60 Events

Bioclimatic zones in the Arctic region

Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF

Study Group - Harvard Students

Cooperation or Conflict in the Arctic: What to Do About Russia During a Climate Crisis?

Wed., Feb. 7, 2024 | 4:45pm - 6:00pm

Ofer Building - Ofer Building, Room 401

Meets: 4:45-6:00pm ET from February 14 to March 27 (excluding March 13)

In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, nearly all cooperation on Arctic science and conservation has ceased between the West and Russia, bringing to a halt thirty years of joint effort on fisheries and wildlife conservation, climate change research, protected areas management and other areas of environmental science.  

This six-session study group, led by Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow Margaret Williams, will explore the Arctic's unique environmental and cultural characteristics, as well as the key agreements and governance structures supporting environmental protection and sustainable development in the region. The group's objective is to evaluate the costs and benefits of renewing cooperation with Russia and develop recommendations that could be shared with key government agencies in the United States or other Western countries regarding future cooperation in the science and conservation arenas.

Classes will be a combination of presentations by the study group leader and guest speakers; student presentations; and at least one debate. Guest speakers will include scientists, Arctic experts from NGOs, and government representatives. Some minimal reading will be required before each session for all participants. 

Eligibility Requirements: Harvard graduate and post-graduate students, who can attend all sessions. Applicants with a strong interest in Arctic issues are encouraged to apply. No specific experience or first-hand knowledge of the issues is required.

The application deadline has passed.

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

The Race to Save Ukraine

Tue., Feb. 6, 2024 | 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor

As the two-year anniversary of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches, join us for a wide-ranging conversation with the founders of the humanitarian organization Assist Ukraine, the Arctic-biologist-turned-activist Olga Shpak and the alpinist and conservationist Art Davidson. The panel will cover the war’s impact on Arctic science, the current situation on the ground in Ukraine, the process of providing aid to front-line defenders, and more.

Belfer Young Leader Fellow Vladyslav Wallace will moderate. Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow Margaret Williams will provide introductory remarks. Q&A to follow. No RSVP required. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Refreshments will be provided.

Sponsors: The Harvard Kennedy School Ukraine Caucus and the Belfer Center's Arctic Initiative

Reindeer grazing in the snow

Adobe Stock/Pav-Pro Photography

Seminar - Open to the Public

COP28 Climate Outcomes: What Do They Mean for the Arctic?

Mon., Dec. 18, 2023 | 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Online

Join Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow Margaret Williams for a debrief with Arctic experts recently returned from the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP28. The panelists will reflect on their key takeaways from the conference and answer any questions you might have about its outcomes, with a focus on Arctic biodiversity, permafrost thaw, and Indigenous peoples.

Recording: The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page (typically one week later). Those who register for this event will automatically receive a link to the recording as soon as it is available.

Accessibility: To request accommodations or for questions about access, please contact Liz Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the session.

Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant in Þingvellir, Iceland

Gretar Ívarsson/Wikimedia Commons

Seminar - Open to the Public

Arctic Ambitions: Pioneering the Green Transition Amid Geopolitical Tensions

Thu., Nov. 2, 2023 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Littauer Building - Belfer Center Library, Room 369

Please join the Arctic Initiative for a seminar featuring Halla Hrund Logadóttir, Director-General of Iceland's National Energy Authority, and Professor Henry Lee, who will delve into the green transition through an Arctic lens. The Arctic, rich in both fossil fuels and rare earth minerals, will play a pivotal role in shaping the world's sustainable future through technology transfer and innovation traveling from Iceland to China. Logadottir and Lee will share insights on how some Arctic nations are pioneering the green movement even as geopolitical tensions mount globally, and the implications for the upcoming COP28 in the United Arab Emirates.

Registration: Please RSVP using the button below. Upon registering, virtual attendees will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link. 

Recording: The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page (typically one week later). Those who register for this event will automatically receive a link to the recording as soon as it becomes available.

Accessibility: To request accommodations or for questions about access, please contact Liz Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the session.

