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First Friday presentation “A Vision of Alaska’s Place in the Arctic” by Dr. Mike Sfraga


Fairbanks, Alaska (AK) – In anticipation of the Week of the Arctic beginning Monday, May 8, Dr. Mike Sfraga, Wilson Center Director of the Polar Initiative, will present “A Vision of Alaska’s Place in the Arctic (and why we should care)” on First Friday, May 5 from 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center’s Theatre, 101 Dunkel St in downtown Fairbanks.


Sfraga will discuss the political, social and economic changes occurring in the Arctic as well as the expanding infrastructure and development. He will present a vision for Alaska’s place in future Arctic development. Sfraga will share the exciting opportunities for Fairbanks during the upcoming Arctic Council meetings and the Week of the Arctic events. He will leave time for a question-and-answer period.


Sfraga is a geographer with a focus on the geography of Arctic landscapes, Arctic policy, and the impacts and implications of a changing climate on the social and political regimes in the Arctic. He previously served as Vice Chancellor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), faculty member, department chair, and Associate Dean in the UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension. Sfraga holds a Ph.D. in Northern Studies and Geography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Sfraga served as Co-Lead Scholar for the inaugural Fulbright Arctic Initiative 2015-2017; a complementary program to the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. He serves as Co-Director of the University of the Arctic’s Institute for Arctic Policy, and is Affiliate Faculty, International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sfraga serves as Chairman of the Institute of the North, University of the Arctic’s Head of Delegation to the Arctic Council, member of the Governor’s Alaska Arctic Policy Committee, and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee.


This focus on the Arctic is due to the fact that Fairbanks is the venue for the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting taking place on May 10 and 11 during the “Week of the Arctic” in Alaska. At the meeting, the United States of America’s two-year Chairmanship of the Council will end and Finland will take over stewardship. The Arctic Council consists of eight arctic nations and six permanent participant groups. The meeting will bring a large number of prestigious governmental attendees as well as domestic and international press to Fairbanks.


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