The Changing Arctic: International Cooperation and Development

The Changing Arctic: International Cooperation and Development

October 27, 2011 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium
301 — 19th Ave South, Mpls MN 55454 [Map It]

Download the Changing Arctic program flyer [PDF 3.4MB PDF]

The Consulate General of Canada, Will Steger Foundation and University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment and Humphrey School of Public Affairs invite you to a symposium on The Changing Arctic. Canada and United States share interests in and responsibility for a changing Arctic.

This half-day symposium is designed for academics/researchers, policy-makers, business people, students and anyone interested in learning more about the Arctic. Speakers will explore present and future challenges and opportunities.


Welcome & Keynote Address

  • Martin Loken, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada (Confirmed)
  • Will Steger, Arctic Explorer/Founder, Will Steger Foundation (Confirmed)
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (via taped message)
  • Keynote Address: Whitney Lackenbauer, University of Waterloo (Confirmed)
    • Canada, the United States, and the Arctic: A History of Cooperation and Prospects for the Future 

      Lackenbauer will chart the history of Can-Am relations in the Arctic, from concerns over sovereignty through World War II, to cooperation during the Cold War, to a modern context where conflicting interests have been overblown in the popular media, detracting attention from the practical cooperation that we enjoy in the region and the opportunities that this holds for the future.


image_arcticintlcoop2International Cooperation and Diplomacy


• Defense and security: emergency preparedness, search and rescue, border protection
• Diplomacy/Role of the Arctic Councill (Canada to chair in 2013, U.S. to chair in 2015)
• Boundary and continental shelf recognition issues


  • Elizabeth Elliot-Meisel, Creighton University (Confirmed)
    • International Relations in the Changing 21st Century Arctic
      As climate change continues to affect the Arctic – its people and the environment – nations are scrambling to proactively protect the indigenous peoples, secure and defend their states, responsibly handle the increased commercial interests in the area, and cooperate with one another to preserve this fragile and unique region of the world.  This presentation will briefly touch on these topics in the changing 21st century Arctic.
  • Brigadier General Robert Chekan, Deputy Director of the Strategy, Policy and Plans Directorate, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) (Confirmed)
    • NORAD in the Arctic: 53 years of Canada/US Partnership – North American Aerospace Defense Command is a unique Canada/US Command that has operated in the Arctic since 1958. NORAD’s origin and evolution, as well as future challenges will be covered. AV Support: NIL (The large projection of the Arctic discussed in today’s phone call will suffice as a back-drop).
  • Pontus Melander, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Sweden (Confirmed)
    • The Arctic Council – the Way Ahead
      Highlight to challanges in the Arctic including global warming with a diminishing ice cap creating increased access to oil and gas resources and new shipping routes. Do we see a new cold war and race for resources? I will highlight to cooperative nature of the Arctic Council, the uniqueness of its outreach activites, not at least that indigenous groups particptes in the work of the Council. I will also adress the future opportunities for the Arctic Council including joint assessments, policy making capacity, the scope of work etc.
  • Commander Mary Ellen Durley, Commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, Alder (Confirmed)
    • US Coast Guard International Cooperation in the Arctic – Commander Durley will discuss her unit, the US Coast Guard Cutter ALDER and explain how the USCG supported and participated in a joint international Arctic Exercise, Operation NANOOK 2010. As the global climate changes continue to melt the glaciers in the Arctic, the amount of maritime traffic is increasing and creating new challenges concerning maritime security cooperation and search and rescue operations. This operation in particular focused on enhancing the cooperation of Canada, the US and Denmark in the high Arctic region and involved the first transit of ALDER through the entire Great Lakes, Saint Lawrence Seaway, and ocean transit as far north as Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada.
  • Moderator: Raymond (Bud) Duvall, University of Minnesota, Chair of Political Science Department (Confirmed)


image_arcticeconomicsEconomic and Social Development


• Potential economic opportunities for Minnesota
• Economic and social impact of the changing Arctic
• Peoples of the North/Human Dimension


  • Michael Langley, Greater MSP – Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (Confirmed)
    • Economic Collaboration and Development Opportunities for Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul and the Arctic Region
      Minneapolis Saint Paul Region water management and quality, transportation systems, wholesale and retail logistics, ecotourism, health and life sciences improvements and services, and sustaining social and cultural capital.

