The new Arctic Initiative that brought an RU researcher to the White House


For the past 18 months, Dr. Bjarni Mar Magnusson, associate professor at RU School of Law, has been a Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholar. The Initiative is a new multidisciplinary, multinational team research programme designed around specific applied research challenges in the areas of water, energy, health and infrastructure. The network brings together researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange.

Recently dr. Magnusson was in Washington DC with his fellow Arctic Initiative researchers where a whole week was dedicated to the project, called the Fulbright Arctic Week. Over the course of a few days, the focus was on sharing the policy relevance of individual and group research projects and offer public outreach that highlighted the importance of the Arctic to our global environment and international relations. Events were held at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of State, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The FAI scholars met as individuals or in small groups with influential public and private stakeholders to share key policy recommendations stemming from their research.

Hópur fræðimanna situr og utanríkisráðherra Bandaríkjanna heilsar hverjum og einumMeeting with Mr. John Kerry, US Secretary of State

Dr. Magnusson attended meetings with officials in the U.S. Dept. of State, including Secratary of State John Kerry, and the White house. Following the Fulbright Arctic Week, the scholars will continue to pursue publication of their research and collaboration. He says the project has been an opportunity to focus on research about the laws of the sea, and meet other researchers from other Arctic countries. The Initiative has led him to places he never thought to visit, such as Iqaliut, Canada. "It was an eye-opener and a great education for a scholar who sits in his office all day."