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Maine-Arctic Forum

  • Hannaford Hall/Abromson Center 88 Bedford Street Portland, ME, 04101 United States (map)

The Conference will address challenges and opportunities for Arctic science, business, shipping, security, and governance. The Ocean & Coastal Law Journal of the University of Maine School of Law will publish an accompanying Symposium issue and the conference proceedings. 

This full-day Arctic Conference is open to the public. The cost to attend is $45 per person. Registration fee includes the full-day conference with buffet luncheon and networking reception. Advance online registration will close on Thursday, September 29th.

Hosted by University of Southern Maine, University of Maine School of Law, and Pierce Atwood LLP, the event is sponsored by Maine and Alaska’s Arctic Council Host Committees and will feature Maine experts from the Climate Change Institute – University of Maine, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, as well as special guests from the Arctic Council U.S. Delegation, Arctic Economic Council, and the State of Alaska. The program will include a special session on the Arctic Council and U.S. Chairmanship.

A showcase of Maine-Arctic science, education, and cultural initiatives will be on display in the Abromson Center and adjoining classrooms. Participants will have an opportunity to network during the buffet luncheon and the closing reception at the USM Osher Map Library with a special exhibit on the History of Maps of the Northwest Passage.

Conference Agenda
Hannaford Hall, Abromson Center
University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

Registration & Coffee/Light Breakfast

Opening Remarks

Emcee: David Biette, Global Fellow, Polar Initiative, The Wilson CenterMaine Arctic Council Host Committee Welcome:  Professor Charles Norchi, Director, Center for Oceans & Coastal Law, University of Maine School of Law and Dana Eidsness, Director, Maine North Atlantic Development Office

Welcome: USM President Glenn Cummings

The U.S. as an Arctic Nation
Craig Fleener, Special Assistant on Arctic Policy, Office of the Governor, State of Alaska

Maine’s Role in the Future of the Arctic
Maine Senator Angus S. King (invited)

Morning Coffee Break and Maine-Arctic Showcase

Arctic Science: Ice Melt & Climate Change

The Arctic is now experiencing abrupt and dramatic climate change with impacts throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  To foster adaptation and resilience in the face of such change requires climate perspective and plausible scenario-based climate prediction.

Anne Henshaw, Arctic Program Officer, Oak Foundation

Rafe Pomerance, Chair Arctic 21 and member Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director, Distinguished Professor, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine and Leader Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two

Dr. Paty Matrai, Senior Research Scientist, Air-Sea Exchange Laboratory, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

The Public Order of the Arctic

The Public Order of the Arctic is an accretion of claims and agreements by States, non-states, and intergovernmental organizations implicating security, the environment, trade, resources, and indigenous peoples. This panel will appraise trends, decisions, and outcomes that are shaping the Public Order of the Arctic.

Professor Charles Norchi, Director, Center for Oceans & Coastal Law, University of Maine School of Law

Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Chair of Senior Arctic Officials, U.S. Department of State

Rep. Bob Herron, Co-chair, Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, Alaska State Legislature

Dr. James Kraska, Professor of Law, U.S. Naval War College

Dr. Rebecca Pincus, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Maritime Policy, Center for Arctic Study & Policy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Professor Betsy Baker, Vermont Law School & University of Alaska


Buffet Luncheon and Networking 

Arctic Council Overview and U.S. Chairmanship Update

Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Chair of Senior Arctic Officials, U.S. Department of State

Afternoon Coffee Break and Maine-Arctic Showcase

Arctic Shipping and Safety

The harsh Arctic environment necessitates special measures and regulations to insure the safety of mariners and to protect the marine and coastal environments. This panel will review mechanisms, regulations, and national and international laws designed to ensure mariner safety and marine environmental protection.

Michael J. Daly, Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP

Dr. Lawson Brigham, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Susan Hazlett, Adjunct/Instructor – Arts & Sciences, Maine Maritime Academy

Arctic Economic Council Overview

The Arctic Economic Council is an independent organization founded in 2014 that facilitates Arctic business-to-business activities and responsible economic development. It is the primary forum for interaction between the Arctic Council and the wider circumpolar business community. This session will provide an overview of the AEC’s work developing opportunities in marine transportation, telecommunications and broadband infrastructure, responsible resource development,and Arctic stewardship.

Tara Sweeney, Chair, Arctic Economic Council

Concluding Remarks

USM Networking Reception and Arctic Map Exhibit

Osher Map Library, Glickman Family Library Building
University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

Earlier Event: October 3
Arctic Plates in Portland
Later Event: October 3
USM: Lightning Workshops