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Conference: Partial Support for Model Arctic Council (MAC)


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Type of project
Project theme
Education & Outreach
Project topic
Education & Outreach

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Science / project summary

This award supports the expenses for student participation in the Model Arctic Council (MAC) 2016 workshop. MAC 2016 will engage graduate and undergraduate students from universities in the United States and other Arctic countries in a simulation of Arctic Council processes. The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) will host the event in March 2016 during the United States' Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, immediately before the Senior Arctic Officials meet at UAF. Students will assume roles of the Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants, and Observers in addressing matters of concern in the Arctic. The seven-day program includes plenary lectures by experts on Arctic social and environmental issues and simulated meetings of a working group and Senior Arctic Officials, followed by a simulated Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council. Students will present their resolutions to the actual Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials on the final day of the MAC exercise. The program is designed to be a biennial event hosted in even years by a UArctic partner university in the country chairing the Arctic Council. Biennial US-only events held at American partner universities in odd years will expand opportunities for American students and enhance continuity. The objectives of the MAC are to: 1) develop students' knowledge of the Arctic as a region, of circumpolar politics, and of northern Indigenous peoples; 2) increase students' understanding of Arctic Council objectives and processes; 3) prepare students to assume leadership roles in the circumpolar north; and 4) enhance student and faculty collaboration among UArctic institutions. Students will prepare for the simulation within university courses on international relations or related topics offered by collaborating faculty at UAF and other participating universities. The goal of the workshop is to increase knowledge among the participants and stimulate their interest in the Arctic and potential to contribute to or utilize Arctic social science research in future decision making. In addition there is the potential contribution to the literature on experiential learning and the synergy with other Arctic Council activities, as well as the Arctic Science Summit Week. The broader impacts of the workshop will be realized by the international student participation; increasing knowledge of a wide spectrum of issues and concepts that affect Arctic communities among young scholars; influencing potential young leaders to take an interest in the Arctic - and supporting an Arctic Council activity during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The student selection process is appropriately rigorous, including a plan for recruiting participants from underrepresented groups; the activity supports international collaborations with other institutions in Norway, Russia, and Iceland; and there is a good dissemination plan for the results documents, both in public and academic fora.