63 Events

Pen on paper in front of an American flag.

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Seminar - Open to the Public

Crafting Climate Policy That Sticks: An Arctic Case Study

Tue., May 14, 2024 | 4:00pm - 5:15pm

Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor

Climate change transcends terms of office and demands steadfast policy responses. The Arctic, which is warming three to four times faster than the rest of the world, is at the forefront of the climate crisis. Communities in the region are witnessing profound disruptions to their daily lives and livelihoods as their environment rapidly transforms.

Join us for a deep dive into how durable policies are critical for building the resilience communities impacted by climate change. The discussion will draw out lessons from the implementation of the U.S. Arctic Strategy, featuring insights from officials from the White House and the Department of Interior, climate scientists, and local leaders who are directly engaged in translating policy commitments into action. Learn how the strides made through this strategy are not just responding to current challenges but are setting the groundwork for a resilient future for the Arctic and all communities facing the impacts of climate change.

RSVP required. A Harvard University ID is required for in-person attendance; all are welcome to attend on Zoom. For questions or to request accessibility accommodations, contact Elizabeth Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu).

A dumpster in Anchorage, Alaska.

Nadezhda Filimonova

Seminar - Open to the Public

Promoting Waste Management for Sustainable Arctic Cities

Fri., Apr. 26, 2024 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Online

Arctic cities face uniquely challenging conditions for solid waste management, including harsh weather, geographic remoteness, limited infrastructure, and a rapidly changing climate. Arctic residents produce twice as much garbage annually than the global per capita average, with lower rates of waste collection and recycling than the rest of the world. 

The Arctic Initiative, together with the Arctic Mayors’ Forum, is hosting a webinar to explore how Arctic cities are implementing innovative approaches, including circular economy strategies, to address pollution and create cleaner, more sustainable places to live.

In this webinar, a panel of researchers and practitioners will discuss:

  • The unique waste management challenges faced by Arctic cities.
  • The serious health and environmental consequences of improper waste disposal.
  • Real-world best practices for improving waste management.

This event is free and open to everyone, but registration is required. For questions or to request accessibility accommodations, contact Elizabeth Hanlon (ehanlon@hks.harvard.edu).

Map of the Earth that shows both Africa and the Arctic

Adobe Stock

Special Series - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Africa + the Arctic: From the Margins to the Center

Tue., Apr. 16, 2024 | 3:45pm - 5:00pm

Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor

What do Africa and the Arctic have in common? Join the Belfer Center’s Africa Futures Project and the Arctic Initiative for an interactive discussion and community networking event that will explore parallels between these seemingly disparate regions.

Drs. Zoe Marks and Jennifer Spence will provide an overview of shared dynamics in both regions, including great power competition, extractive industries, and the energy transition. The remarks will lay the foundation for small group discussion on other misconceptions, commonalities, and cautionary tales. Participants will have an opportunity to connect with Harvard's Africa and Arctic networks and insights generated from their discussions that will inform topics for future Africa + Arctic dialogues.

Refreshments will be served. 

Dr. Zoe Marks is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Chair of the Africa Futures Project.

Dr. Jennifer Spence is the Project Director of the Arctic Initiative

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