The Fulbright Arctic Initiative: Arctic Week in Washington, D.C.

For the past two years, Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars from the eight Arctic nations – Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States -- have been working together to address shared challenges and opportunities through collaborative research.

From April 24-28, 2023, these scholars will gather in Washington, D.C. along with other experts and government officials from the Arctic nations to present their work, provide policy recommendations, and discuss how they will continue their collaboration on future projects.

The Fulbright Program will celebrate the conclusion of this project with a series of events throughout the week, and we invite you to engage with the program virtually and in person throughout the week.


Fulbright Arctic Initiative Poster Exhibition

April 25, 2:00-4:00 pm (EDT)
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

The nineteen researchers and two co-lead scholars will be at the National Museum of Natural History to speak with visitors and display and discuss key findings from their Fulbright research over the past year. The exhibition will be held in the Ocean Hall of the museum and is free and open to the public.

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Symposium - Science Diplomacy in the Arctic

April 27, 2:00-4:00 pm (EDT)
The Wilson Center, Polar Institute

Fulbright Initiative Scholars will present public policy recommendations that emerged from their collaborative work and discuss the Indigenous foundations of Arctic knowledge.

Invitations are required to attend the event in person. A live stream of the event will be available to the public. Register for the public livestream.

More About the Fulbright Arctic Initiative

Launched in 2015 to coincide with the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the Fulbright Arctic Initiative reinforces U.S. priorities by supporting international scientific cooperation on Arctic issues and increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Arctic Initiative forges lasting connections among the Arctic scholars and their nations as they work together toward common goals.

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is part of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, which is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative forges lasting connections among the Arctic scholars and their nations as they work together toward common goals.

Find out more about the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

Who are the Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars?

The current group of nineteen scholars is the third cohort of Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars, representing the eight countries that make up the Arctic Council: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. They are led by two notable Arctic experts, Dr. Greg Poelzer, a Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) at the University of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Elizabeth Rink, Professor of Community Health in the Department of Health and Human Development at Montana State University, both of whom are alumni of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars conducted research in the areas of Arctic security and cooperation, Arctic infrastructure in a changing environment, and the community dimensions of health. They covered a wide range of topics, including engaging local and Indigenous knowledge towards human, environmental and food security; exposure to toxic chemicals in the Faroe Islands; community-based solutions to Indigenous health and elder care in Alaska; climate change resilience; sustainable development; and the role of the arts in Arctic communities.

Co-Lead Scholars

Dr. Greg Poelzer - University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Elizabeth Rink - Montana State University

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars

Dr. Bonita Beatty - University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Dr. Lill Bjørst - Aalborg University, Denmark

Mr. Chris Clarke McQueen - Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada

Dr. Susan Crate - George Mason University, United States

Ms. Jaime DeSimone - Farnsworth Art Museum, United States

Dr. Jessica Graybill - Colgate University, United States

Dr. Elena Grigorieva - Innovative Water and Environmental Solutions, Germany

Dr. Ketil Lenert Hansen UiT The Arctic University of Norway and Sami University of Applied Sciences, Norway

Dr. Andrea Kraj - CORE Renewable Energy Inc., Canada

Dr. Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir - Agricultural University of Iceland

Dr. Anna Krook Riekkola - Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

Dr. Rauna Kuokkanen - University of Lapland, Finland

Mr. Peter Wilhelm Linde - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark

Dr. Rainer Lohmann - University of Rhode Island, United States

Dr. Andreas Østhagen - Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway

Dr. Silja Omarsdóttir - University of Iceland

Ms. Lena Popova - North-Eastern Federal University, Russia

Dr. Anu-Sisko Soikkeli - University of Oulu, Finland

Dr. Kristopher Thornburg - United States Coast Guard

Meet the Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars.

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