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University of Alaska Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic and Northern Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program for the study of problems and policy issues specific to the North.

Topics covered by Arctic and Northern Studies include (but certainly aren't limited to!)...

  • northern history
  • environmental politics and policy
  • arctic policy
  • individualized topics
    • climate change
    • well-being
    • psychology
    • fetal alcohol syndrome
    • northern arts and culture
    • tourist industry

At the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), Arctic and Northern Studies students benefit from the extensive northern expertise and research activities of UAF faculty. Arctic and Northern Studies faculty have won major awards for excellence in teaching, research, and public service. Arctic and Northern Studies include faculty from: Political Science, History, Art, English, Alaska Native Studies, Geography, Music, and Anthropology.

If you are interested in a research internship through the University of Alaska Fairbanks, we have identified the following projects for which different professors there are looking for assistance:

Students interested in research projects with Dr. Amy Lauren Lovecraft, Professor, Department of Political Science and Director, Center for Arctic Policy Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks, are welcome to look at the Center for Arctic Policy Studies website, and choose any of the themes there that may be of interest. Specific example research topics for Summer 2022 include (but are not limited to):

  1. Questions of justice and equity across different groups in the Arctic. For example: questions about Indigenous participation in governance from local to Arctic Council scales; or they could address the nature of Alaska as an Oil State. Or they could think through how climate change affects different groups differently and often unfairly. 
  2. Political economy - how does the State of Alaska operate in different ways from other states? This could be a federalism question but focused on our economy which is boom-bust with annual seasonal changes. Fish, oil, tourism, if any aspects of this interest the student we can use Alaska as an example of how we might (or might not) be able to create stable/sustainable economies in Alaska and the Arctic. 
  3. Federalism but from a government perspective - how is Alaska governed as a periphery from its Southern Core (both U.S. and AK)? This could compare Alaska at a state to state/national level. But, we can also compare Alaska from an Arctic perspective...
  4. U.S. Arctic policy - any subject related to how AK makes the U.S. an "Arctic nation" and what the interests of the U.S. are. 
  5. Strategic foresight - any business majors or others interested in the future of Alaska and the Arctic across any policy domains. 

Students interested in historical research are welcome to consider summer 2022 research with Dr. Tyler C. Kirk, Assistant Professor of History and Assistant Director of Arctic and Northern Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks, on indexing the book manuscript and online primary sources research in history of memory in the Russian Far North. The book manuscript examines the ways in which those who bore the brunt of Stalinist violence and survived entered into a partnership with those who had not been repressed to engage in the memory project of coming to terms with the legacy of Stalinism during and after the collapse of the Soviet regime.

Students interested in historical research are welcome to consider summer 2022 research with Dr. Philip Wight, Assistant Professor of History & Northern Studies, on the history of Arctic/ Northern studies as an academic discipline on a research project currently tentatively titled “The Birth of Arctic Studies: Security, Economic Development, and Climate Change”.

Students interested in the democratic process are welcome to consider summer 2022 research with Dr. Jeremy Speight, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science. He would like to get a research project off the ground related to Alaska's adoption of ranked-choice voting in 2020. Ideally, this student will create an annotated bibliography on the literature focusing on institutional selection and change, and create a timeline of the policy process leading up to 2020, by combing through online newspaper archives.

Applicants should clearly indicate on the M-Compass application which research internship position at the University of Alaska Fairbanks they intend to pursue and their statement of purpose should align with the potential research internship projects listed. Students selected for these research internship positions will receive up to $2,000 in Arctic Internship Fellowship funding.