Emergency room sign in both English and Iñupiaq

Amar Deshwar

Seminar - Open to the Public

Temperature Is a Vital Sign: Climate Change and Population Health in Alaska

Thu., Oct. 5, 2023 | 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Rubenstein Building - David T. Ellwood Democracy Lab, Room 414AB

Climate change is a healthcare emergency.

This seminar will highlight the efforts of physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital’s Division of Space, Ecological, Arctic, and Resource Limited Medicine to create a program of health monitoring with colleagues in the Northwest Arctic Borough of Alaska to quantify and qualify the impacts of climate change on human health through the lens of emergency medical care. The project, led by Arctic Initiative Faculty Affiliate Dr. N. Stuart Harris and nominated for the prestigious 2023 Frederik Paulsen Arctic Academic Action Award, seeks to inform scientific and policy priorities for protecting the health of Arctic populations in a warming world and to create a scalable model for assessing the health impacts of climate change that could be deployed to healthcare settings nationally and internationally.

Registration: No RSVP is required. Room capacity is limited and seating will be on a first come, first served basis. The seminar will also be streamed via Zoom. Virtual attendees should register using the button below; upon registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link. 

Recording: The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page (typically one week later). Those who register for this event will automatically receive a link to the recording as soon as it becomes available.

Accessibility: To request accommodations or for questions about access, please contact Liz Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the session.

A lead in the Arctic Ocean sea ice runs beneath the icebreaker Polarstern.

Manuel Ernst

Seminar - Open to the Public

Arctic Governance and Cooperation Through Conflict

Tue., Sep. 12, 2023 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Belfer Building - Land Hall, 4th Floor

Once a symbol of international cooperation and peace, the Arctic now stands at a crossroads between geopolitical tension and diverse opportunities and challenges that require collaboration. Following Russia's actions in Ukraine and subsequent shifts in Arctic governance, how will nations advance significant policy issues, such as climate science and emergency response, without a functioning governance system?

Join the Arctic Initiative and its partners for an engaging discussion with a panel of international experts to unpack the Arctic's intricate challenges and their global ramifications, from international politics to climate impacts. 

Q&A to follow. Boxed lunches will be available to-go following the seminar.

Registration: In-person attendance is limited to current Harvard ID holders. No RSVP is required. Room capacity is limited and seating will be on a first come, first served basis.

Members of the public are welcome to attend virtually via Zoom. Virtual attendees should register using the button below; upon registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link. 

Recording: The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page.

Accessibility: To request accommodations or for questions about access, please contact Elizabeth Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the session.

Co-Sponsors: Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), the Center for Ocean Governance at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), and the Wilson Center's Polar Institute.

Seminar - Open to the Public

Arctic Pandemics: Arctic Yearbook Special Volume Virtual Launch

Thu., Sep. 7, 2023 | 11:00am - 12:30pm

Online

The COVID-19 pandemic was a global phenomenon, but its impacts in the Arctic, and the experiences of Arctic communities, were distinct.

Join us for the official launch event of the Arctic Yearbook’s Special Volume on Arctic Pandemics: COVID-19 and Other Pandemic Experiences and Lessons Learned. The volume includes 15 peer reviewed articles and ten shorter contributions, and is available open access on the Arctic Yearbook's website.

In this webinar, Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow and co-editor Jennifer Spence will moderate a discussion with select authors from the collection who will reflect on:

  1. The unique conditions and characteristics of pandemic management in the Arctic (past, present and future),
  2. The impacts and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and public health actions and activities in the Arctic,
  3. The experiences and best practices from across the Arctic, with a priority on Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Knowledge, and experiences and lessons learned at the community level, and
  4. The insights and advice presented in the volume that may inform pandemic preparedness and management and contribute to resilience in the Arctic.

Registration: This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP using the link below. 

Recording: The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page.

Accessibility: To request accommodations or for questions about access, please contact Elizabeth Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the session.

