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Arctic Circle

The Frederik Paulsen Arctic Academic Action Award

The Award celebrates action-oriented scientific initiatives that serve to promote and raise awareness of promising projects which address climate change through concrete actions and plans.

The Shortlisted Nominees!

With ideas ranging from invasive species analysis to climate change communication. The winner will be announced at the Arctic Circle Assembly, taking place in Reykjavík, Iceland, October 17-19.

100,000 EUR Prize

The winning initiative receives EUR 100,000 and the opportunity to implement the project through the UArctic network.

A reception and a dinner is held in their honor following the presentation of the winning project at the Award Ceremony.

Purpose of the Award

The Arctic is warming at three to four times the global average. Shrinking ice and rising temperatures are having predominantly negative impacts on infrastructure, food security, water resources and quality, wildlife, health and well-being, and ways of living, particularly for Indigenous peoples. Changes in the Arctic are not limited to the Arctic; they affect climate, oceans, and access to resources globally.

It is not enough simply to hope that solutions to the problems caused by climate change will arise on their own. We must work together to solve the underlying causes of the ongoing transformation of Arctic systems and to adapt to rapid changes.

So far, many climatic actions have centered on measurements, information gathering and analysis; all of which are undoubtedly important. We must go a step further, however, to encourage action-based activities that would have a real impact on the Arctic, its residents and beyond through adaptation, mitigation, or even reversing the effects of climate change.

This requires the academic community to work together with residents of the Arctic and policymakers. We hope this award will encourage more action-based, collaborative research, and help bring creative ideas to fruition.

The Arctic Academic Action Award provides high-level recognition for innovative ideas that aspire to transform knowledge into action to help address the causes and impacts of climate change in the Arctic. Through this award it is hoped to bring together potential concepts for preventing, mitigating, adapting, and reversing Arctic climate change. The cohort of award recipients will form a powerful group of leaders whose ideas will be fostered to develop and implement meaningful solutions and projects to address Arctic climate change.

Background of the Award:

Two leading organizations have come together to address the greatest challenge facing the Arctic region: Global Warming.

Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic.

University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a network of more than 200 universities, colleges, research institutes and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the Arctic.

Through this unique collaboration, a new forum and incentive for scientific action program has been created.

Solutions for tackling climatic change will not come from hope alone. They will also not be found solely in future technological or current regulatory innovations. We must work together to solve the underlying causes of the ongoing transformation of our Arctic systems. We must harness all resources at our disposal.

So far, many actions relating to the changing climate have centered on measurement, information gathering and analysis. Today, however, there is a strong interest in moving towards action-based scientific programs to mitigate and/or reverse the dramatic effects of climate change in a concrete way.

2023 Award Winner: Professor Minik Rosing

The third Frederik Paulsen Arctic Academic Action Award was awarded to Minik Thorleif Rosing at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland on October 20, 2023. His initiative proposes to use glacial rock flour to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, improve global food security, and bring new business opportunities to Greenland.

More Information

2022 Award Winners: Professor Hanne H. Christiansen and Associate Professor Marius O. Jonassen

Their winning project aims to develop an advanced permafrost and meteorological climate change response system in order to build resilience in Arctic communities. The PermaMeteoCommunity project focuses on building a real-time response system which connects direct observations from boreholes and small-scale meteorological stations with an online platform that receives and displays all the data in near real time.

The system can be used for decision making and meaningful action by local authorities during operational evaluations and extreme weather events, and also in designing local infrastructure and overall land area planning. In addition to serving authorities, the data is highly beneficial for the students and researchers living in Svalbard. The project is currently underway in Longyearbyen at the University Centre in Svalbard, the home institution of the two winners.

University Centre in Svalbard

2021 Award Winner: Dr. Trevor Bell

Dr. Trevor Bell, University Research Professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland was the winner of the 2021 Frederik Paulsen Arctic Academic Action Award. Dr. Bell was nominated for his project SmartICE. SmartICE combines remote monitoring and traditional Indigenous knowledge to help Inuit communities to make sea-ice travel faster and more secure in increasingly unpredictable ice conditions.

Visit SmartICE

Frederik Paulsen

The Award is linked to the name of Frederik Paulsen who for decades has been a strong promoter of Arctic and Antarctic research and cooperation. He is a patron and crucial supporter of many Arctic endeavours which have facilitated the cooperation between experts and scientists from multiple nations. Frederik Paulsen has also demonstrated strong respect for the culture and the livelihood of Indigenous peoples. His support for Arctic Circle and UArctic is also a contribution to our success.

The Frederik Paulsen Arctic Academic Action Award serves to promote and raise awareness of promising projects which address climate change through concrete actions and plans.

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