Keynote Address
Fran Ulmer, Chair, US Arctic Research Commission

Security Panel
Rear Admiral (retired) David Titley, Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University
Aaretti Siitonen, First Secretary, Embassy of Finland
Ambassador Ken Yalowitz, Director, Georgetown MSFS Conflict Resolution Program
Judge (retired) Alice Hill, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Moderated by Seth Andre Myers, Senior Fellow, The Arctic Institute

Energy and Environment Panel
Cathleen Kelly, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Head of Representation, Greenland Representation
Olafr Røsnes, Energy Counselor, Embassy of Norway
Jessica Shadian, Senior Fellow, University of Toronto
Moderated by Berit Enge, Correspondent, High North News

April 3, 2017

The student-led Arctic Security Conference gathered nine prominent speakers from government, military, and academia to discuss the security and environmental challenges in the Arctic region.

Fran Ulmer delivered the keynote speech, during which she described the accelerating climate change impacts in the Arctic that include rising temperatures, melting sea ice and permafrost and rising sea levels. Importantly, climate change is much faster and more severe in the Arctic, which is warming at a rate of almost twice the global average. These developments pose severe challenges to the indigenous communities and the rest of the world, putting increasing pressure on human health, food production, infrastructure, ecosystems and climate patterns. The rapidly changing Arctic may also bring potential benefits, uncovering new energy reserves, shipping routes and tourism opportunities.  

The Security Panel discussed the necessary strategic planning, infrastructure and policy engagement to meet the security challenges of an opening Arctic. The speakers analyzed the issues related to territorial disputes, energy exploration, emergency response infrastructure, multilateral institutions and laws (particularly the Law of the Sea and the Arctic Council) and international military presence in the region.

The Energy and Environment Panel discussed the accelerating chain reaction of global warming, new opportunities for offshore oil and gas developments, and the possibility of creating climate resilient policy and infrastructure. They analyzed the need for environmental stewardship in the region in order to curb climate change and deepen political and scientific cooperation. The speakers emphasized that the collective approach is absolutely essential in the Arctic and no one country can manage the coming challenges of such rapid change alone.




Security Panel


Energy and Environment Panel