Sponsors: Belfer Center's Arctic Initiative, Arctic Yearbook

Aerial view of Fairbanks, Alaska

Quintin Soloviev/Wikimedia Commons

Seminar - Open to the Public

Building Climate Resilience in the Urban Arctic

Thu., Apr. 27, 2023 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Online

Contrary to popular perception, the Arctic is not a desolate wilderness: four million people call the Arctic home, two-thirds of whom reside in urban settlements. Like the region as a whole, the rapid pace of climate change is making life in Arctic cities—challenging at the best of times due to winter darkness, remoteness, and cold weather—increasingly difficult. Climate-induced hazards, such as permafrost thaw, sea ice loss, sea level rise, erosion, flooding, and wildfires, pose severe risks to urban infrastructure and the health and livelihoods of urban residents. 

Please join Harvard Kennedy School’s Arctic Initiative and the Arctic Mayors’ Forum for a virtual seminar that will explore how Arctic cities are addressing the current and future impacts of climate change, as well as the lessons that Arctic cities and other cities elsewhere in the world can learn from each other’s experiences. The panel will feature Ida Maria Pinnerød, Mayor of Bodø, Norway; Annika Myrén, Development Strategist of the City of Umeå, Sweden; and Bryce Ward, Mayor of Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska. Arctic Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellow Nadezhda Filimonova will moderate. Q&A to follow. 

Attendance: This event is open to the public and hosted on Zoom. For those who cannot attend live, the seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page (typically within two weeks). Those who register for this event will automatically receive a link to the recording as soon as it becomes available.

Accessibility: To request a disability accommodation or for questions about access, please contact Elizabeth Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the seminar.

Seminar - Open to the Public

Energy Policy Seminar: Eyck Freymann on "Chinese Perspectives on Climate Geopolitics"

Mon., Mar. 27, 2023 | 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Rubenstein Building - David T. Ellwood Democracy Lab, Room 414AB

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring Eyck Freymann, joint Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Belfer Center's Arctic Initiative and Columbia University. Freymann will give a talk on "Chinese Perspectives on Climate Geopolitics." Q&A to follow. Buffet-style lunch will be served.

Registration: No RSVP is required. Room capacity is limited and seating will be on a first come, first served basis. The seminar will also be streamed via Zoom. Virtual attendees should register using the button below; upon registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link. 

Recording: The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page (typically one week later). Those who register for this event will automatically receive a link to the recording as soon as it becomes available.

Accessibility: Persons with disabilities who wish to request accommodations or who have questions about access, please contact Liz Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the session.

Sponsors: The Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program, the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability

Seminar - Open to the Public

Polar Cousins: Comparing Antarctic and Arctic Geostrategic Futures

Thu., Jan. 26, 2023 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor

Once considered "flyover country at the edge of the world," the Arctic, the Antarctic, and their associated marine environments are emerging as regions for exploration, exploitation, and extraction - as well as active arenas for geopolitical competition between polar and near-polar states. How that competition plays out will have serious ramifications for environmental, political, economic, and human security and stability around the globe. 

Please join the Arctic Initiative for a book talk featuring Douglas Causey, Arctic Initiative Associate and Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Christian Leuprecht, Class of 1965 Professor in Leadership at the Royal Military College of Canada. Drawing from their new book, Polar Cousins: Comparing Antarctic and Arctic Geostrategic Futures, co-editors Causey and Leuprecht will  discuss the impacts of geopolitics and climate change on national and international security interests in both polar regions, as well as the lessons learned from the Arctic experience for addressing challenges relating to governance, environmental protection, and maritime operations in the Antarctic.

Arctic Initiative Co-Director John P. Holdren will moderate. Q&A to follow. Buffet-style lunch will be served.

Attendance: In-person attendance is limited to Harvard ID holders; no RSVP required. Room capacity is limited and seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. 

Members of the public are welcome to attend virtually via Zoom. Virtual attendees should register using the button below; upon registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link. 

Recording: The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on this page (typically one week later). Those who register for this event will automatically receive a link to the recording as soon as it becomes available.

Accessibility: Persons with disabilities who wish to request accommodations or who have questions about access, please contact Elizabeth Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu) in advance of the session.