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2012 Arctic Internship Fellows

Matthew Acho, BA International Studies; BA History ‘12
The Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies (CMSS), University of Calgary

Calgary, Canada

Matthew Acho interned at the Center for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary where his research focused on international security and relations from the viewpoint of governments within the arctic region. As the polar ice caps melt, new waterways are opening up, introducing new pathways that have the potential to become strategically important for international relations in the coming year. Matthew researched foreign policy in the Arctic region and looked into international tensions that could develop from the opening up of new waterways in the Arctic region especially between the United States, Canada, and Russia.

Before starting his research, Matthew stated that, “Arctic Foreign Policy is one topic that I am not particularly well-versed in, and considering how important it will be in the coming years, I feel that it is mandatory for me to learn about the topic as much as possible.

Celine Smith, BA International Studies; BA Cultural Anthropology ‘13
Inuit Circumpolar Council

Anchorage, Alaska

Celine Smith researched the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, how this affects them, and how the Inuit can utilize this declaration in the fight for their rights. In order to do so, she spent many hours researching and talking with the Inuit about issues within the community and how to best utilize her outsider perspective to be beneficial rather than a hindrance to what she could provide for them. In her report, she also brought in a comparison of the indigenous in Canada and the Philippines and how they have been utilizing the declaration in their favor to then give a recommendation of where the organization should go next.

During this time, she had to delve into many aspects of indigenous issues- specifically those of the Inuit and their culture. She learned about the history of the Inuit, the Land Claims Settlement Act, food security issues, etc. Before this summer spent in Alaska, Celine said that she “would have never known the vast knowledge that I lacked in this vital region of both the United States and the world, and now the seed has been planted for future investigation of this region and its issues.”

Ben Zukowski, BA Public Policy; minor, Sustainability ‘13
Labrador Institute

Labrador, Canada

Ben Zukowshi spent his time in Labrador researching Mealy Mountain caribou management. He looked into current threats to the caribou populations such as habitat alteration as a result of human land-use activities, human-induced habitat alterations have caused an imbalance in predator-prey relationships resulting in unnaturally high predation rates, habitat alteration as a result of natural processes, hunting:  both illegal hunting and incidental harvest of the boreal caribou, and climate change and severe weather. Ben’s research also offered ways to improve the caribou management through continuing conservation and management, micro-management- distinctions by herd and distinctions within the herd, translocation, sustainable harvest, traditional knowledge and cultural importance of the caribou to Labrador's first nations and Inuit peoples, and local involvement.