University of Washington

Arctic & International Relations is a Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS)-wide initiative, led by the Canadian Studies Center since 2008, to address the Arctic as an emerging global region and actor on the world stage. JSIS and the Center are working in partnership with a parallel initiative, Future of Ice ( – a College of the Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, and Applied Physics Laboratory initiative – to enhance the University of Washington’s (UW) profile in research, education and public engagement about the polar regions. JSIS and School of Oceanography proposed a minor in Arctic Studies that has been signed; the Office of Global Affairs, and the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of the Environment have sponsored a Canada Fulbright Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies; and, the Center, JSIS and a number of units in both colleges are collaborating on several projects.

The Arctic Studies Minor is offered jointly with the School of Oceanography in collaboration with University of the Arctic. This interdisciplinary academic program will link the natural, social sciences and humanities in an integrated program of study.

The multidisciplinary project, Re-Imagining Area Studies in the 21st Century: The Arctic as an Emerging Global Region, is in collaboration with the Center for Global Studies, Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, Center for West European Studies, East Asia Center, Jackson School of International Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Scandinavian Studies, School of Oceanography, Program on Climate Change, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, the Quaternary Research Center, and the Northern Nunavik Laboratory, Government of Québec.

The Fulbright Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies (2013-2017), in partnership with the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States, Ottawa, is funded by the Office of Global Affairs, JSIS, Division of Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of the Environment. 

Arctic and International Relations

Banner Photos

The photos on the banner were carefully selected to provide an illustrated view of the complexity of geopolitical relations in the Arctic today. From left, the first photo is of Canadian Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, who was appointed to be the Chair of the Arctic Council 2013-15. Aglukkaq is the first Inuk to serve as Chair. Next, the Snow Dragon represents China’s interest and activity in the Arctic. In September 2012 the Snow Dragon crossed the Arctic Ocean, in “a landmark trip that is part of Beijing’s efforts to expand its presence in the Arctic.” The polar bear, feeding at a garbage dump in Churchill, Manitoba as a result of late ice freeze, represents the impact of global warming on Arctic wildlife. In the next photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, chat at the May 2013 Arctic Council meeting illustrating the high-level of federal government interest in Arctic policy development. Finally, the students in the Jackson School of International Studies 2011 Arctic Task Force, pose in Ottawa during a blizzard, and represent the importance of education in training the next generation of policy makers and leaders that will deal with Arctic change.

Banner Photo Credits (from left)

Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Retrieved from

RV Xue Long, or Chinese Snow Dragon. June 2012. Trans-Arctic cruise. Retrieved from

Polar bear at Churchill, Manitoba garbage dump. Photo by N. Fabbi.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov chat on May 14, 2013 in Kiruna, Sweden during the conclusion of the 8th Arctic Council meeting. From the U.S. Department of State, Public Domain,15 May 2013. Retrieved from

UW students in the Winter Quarter 2011 Task Force on Arctic Governance standing in front of Foreign Affairs, Canada in Ottawa. Photo by N. Fabbi.

Arctic & International Relations
Box 353650
Thomson Hall, Room 503
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
T (206) 221-6374
F (206) 685-0668
Vincent Gallucci, Chair
Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director
Monick Keo, Webmaster