Arctic Explorer Will Steger to Appear at Norway-AU Climate Change Event



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Arctic Explorer Will Steger to Appear at Norway-AU Climate Change Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2011) — What would you do if drastic climate change drove you from your homeland, forcing you to leave behind your culture and your very way of life for foreign lands, strange customs, and unfamiliar environs?

Several American University students asked themselves that question as part of the Royal Norwegian Embassy’s third annual essay contest. This year, AU students were invited to write either (1) the imagined journal of an indigenous person displaced by climate change or (2) a policy brief addressing the legal, ethical, and political issues that will arise when climate refugees flock to nearby countries.

The winners of the essay competition will be announced at an event at American University’s Abramson Family Founders Room, Tuesday, March 29 at 11:20 a.m., which is open to the public. The winners will speak briefly about their essays and their thoughts on climate change.

Also speaking at the event will be Arctic explorer Will Steger, and Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, Wegger Chr. Strommen.

The winners of the contest will travel to Oslo, where they will join the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in the 21st Century, June 5–7. They will also travel by train to the lovely city of Bergen on the North Sea coast for sightseeing and additional meetings with peers and professional contacts.

Possible story angles:

· The often-overlooked effects of climate change on vulnerable native populations

· Students are often maligned for being self-centered or out of touch, but the American University graduate and undergraduate students who participated in this essay contest have shown themselves to be well-informed about current events, notably the effects climate change, and capable of great empathy, as shown by their ability to address the issue from the first-person perspective of a displaced indigenous person.

For more information about the Norway-AU essay contest: Judith Shapiro, School of

International Service, American University (shapiro@american.edu), or Nicholas Stivang, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (nicholas.stivang@mfa.no)

For more information about the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement in

the 21st Century: www.nansenconference.no

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