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CN Forum

The discussion covered research needs, current dynamics that affect people living in the Arctic and across the world, and how the research of scholars at MSU might address the needs of the Arctic.


About the Presenter

Dr. Lawson W. Brigham is a Distinguished Fellow and Faculty in the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He is also a Fellow at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's Center for Arctic Study and Policy. He was a career Coast Guard officer and commanded four cutters including the icebreaker Polar Sea on Arctic & Antarctic expeditions, and was Chief of Strategic Planning at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington DC.  During 2004-09 he was chair of the Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment.  He has been a research fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; a faculty member of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, and UAF as Distinguished Professor of Geography & Arctic Policy; and, Alaska Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.  
Brigham is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (BS), a Naval War College distinguished graduate, and holds graduate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MS) and Cambridge University (MPhil & PhD).  His research interests have focused on the Russian maritime Arctic, Arctic climate change, polar marine transportation, Arctic futures, and polar geopolitics. Captain Brigham was a 2008 signer of the American Geographical Society's Flier's and Explorer's Globe, the Society's historic globe of exploration, in recognition of Polar Sea's 1994 voyages becoming the first ship in history to reach the extreme ends of the global ocean. 
Dr. Brigham is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was elected in 2013 to the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research.  He was awarded the American Polar Society's Polar Medal in 2015 and was appointed to the National Academy's Polar Research Board in summer 2017.


For more information about MSU's Arctic Research Platform, visit


Earlier CN Forum Discussions: 

Thinking Ahead: Regional Needs for Meeting Global Demand

cn-rail.jpgRecent developments including plans for the "Gordie Howe" Bridge and the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership puts the Great Lakes Region in the center of exponential growth in trade and related economic development. With the help of leaders in the transportation field, this forum calls on area stakeholders to envision and address the needs of an accelerated trade environment, while considering the role of complementary assets held in the U.S. Midwest and Canada's Eastern Provincial Region. Cross border collaboration must be efficient and fast-tracked to maintain binational economic competitiveness.

2015 CN Forum Agenda (PDF)