Kingornutassiaqarfiit KUJATAA.jpg

June 2019
Greenland Summer Workshop

The Arctic Futures Institute (AFI) will hold its summer workshop in Greenland with UMaine specialists and Greenlanders to discuss a research and planning strategy for Kujataa, a World Heritage Site recently designated by UNESCO. Scientists, educators, lawyers, policy experts, artists, and national, regional, and local leaders will gather to explore novel approaches and viable solutions for research and development in the area in ways that will benefit the surrounding communities and the protection, investigation, and interpretation of the site as a cultural resource. Kujataa is a subarctic farming landscape located in the south coastal region of Greenland. It bears witness to the cultural histories of the Norse farmer-hunters who started arriving from Iceland in the 10th century and of the Inuit hunters and farming communities that developed from the end of the 18th century. Despite their differences, the two cultures, European Norse and Inuit, created a cultural landscape based on farming, grazing and marine mammal hunting. The landscape represents the earliest introduction of farming to the Arctic, and the Norse expansion of settlement beyond Europe. We look forward to an intensive experience in the landscape through science and exchange with our Greenland neighbors.

June 25, 2018
In June of 2018 the AFI convened the first-ever Arctic Summer Institute in Portland, Maine. We brought together together law and climate students, climate scientists, interested individuals, and experts on policy, the Law of the Sea, and the capacity to model future climate conditions and consequences through innovative analysis of existing historical data.

In addition to these presentations, we engaged in a process of investigation from a definition of goals, trends and factors to application of predictions and innovations, with teams comprising disciplines and interests addressing the process in the context of specific challenging issues. It was an intense and constructive exercise and gave proof of the concept that a small, concentrated, interdisciplinary group of thinkers, representing all constituencies, can create a liberating exploration of  “plausible scenarios” in search of an inventive, viable, alternative future.

Thanks to the presenters, participants, partners and sponsors for making our first Arctic Summer Institute a success. Stay tuned for what we have planned for 2019: we're planning meetings in unexpected places where we'll imagine unexpected ideas and come to unexpected outcomes.

The AFI Team

The 2018 Course Has Ended
To stay informed about future courses and seminars, please contact us to get on our mailing list.


Monday - Friday
9 - noon; 1 - 4pm
Two Credits or Certificate of Completion*

Download 2018 Course Schedule Here
View Reading List

Course Description
The theme of the 2018 Summer Institute is Arctic Law, Science & Policy. The goal of the course is to provide students with the inter-disciplinary knowledge base and the tools to practically and responsibly participate in Arctic affairs. Climate models predict that within 10 years the Arctic will be virtually ice-free for at least several weeks during the year and the pace appears to be accelerating. Abrupt climate change is producing Arctic warming and generating new shipping routes, business opportunities, and access to resources in ways that affect States, indigenous peoples, the Arctic environment and beyond. Effective participation in this new Arctic requires a unique combination of knowledge and skills.

Course Topics
Arctic Science; Law of the Sea; Maritime Shipping; Geographic Information Systems; Maritime History; Indigenous Peoples; North Atlantic Trade; Governance and Environmental Regulation; Geopolitics and Maritime Security; and Arctic Public Engagement.

Course Organizers
< Professor Paul Mayewski, Director, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
< Mr. Peter Neill, Director, World Ocean Observatory
< Professor Charles H. Norchi, Director, Center for Oceans & Coastal Law, University of Maine School of Law
< Jeff Thaler, Visiting Associate Professor, Associate University Counsel, University of Maine School of Law

* Students signing up for course credit are exempted from the course fee. Individuals signing up for the Certificate of Completion / non-credit will have a $100 course fee due upon acceptance to the program.
** No scholarship or support funds are available for the Arctic Summer Institute
*** No housing assistance is available

Download 2018 Course Schedule Here
View Recommended Reading List
Inquire at

Courtesy of Jesse Orrico

Courtesy of Jesse Orrico


Venue: Verrill Dana LLP
              One Portland Square, Union Street
              Portland, Maine

8:30 a.m. Coffee & Gather
Welcome and Institute Overview

Professor Paul Mayewski, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
Mr. Peter Neill, World Ocean Observatory
Professor Charles Norchi, Center for Oceans & Coastal Law
University of Maine School of Law

Arctic People: Greenland

Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Head of Representation/Minister
Greenland Representation, Embassy of Denmark, Washington, D.C.
Birita i Dali, Faroe Islands, Department of Fisheries, The Government of Greenland

11:30 a.m.

Mr. Peter Handy, Bristol Seafood

2:00 p.m. (Verrill Dana)
Arctic Geographic Information Systems

Professor Vinton Valentine, University of Southern Maine

Maritime history of the arctic
Mr. Lincoln Paine, Maritime Historian

Reading List

Reception hosted by Verrill Dana

Venue: University of Maine School of Law
              246 Deering Avenue

8:30 a.m. Coffee & Gather
Introduction to Climate Change
The Physical Arctic

Professor Paul Mayewski, University of Maine, Climate Change Institute
Mr. Jeff Auger, University of Maine, Climate Change Institute

12:00 p.m.

1:30 p.m.
The Biological Arctic
Research Assistant Professor Robert Northington
University of Maine, Climate Change Institute

Reading List


Venue: University of Maine School of Law

8:30 a.m. Coffee & Gather
The Law of the Sea and the Arctic 
Professor Charles Norchi , University of Maine School of Law

The Arctic Ocean Beyond National Jurisdiction
Professor Aaron Strong, School of Marine Sciences
and Climate Change Institute, University of Maine

12:00 p.m.

1:30 p.m.
Arctic Environment Law
Professor Jeffrey Thaler, University of Maine School of Law

Arctic Indigenous Peoples
Ms. Jessica Lefevre, Esq., Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission with:
Professor Susan Kaplan, Bowdoin College and
Dr. Anne Henshaw, Oak Foundation

Reading List


Venue: University of Maine School of Law

8:30 a.m. Coffee & Gather
Ambassador David Balton, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.
LTC. Darryl Lyon, Maine National Guard
Captain Gregory J. Smith, JAGC, USN, Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, US Naval War College
Mr. Timothy E. Steigleman, Esq., Drummond Woodsum and U.S. Navy Reserve

Reading List


Venue: Verrill Dana

8:30 a.m. Coffee & Gather
Mr. Ben Ford, Esq. Verrill Dana
Ms. Dana Eidsness, Maine North Atlantic Development Office
Mr. Kuno Fencker & Mr. Pele Broberg, Greenland Trading,
           Nuuk, Greenland, “Business Growth in the Arctic”
Mr. John Henshaw, Chief Operating Officer, Maine Center for Graduate & Professional Studies
Mr. Larus Isfeld, Eimskip

12:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.
Communicating the Arctic

Mr. Peter Neill, World Ocean Observatory

Reading List

Review and Revise Institute Arctic Report

Download 2018 Course Schedule Here
View Recommended Reading List

Inquire at