Anne Merrild Hansen, Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar, 2015-2016

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative (FAI) brings together professionals, practitioners, and researchers from the United States, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark including Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden for group seminars and an individual Fulbright exchange to address key research and policy questions related to fostering a secure and sustainable Arctic.

Anne Merrild Hansen, Professor at Aalborg University, was among the first cohort of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative in 2015-2016. About the program she says:

“Together we took our research to another level. The network that came with the Fulbright Arctic Initiative continuous to be of great value to me, and my stay in Alaska provided both an opportunity for extensive fieldwork and for learning about the work being done at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.”

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"It has been incredibly exciting to work with peers from the other arctic nations about shared research interests."

- Anne Merrild Hansen, FAI 2015-2016

Anne Merrild Hansen was part of a health and infrastructure research group:

  • Health: What specific issues do coastal communities face, such as erosion and storm surge, subsistence activities and food supply, availability of medical care, transportation, telecommunications, protection and continuity of their identities as indigenous peoples? What opportunities and vulnerabilities can be addressed for the sustainability of affected communities?
  • Infrastructure: How can we rethink ports, pipelines, freshwater storage and treatment, and other infrastructure and security issues? What measures and policies should be developed to promote multi-national cooperation on search and rescue, emergency environmental response, and safe shipping?

Their work resulted in a report: Community Wellbeing and Infrastructure in the Arctic: Workshop Report.

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"Together we took our research to another level."

- Anne Merrild Hansen, FAI 2015-2016

Besides the health and infrastructure group there were also an energy – and a water research group:

  • Energy: How will oil, gas, and other natural resources be developed in the Arctic? What can be done to promote clean renewable energy, reduce pollutants, guarantee the inclusion and rights of indigenous people, and protect the environment?
  • Water: How can we understand, mitigate, and adapt to the dramatic changes occurring and projected for the Arctic Ocean environment and fresh water regimes, such as changes to fisheries, oil spills, the emergence of invasive species, and shifts in the food supply for local communities?

Working within and across disciplines, Fulbright Arctic Scholars translate theory into practice to address public-policy research questions relevant to Arctic nations’ shared challenges and opportunities. See results and participating scholars from The Fulbright Arctic Initiative 2015-2016