Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA), with base funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Major Collaborative Research Initiatives program.  Its mandate is to develop ways to ensure that a larger share of resource development benefits stay in the region with fewer negative impacts to communities.

Norma Kassi is the Director of Indigenous Collaboration at the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research, an organization she cofounded in 2007. Her work there, conducted in partnership with Northern Aboriginal governments, other governments, and non-government organizations, includes capacity building and training in the area of health, as well as developing ways to translate knowledge that is inclusive, sustainable and beneficial to the communities. Raised and educated in Old Crow, Yukon, north of the Arctic Circle, Norma is Vuntut Gwitchin (People of the Lakes) and a member of the Wolf Clan. In 1985-1992, Norma was a Member of Yukon’s Legislative Assembly for Vuntut Gwitchin. During this time, she was selected by the Elders of the Gwich’in Nation to act as a spokesperson on behalf of the Gwich’in people for the preservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. In 1991, Norma was awarded the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation and Achievement Award, and the Goldman Prize in 2002, one of the world’s highest profile awards for Conservation


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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UNI-sponsored events.  If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Susan Basye, Rod Library, at 319/273-2737 or susan.basye@uni.edu at least one week prior to the event.

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