By Victoria Herrmann, Fulbright Student 2013-2014
Posted originally on The Guardian, Monday 27 July 2015

The Arctic is warming at a rate almost twice the global average, making climate change’s effects there far more intense and rapid than any other ecosystem in the world. While nature photographs of polar bears and melting ice dominate media narratives, the top of the world is home to 4m people who face an uncertain future.

Coastal erosion, forest fires and storm surges are threatening the physical and economic safety of settlements across the Arctic Ocean shoreline. Further inland, thawing permafrost is compromising the stability of transportation, sanitation and public service infrastructure built upon once-sturdy foundations. In Alaska alone, 31 villages face imminent threat of destruction from erosion and flooding. Many of these villages have 10 to 20 years of livability before their streets, schools and homes become uninhabitable. At least 12 have decided to relocate – in part or entirely – to safer ground to avoid total collapse. read more

Posted by Steve Money originally on the U.S. Department of State Official Blog
July 16, 2015

The United States and other countries are placing more attention on the Arctic as global climate change opens the region to navigation and commercial exploration. During his remarks at a State Department celebration marking the beginning of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in May 2015, Secretary Kerry noted that, “We want a region where people can live with hope and optimism for the future, where strong measures are being taken to mitigate environmental harm, where natural resources are managed effectively and sustainably, and where the challenges of economic development and social cohesion are being addressed in a creative, sensitive, responsible way.” read more

By Dr. Greg Poelzer, one of three Fulbright Arctic Scholars from Canada

The challenges facing the people and lands of the Circumpolar North are huge.  So, too, are the opportunities.   Coming to grips with the sheer breadth and complexity of interdependent issues ranging from energy to water, and from infrastructure to health, requires problem-oriented, multidisciplinary research teams, drawing on diverse experiences from around the Circumpolar North.  For scholars who have dedicated their life’s work to research, teaching, and community engagement in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, the Fulbright Arctic Initiative represents a once-in-a-life time opportunity. read more

y Viva Dadwal and Michael O’Shea, two Fulbright Award winners

We met in an elevator. She was wearing a bright orange beanie, and I a black suit. It was the 20th floor of Constitution Square in Ottawa, Canada. It had been a long day and I was looking forward to the walk home. The doors opened, and we stepped on together. I said, “going down, right?” She said, “Yes.”

“Do we work on the same floor?”, I said smiling.

“Yeah, I work at GlaxoSmithKline, what brings you here?” she said, smiling back. read more

Written by Acacia Johnson, Fulbright Scholar

The warmth of sun, birdsong, sound of water lapping. To think that a few months ago, the idea of warm air seemed utterly impossible, the sun disappeared to some land of no return. Now everything is utterly drenched in it. More in the Arctic than anywhere else, really.

Back in my art studio on Toronto Island, the aftermath of my exhibition Under The Same Stars is omnipresent. Boxes of prints, tissue paper, thumbtacks on the wall and little blue printouts spread liberally over every available tabletop, sorted by depth and shade of indigo and magenta. read more

This post was written by the The University of California, Los Angeles, a member of the Fulbright Canada ecoLeadership program.

Los Angeles has much to learn from Vancouver.  While both are dense, diverse, cosmopolitan cities bounded by mountains, LA’s sister city to the north is renowned for its compact development and walkable neighborhoods.  Vancouver is a model of sustainability, largely due to planning efforts focused on smart growth and environmental protection.

In March 2015, a group of UCLA Graduate Students from the Luskin School of Public Affairs traveled to Vancouver to learn first-hand about the city’s compact development pattern, comprehensive urban transit network and successful natural resource management.  Students met with over 30 government agencies, non-profits, and leading researchers to understand the Vancouver success story.
Preliminary findings can be found on the trip blog and Twitter. read more

Are you ready to start your journey?