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Arctic Spring Festival Symposium: May 8, 2015

Why the Arctic Matters: Applying a ‘Human Perspective’ to Understanding Arctic Change

Friday, May 8, 2015

1:30-4:30 pm

National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium, Ground Floor

 

WilRichardCollage
Photo Credits: Wilfred E. Richard - ASC Research Collaborator. Featuring (center top): Aaju Peter


A panel discussion by leaders in Arctic research and education, followed by a film screening of ECHOES from the Greenland Eyes International Film Festival. The panel will be opened at 1:30 p.m. with Sounds of the Arctic by sound artist, Charles Morrow; a film screening of Tupilaq, from the Greenland Eyes International Film Festival; and a short musical performance by the Uummannaq Greenland Youth Ensemble.

Welcoming Remarks:

Kirk Johnson, Director, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution

Keynote speaker:

Heather A. Conley, Senior Vice President, Europe, Eurasia and the Arctic, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC

Panel Moderator:

Igor Krupnik, Arctic Studies Center

Panelists:

Margaret Beckel, President and CEO Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada.
C. Nikoosh Carlo, Senior Advisor to the SAO Chair, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, Athabascan
John Farrell, Executive Director US Arctic Research Commission, Arlington, VA
William Fitzhugh, Director, Arctic Studies Center, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution
Craig Fleener, Arctic Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Bill Walker, Anchorage, Gwitch’n
Stephanie Pfirman, co-Chair, Environmental Science Department, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York
Simon Stephenson, IARPC Executive Director and OSTP Assistant Director for Polar Science
Mead Treadwell
, President, Pt Capital, former Lt. Governor of the State of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska


Keynote Address:

The Arctic is the New Mecca of the North?: Why is the Arctic such a “hot” global topic and what does it all mean?

By: Heather A. Conley

Explorers have probed its farthest reaches. Distinct indigenous peoples have lived in harmony with and gained strength from this unique region for centuries. Species of mammals, migratory birds, and fish arrive seasonally or remain in its extreme habitat.

This is the Arctic: a region that covers 6% of the earth’s surface and approximately 14.5 million square miles of ocean and land. It is also home to 4 million people, producing roughly 0.6% of the world’s gross domestic product.

Today, the Arctic is experiencing profound and stunning change as the increased presence of black carbon and methane, ocean acidification, coastal erosion, permafrost thaw, and the depletion of Arctic species alter its physical environment. As Arctic sea ice diminishes and Arctic temperatures continue to rise, the Arctic Ocean is increasingly becoming a navigable, blue water ocean, piquing the economic interests of Arctic and non-Arctic states alike and driving policy urgency to preserve and protect this unique and fragile ecosystem.

As the United States begins its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council – an intergovernmental forum that discusses Arctic issues – it is a timely opportunity to examine current developments in the Arctic, assess the future of international cooperation in light of heightened geopolitical tensions with Russia, and address why the Arctic matters environmentally, economically, politically, and culturally.

 

HeatherConleyHeather A. Conley is senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS in 2009, she served as executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board at the American National Red Cross. From 2001 to 2005, she served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for U.S. bilateral relations with the countries of northern and central Europe. From 1994 to 2001, she was a senior associate with an international consulting firm led by former U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage. Ms. Conley began her career in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She was selected to serve as special assistant to the coordinator of U.S. assistance to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Ms. Conley is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic and is frequently featured as a foreign policy analyst on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, and PBS. She received her B.A. in international studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).



Panelist Biographies:


Beckel

Meg Beckel President & CEO, Canadian Museum of Nature. On June 6, 2011, Meg Beckel began her five-year appointment as President & CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Beckel joins a team of passionate and committed individuals dedicated to the museum’s vision to inspire understanding and respect for nature. Prior to joining the Museum Meg was Vice-President, External Relations at the University of Waterloo for four years and  Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Ontario Museum for nine years.

Beckel began her professional career at the Bank of Nova Scotia where she served as Officer in Charge of Operations and as Assistant Manager, Corporate Banking before moving to the National Ballet of Canada in 1986, where she began a career in fundraising and external relations in the arts and education sector.   

Beckel currently serves as Chair of TerraTundra Foundation and lead for the Arctic Natural History Museums Alliance.  She also serves as a member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada Board, the Advisory Board for the Ottawa CEO Breakfast Club and the Advisory Board of  Ottawa River Keeper.

 

 

Dr. Nikoosh Carlo CNikooshCarlo is Senior Advisor to Ambassador David Balton, Chair of the SAOs, at the U.S. Department of Sta  te for the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. She brings to this position  prior experience in Arctic policy at the state-level, as the Executive Director of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, and at the federal-level as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Carlo has worked to advance programs that support the health and wellbeing  of  Arctic residents, and led efforts to develop U.S. Arctic science and policy. Dr. Carlo is Athabascan Indian from the interior region of Alaska, and was raised in the Fairbanks and Tanana communities. She attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks for undergraduate studies, earned her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego and served as a postdoc at the Salk Institute and a Fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health and Johns Hopkins University.
 

