This course will showcase the major geopolitical issues currently under negotiation in the Arctic region and briefly introduce students to the important elements that underlie and drive the issues. Currently the Arctic’s future is uncertain economically and environmentally. Rumors abound concerning the Arctic’s natural and social environments. This course will explore the myths ; explain what we know and don’t know about the region’s environmental and economic futures; and give students the opportunity to analyze the evidence and devise policy solutions for a more sustainable future Arctic.

Through presentations and discussions, we shall

1. Build a knowledge foundation with a survey of the evolving bio geophysical environment as it is responding to rapid climate changes.

2. Create a framework of economic and political interests and activities currently operating in the area, as well as anticipating additional ones that may emerge in the future. For example, we’ll ask “What do we know about the region’s economy, and what do we just think we know? “

3. Examine the range of national policies and interests of both nations bordering the Arctic and those with extensive interests in using it for transportation, food supply, energy, and mineral sources.

Students will explore how we might create institutions and accompanying policies that optimize on multiple axes in the short and long term.

Topics to be covered will include a review of:

1. climate change impacts and rates of change that have drawn our attention to the area;

2. feedback loops among energy output and consumption; habitat and biodiversity destruction; local indigenous, regional, national, and international economic developments;

3. current and projected governing mechanisms which might provide the necessary balances essential to sustaining the natural and human needs of the area; and

4. a brief review of national security concerns, as context, for understanding ecological and economic changes.

Over a period of 2 weekends, students will briefly research, analyze, and report on their recommendations for the best solutions to preserving this unique natural area while at the same time providing practical economic development that would allow a healthy environmental and economic future for the area.

9:00am-3:00pm on Sunday at MRSE B105 (Apr 3, 2016 to Apr 10, 2016)
9:00am-5:00pm on Saturday at MRSE B105 (Apr 2, 2016 to Apr 9, 2016)
6:00pm-9:00pm on Friday at MRSE B105 (Apr 1, 2016 to Apr 8, 2016)
Morse B105