Now that the United States has assumed chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the University of Alaska Fairbanks will play a central role in carrying out the U.S. agenda in the region, UAF’s top two administrators said Friday.
UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers outlined that role Friday during a live webcast of the Arctic Council meeting at the Murie Building on the campus’s West Ridge. During the meeting, Canada formally relinquished the presiding role to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Rogers told a group watching that as the nation’s Arctic university, UAF has always been active in shaping and informing U.S. policy for the far northern regions. Rogers says UAF’s role will increase during the nation’s two-year term heading up the Arctic Council.
“This is a really important time for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks as well,” Rogers said. “We have the expertise, we have the reputation to make significant contributions to support the work of the Arctic Council, to support Arctic policy and science generally.”
Rogers says UAF will see a lot of Arctic Council-related activity over the next two years. Upcoming activities include an Arctic Energy Summit and a Polar Law Symposium this fall,which will include sessions at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
Rogers says the council itself will be meeting in Alaska over the next two years. And members of its delegations and its advisory panels will frequently be coming to the state, along with observers and non-governmental organizations that are associated with the council.