Dr. John Farrell is the Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

Farrell previously served as the Associate Dean of Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Before that, he was Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program that involved over 20 nations and had an annual budget of approximately $65M/yr. The program was dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth.

Farrell helped organized and conduct the first successful international scientific ocean drilling expedition to the high Arctic in 2004. He also participated in a US ocean mapping effort aboard the icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Healy in 2012.

He obtained a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in geological sciences from Brown University, and a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College. He was a NSF-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University and an NSERC-funded Senior Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.

- See more at: http://www.arctic.gov/farrell.html#sthash.2z7hyrin.dpuf

John FarrellDr. John Farrell is the Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

Farrell previously served as the Associate Dean of Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Before that, he was Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program that involved over 20 nations and had an annual budget of approximately $65M/yr. The program was dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth.

Farrell helped organized and conduct the first successful international scientific ocean drilling expedition to the high Arctic in 2004. He also participated in a US ocean mapping effort aboard the icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Healy in 2012.

He obtained a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in geological sciences from Brown University, and a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College. He was a NSF-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University and an NSERC-funded Senior Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.

John W. Farrell, PhD
USARC Executive Director

Dr. John Farrell is the Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

Farrell previously served as the Associate Dean of Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Before that, he was Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program that involved over 20 nations and had an annual budget of approximately $65M/yr. The program was dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth.

Farrell helped organized and conduct the first successful international scientific ocean drilling expedition to the high Arctic in 2004. He also participated in a US ocean mapping effort aboard the icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Healy in 2012.

He obtained a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in geological sciences from Brown University, and a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College. He was a NSF-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University and an NSERC-funded Senior Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.

- See more at: http://www.arctic.gov/farrell.html#sthash.2z7hyrin.dpuf

John W. Farrell, PhD
USARC Executive Director

Dr. John Farrell is the Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

Farrell previously served as the Associate Dean of Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Before that, he was Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program that involved over 20 nations and had an annual budget of approximately $65M/yr. The program was dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth.

Farrell helped organized and conduct the first successful international scientific ocean drilling expedition to the high Arctic in 2004. He also participated in a US ocean mapping effort aboard the icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Healy in 2012.

He obtained a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in geological sciences from Brown University, and a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College. He was a NSF-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University and an NSERC-funded Senior Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.

- See more at: http://www.arctic.gov/farrell.html#sthash.2z7hyrin.dpuf

John W. Farrell, PhD
USARC Executive Director

Dr. John Farrell is the Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

Farrell previously served as the Associate Dean of Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Before that, he was Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program that involved over 20 nations and had an annual budget of approximately $65M/yr. The program was dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth.

Farrell helped organized and conduct the first successful international scientific ocean drilling expedition to the high Arctic in 2004. He also participated in a US ocean mapping effort aboard the icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Healy in 2012.

He obtained a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in geological sciences from Brown University, and a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College. He was a NSF-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University and an NSERC-funded Senior Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.

- See more at: http://www.arctic.gov/farrell.html#sthash.2z7hyrin.dpuf


Bill head shotWilliam Fitzhugh, Director, Arctic Studies Center, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution. Dr. William Fitzhugh is an anthropologist specializing in circumpolar archaeology, ethnology and environmental studies. As director of the Arctic Studies Center and Curator in the Department of Anthropology, NMNH, he has spent more than thirty years studying and publishing on Arctic peoples and cultures in northern Canada, Alaska, Siberia and Scandinavia. His archaeological and environmental research has focused upon the prehistory and paleoecology of northeastern North America, and broader aspects of his research feature the evolution of northern maritime adaptations, circumpolar culture contacts, cross-cultural studies and acculturation processes in the North, especially concerning Native-European contacts.

Recent research efforts have been directed at investigations into the problem of the western penetration of Maritime Archaic, Paleoeskimo and early Inuit cultures along the Lower North Shore of Quebec, and to associate this culture history more closely with Labrador and Newfoundland. Current interests in the origins of reindeer herding have led him to conduct research in Mongolia, where he is investigating reindeer herding in southern Siberia along the forest-steppe border, as well as investigating possible connections between deer-stones and Scythian art to the ancient art of East Asia and the Bering Sea Eskimos.

As curator of the National Museum of Natural History's Arctic collections, Bill has produced four international exhibitions, Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimos; Crossroads of Continents: Native Cultures of Siberia and Alaska; Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People; and Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga. His public and educational activities include the production of films, including the NOVA specials, Mysteries of the Lost Red Paint People, Norse America and several other Viking films. He served as Chairman of the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology from 1975-80, is an Advisor to the Arctic Research Commission, represents the Smithsonian and Arctic social science in various inter-agency councils, serves on the Smithsonian Science Commission and holds various other administrative and advisory posts.


FleenerCraig Fleener, Arctic Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Bill Walker, Anchorage, Gwitch’n. Craig Fleener is Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich'in from Fort Yukon Alaska. He has 6 children and 4 grandchildren and is married to his best friend Uliana. His decades of experience include work on Arctic Policy, Wildlife and Fisheries, subsistence, food security, and Alaska Native issues. He served as a member of the Alaska Board of Game, Director of the Division of Subsistence and Deputy Commissioner for Wildlife, Subsistence, and Habitat with the State of Alaska. He is a wildlife biologist with a specialty in Moose management and human dimensions of wildlife and fisheries.

