Sixteen Scholars Announced for Second Fulbright Arctic Initiative

Experts will collaborate on research to advance community resilience and sustainable economies

WASHINGTON, DC, April 3, 2018 — Sixteen outstanding scholars from Arctic Council nations will engage in collaborative, multi-disciplinary research over the next 18 months through the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Arctic Initiative to advance Arctic nations’ shared interest in building resilient communities and sustainable economies. Researchers will explore topics such as renewable energy, fisheries management, health and wellness, and telecommunications infrastructure in the Arctic.

Sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this initiative supports interdisciplinary research for scholars from Arctic Council member countries. The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum that includes Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. The governments of Canada and Finland have provided additional funding for this second cohort of Fulbright Arctic Scholars.

Dr. Michael Sfraga, Director of the Polar Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Dr. Ross A. Virginia, Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College, will serve as distinguished scholar leaders of the initiative. The diverse group of 16 scholar participants – including three from indigenous Arctic communities and 13 women – will explore public policy research questions and offer innovative solutions from a wide variety of disciplines. See the scholars’ full biographies here

2018-19 Fulbright Arctic Scholars

                                            Name  Home Institution
 Eleanor Bors Oregon State University, United States
 Katie Cueva University of Alaska, Anchorage, United States
 Elena Gladun University of Tyumen, Russia
 Daria Gritsenko University of Helsinki, Finland
 Sean Guistini Nunavut Arctic College, Canada
 Gwen Healey Quajigiartiit Health Research Center, Canada
 Lara Johannsdottir University of Iceland
 Nicole Kanayurak North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, Alaska
 Christina Larsen University of Southern Denmark
 Sanne Larsen Aalborg University, Denmark
 Josée Lavoie University of Manitoba, Canada
 Soili Nysten-Haarala University of Lapland, Finland
 Elizabeth Rink Montana State University, United States
 Jon Petter Stoor Sámi Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Mental Health and Substance Abuse
 Todd Sformo University of Alaska, Fairbanks, United States
 Svetlana Tulaeva Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration


“We are pleased to cooperate with partner governments and work with binational Fulbright Commissions in fellow Arctic Council countries to support this new cohort of Fulbright Arctic Scholars,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Jennifer Zimdahl Galt. “America has a shared interest in supporting economic development, community resilience, and environmental protection in this vital region. These scholars, through their collaboration with each other and with Arctic communities in the United States and partner nations, will help policymakers address critical challenges facing the Arctic and create opportunities for Arctic populations.”

Fulbright Arctic Scholars engage with governments, NGOs, businesses, and Arctic communities through individual research exchange visits, online collaborations, and through a series of group seminars in Canada, Finland and the United States. “The inaugural Fulbright Arctic Initiative demonstrated the value of bringing together experts and academic leaders from the eight Arctic nations to focus on urgent and ever-evolving issues throughout the region,” said Dr. Sfraga. “These scholars will bring their impressive credentials and expertise to bear on a new, but complementary, set of Arctic-specific challenges and opportunities to create actionable, policy-oriented recommendations based on sound and responsive research.”

Dr. Virginia commented, “Our new scholars bring expertise in the fields of community health, oceans and food security, sustainable development, and environmental policy to create new collaborative and individual research on the program themes of resilient communities and sustainable economies. They represent the leaders who will help secure a sustainable future for the Arctic and our global environment.”

This initiative builds on the successful outcomes of the first Fulbright Arctic Initiative, which coincided with the 2015-2017 U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The initiative continues to engage the 17 researchers who participated in the first cohort. Those scholars collaborated to produce a number of publications, reports, and policy recommendations delivered at the end of their program.

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative advances the State Department’s goal of stimulating international scientific collaboration on issues facing the Arctic and supports the mission of the Fulbright program to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright program has provided more than 380,000 participants from more than 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright program is an annual appropriation 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 in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

For press inquiries, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,, (202) 632-6452, or Sharon Witherell at the Institute of International Education,, (212) 984-5380.


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