      Global demographics, climate and sustainable development imperatives, and global maritime policy will all have a bearing on the future trajectory and ultimate potential of the region, in economic terms.

  • Timothy Pasch, University of North Dakota (Confirmed)
    • Arctic Discourse: Social Network Analysis of Inuit Online Communication
      In this talk, Dr. Timothy Pasch from the University of North Dakota will describe his research fieldwork expedition in Inukjuaq, Nunavik, where he lived with an Inuit family and participated in a multi-day hunting expedition along the Hudson Bay.  

      He will discuss his research into social networking in the Arctic and will focus on trends and themes emerging in online dialogue in the North. Digital images taken by Pasch in Nunavik will be projected during the talk.

  • Greg Poelzer, University of Saskatchewan (Confirmed)
    • Capacity and capacity-building: encumbrance to economic and social development in the Canadian North
      Capacity and capacity-building affects everything from regulatory processes, to skilled trades, to Northern entrepreneurs, to post-secondary education. Poelzer will lay out the opportunities and challenges for social and economic development across our North which includes the three territories and the northern parts of seven provinces. Most of Canada’s natural resource wealth is located in the North, so this question is critical to the future of our country. This segment will then turn to several success stories in the Circumpolar North (Alaska, Norway, etc.) that might be useful for Canada to unlock the full potential of the Canadian North that meets local needs in a sustainable way and contributes to overall growth of our country.  The North is often seen as “peripheral” when it is actually the “centre” and leader of innovation.
  • Moderator: Steve Kelley, University of Minnesota, Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy (Confirmed)


Environment, Science and Education


• Climate change in the environment, impact to infrastructure and ecosystems
• Adventure – the role of explorers in conservation
• Science and academic research on the Arctic


  • Will Steger, Will Steger Foundation; Climate change, Arctic exploration/education (Confirmed)
    • Bringing the Arctic Alive through Adventure Learning
      Steger will share his 20 year experience of connecting his expeditions with classrooms. Steger has continued his commitment to education through the Will Steger Foundation. Their current initiative is focused on inspiring kids to use journals and get outside to observe/document a changing climate in their own backyard here in Minnesota.
  • Peter Snyder, University of Minnesota; Arctic climate systems (Confirmed)
    • The Uncertain Future of the Arctic Climate System
      I will highlight some evidence indicating that climate change in the Arctic is occurring much more rapidly than previously expected and that model projections of climate change are partly to blame. I will discuss some of the model deficiencies that are thought to be responsible for the underestimation of Arctic warming and explore what might happen to the Arctic climate in the future.
  • Danielle Labonté, Energy and Environment Institute, Queen’s University School of Policy Studies (Confirmed)
    • Canadian Arctic Science and Technology: Looking Ahead
      This presentation will outline the importance of Arctic S+T to Canada’s Northern Strategy and highlight ongoing and significant recent investments and plans which will shape the future of Canada’s contribution to polar S+T. The presentation will also feature Canada’s unique approach in delivering Arctic S+T, “the two ways of knowing”, which draws on both western and traditional knowledge.
  • Moderator: Aaron Doering, University of Minnesota, Department of Cuuriculum and Instruction (Confirmed)


Closing Remarks



Canada Will Steger Foundation
Institute on the Environment Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Attention Attendees: We invite you to attend all or part of the event. Space permitting, we welcome registration at the event, but advanced RSVP guarantees your seat.

University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium
301 — 19th Ave South, Mpls MN 55454 [
Map It]



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