He served as a City Council member at the City of Fort Yukon, Alaska and as a tribal council member with the Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich'in Tribal Council and work for his tribal government for 16 years overseeing health care, education, and natural resources management. He successfully negotiated the first ever annual funding agreement in the United States between a tribe and the federal government initiating tribal management on federal land. He has a BSc degree in Natural Resources Management and a MSc degree in Strategic Intelligence.

He is a combat veteran and has been in the military on active duty and as a guardsman for over 28 years, and currently serves as the Senior Intelligence Officer in the Alaska Air National Guard. He currently serves as the Arctic Policy Advisor to the Governor of Alaska.


Pfirman photoStephanie L. Pfirman, is Hirschorn Professor of Environmental Science and co-Chair of Barnard's Department of Environmental Science.  She holds a joint appointment with Columbia University where she is a member of the faculties of the Earth Institute and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Adjunct Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.  Professor Pfirman’s scientific research focuses on the Arctic environment, in particular on the nature and dynamics of Arctic sea ice.  She served as co-chair of the National Academy of Science study committee on Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic which produced the 2014 “The Arctic in the Anthropocene” report.  She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Section on Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences. 

Professor Pfirman has contributed to the development of innovative educational approaches in interdisciplinary, environmental, and STEM education including currently serving as principal investigator of the Polar Learning and Responding: PoLAR Climate Change Education Partnership supported by the National Science Foundation. Prior to joining Barnard, Professor Pfirman was a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund and co-developer of the award-winning exhibition, "Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast," produced jointly with the American Museum of Natural History.  She is past President of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, and has worked for the House of Representatives, as a staff scientist, for the US Geological Survey, as an oceanographer, and for the GeoMarine Research Institution in Kiel, Germany, as an Arctic researcher.  Her PhD is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution joint program in Oceanography and Oceanographic Engineering.

 

Simon StephensonSimon Stephenson, Assistant Director, Polar Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy. As Assistant Director, Polar Sciences Mr Stephenson assists the President’s Science Advisor, Dr. John P Holdren, on issues related to research in the Polar Regions. Recently this included establishing the new Deputy Secretary-level Arctic Executive Steering Committee chaired by Dr. Holdren. Mr Stephenson is on detail to OSTP from the National Science Foundation where he serves as Head of the Arctic Sciences Section. The unit is responsible for a research investment of about $ 100 M annually.  The disciplinary scope of the programs is broad, encompassing much of the natural and social sciences as they apply to Arctic science questions. 

 


220px-Mead_Treadwell,_Photo_1Mead Treadwell, President, Pt Capital, former Lt. Governor of the State of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska. Mead Treadwell was elected Lieutenant Governor of Alaska in 2010. Since the early 1980’s, Treadwell has held leadership roles in both business and public service. He is recognized as one of the world’s Arctic policy experts and has testified to Congress regarding America’s preparedness for increasing development pressures in the Arctic.

Treadwell was appointed to the United States Arctic Research Commission by President George W. Bush in 2001 (tenure ending in 2010) and designated the Commission’s chair in 2006. Under his leadership, a new United States Arctic Policy was developed and is now being implemented by the current administration. He represented Alaska on U.S. delegations which established the eight-nation Arctic Council, and was involved in the establishment of the Northern Forum. In addition, Treadwell was a Senior Fellow of the Institute of the North, an endowed public policy research program founded by former Secretary of the Interior and two-time Alaska governor Walter H. Hickel, to focus on Alaska and Arctic natural resource issues, governance of public assets, geography, and national security. His efforts there helped establish missile defense in Alaska and strengthened the regional U.S. alliance with Japan.

After graduating from Yale University, Treadwell moved to Alaska to became the lead political reporter for the “Anchorage Times.” Then, in 1982, after completing his MBA at the Harvard Business School, Treadwell joined former Alaskan governors Wally Hickel and Bill Egan to found the Yukon Pacific Corporation, which instigated the Alaska gas pipeline project. He later served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (1991-1994). Later in his career, he helped launch a series of technology, manufacturing and service companies, two of which – Digimarc and Emberclear – trade on public stock exchanges, and was a chairman of Immersive Media Company (IMC),  notable for developing the camera used for Google’s Street View and Map Quest’s 360 View services. Until recently, he was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Venture Ad Astra, an Anchorage company, which invests in and develops new geospatial and imaging technologies.

Treadwell was elected a Fellow National of the Explorers Club in 2002 and chairs the North Pacific Alaska Chapter of the Club. He is past president of the Alaska World Affairs Council, the Japan America Society of Alaska, and the Visual Arts Center of Alaska. As a founder of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce Siberian Gateway Project, he worked to open the Alaska-Russia border in 1988. Further, he has served as a board member of Commonwealth North, the Great Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts, the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation and the Alaska-Siberia Research Center.

 

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