The Future of Ice: Lessons about the changing Arctic through art, science, politics, and activism

C ENV 490 / ARCTIC 498
2 credits (CR/NC grading)
SLN 20769

Meeting Times

Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM

In addition to T/TH class session, students MUST also attend 6 “Future of Ice” evening lectures that meet on various dates (see schedule below)

Students who register for the course should NOT also register for the speaker series – all students in the course will automatically be registered for the speaker series without having to do so separately.


Eric Steig, Professor, Earth and Space Sciences, Quaternary Research Center

Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director, Canadian Studies Center


In Winter quarter, six experts on the Earth’s polar regions will present public lectures on the multifaceted ways in which those regions are changing.  The speakers include Arctic biologists Jody Deming and Dee Boersma, acclaimed photographers James Balog and Paul Nicklen, Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier, and former premier of the Yukon Tony Penikett.  Each speaker will give an give a public evening lecture as part of the Walker-Ames/Danz lecture series.  This class provides an opportunity to meet with the speakers, engage with the material they have presented, and have a conversation about their work.  We will meet twice per week during the time of the speakers’ visits, once to read materials prior to the evening lecture, and again to meet with the speaker.  Students will be expected to attend all evening lectures and classes, and to submit an essay at the end of the class that brings together the diverse material.


Future of Ice Evening Lectures (6:30-8:00 PM, Kane Hall)

Full descriptions of lectures »

Wednesday, January 8

James Balog, Photographer

Lecture Title: When Mountains Move

Thursday, January 16

Tony Penikett, UW Canada Visiting Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies

Lecture Title: Arctic Populations, Northern Security Issues and Emerging Forms of Governance

Thursday, February 6

Jody Deming, Walters Endowed Professor, UW Oceanography and Astrobiology

Lecture Title: Living in Sea Ice – It’s a Wonderful Life!

Thursday, February 20

Paul Nicklen, Photojournalist

Lecture Title:  Polar Obsession 

Wednesday, March 5

Dee Boersma, Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science and Director for the Center for Penguins as Ocean Sentinels

Lecture Title: Penguins as Ocean Sentinels

Tuesday, March 11

Sheila Watt Cloutier, Former Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference

Lecture Title: The Right to be Cold


Class Schedule (Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30-11:20 AM)

Guest Speakers for class sessions:

  • Thursday, January 16: Tony Penikett
  • Tuesday, February 4: Jody Deming
  • Thursday, February 20: Paul Nicklen
  • Thursday, March 6: Dee Boersma
  • Tuesday, March 11: Sheila Watt Cloutier


Speaker series and course sponsored by:

College of the Environment
Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
Quaternary Research Center