Each year UW offers two courses centered on the attendance of Arctic Circle Assembly, the largest Arctic gathering of its kind. In these two Coastal and Marine Management courses, “Arctic Ocean Governance” and “Communicating Climate Change”, students undertake projects based on the sessions they attend at the Arctic Circle Assembly.

The trip gave students the chance to network with and gain insight from over 2,000 academics, diplomats, and other representatives from the public and private sectors from all over the Arctic. The students attended a multitude of cross disciplinary forums and had the chance to meet influential leaders from both the academic and political spectrum. To mention one highlight students had the opportunity to have a private meeting with leading climate scientist Professor Stefan Rahmstorf and former president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

To limit our carbon footprint UW students and staff members left by bus early Thursday morning  from Ísafjörður, arriving at Harpa conference centre in the evening where they registered for the conference and took a group photo. They then headed to the Reykjavík Art Museum where they joined other conference guests for the welcome reception. At the reception students had the chance to hear former president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, make the opening remarks for the conference and they had the chance to start to mingle with all the conference attendees. The night was then capped off with a stellar performance by a former Arctic Youth Ambassador and U.S. State Department Arts Envoy, Byron Nicholai, from the Yup´ik community in Alaska.

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