Academic Lecture Series

Every January since 1956, the DCA Academic Lecture Series has brought topical, global issues in focus, offering attendees first-hand knowledge of the issues.

January 2022 series topic – “THE ARCTIC – FROM DEEP FREEZE TO HOT SPOT”

Click here for a printable map of the Arctic to reference during the lectures.

This year’s virtual series featured four morning lectures and one evening lecture focused on the climate, politics and geopolitical tensions in the Arctic.

Grateful thanks for the support of an anonymous donor in underwriting this series.

January 6 – The Arctic and Why it Matters
Marisol Maddox, Polar Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Audience comments:
The speaker gave a very enlightened and balanced presentation regarding the Arctic Council, permafrost, commerce and climate change. Wide range of interesting and important topics.

This morning’s speaker gave a great overview of the region without being political or advocating any agenda other than the overall good for the Arctic. I learned a lot and look forward to the future sessions.

Marisol Maddox is a senior Arctic analyst at the Polar Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. Her research considers the security implications of an opening Arctic with a focus on emerging actorless threats, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, and the ways they influence security strategy, geopolitical dynamics, and the broader threat environment.

Maddox spent over a decade studying ecology, organic regenerative agriculture, and resilient systems, and now combines that background with the security field to foster policies that focus on long-term stability. She is particularly interested in opportunities for enhanced international collaboration on shared security concerns, as well as the empowerment of communities to generate place-based, meaningful solutions.

She is additionally a member of the 2021 cohort of the Newport Arctic Scholars Initiative at the U.S. Naval War College, a non-resident research fellow at the Center for Climate & Security, and a member of the NextGen Foreign Policy Initiative of Foreign Policy for America.

Maddox holds an M.A. in international security with a concentration in transnational threats from George Mason University. She holds a B.A. in environmental studies with a concentration in ecosystems from Binghamton University.

January 13 – The Arctic, New England and the First Abrupt Climate Change Event in the Modern Era
Dr. Paul Andrew Mayewski, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine

Audience comments:
The lecture was superb. One of the best virtual events I’ve watched!

Thanks for including such amazing slides during your presentation. I learned a lot!

We all learned a great deal about the dynamics of climate change in the Arctic and the effects of that change all over the globe.”

Dr. Paul Andrew Mayewski is an internationally acclaimed glaciologist, climate scientist, and polar explorer. He is the director of the multidisciplinary Climate Change Institute and a Distinguished Professor in the School of Earth Sciences, School of Marine Sciences, School of Policy and International Affairs, Business School and Law School, all at the University of Maine.

Dr. Mayewski was born in Scotland where he was introduced to hiking very early in life and has led more than sixty expeditions to the remotest polar and high elevation reaches of the planet. He has received many prestigious national and international awards including the inaugural medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Medal for his contributions to science.  Dr. Mayewski received these awards for the discovery of abrupt climate change driven by atmospheric circulation, human impacts on the chemistry of the atmosphere, impacts of climate change on humans and the ecosystem, and for achievements in exploration into uncharted regions of Antarctica. He is the first person to develop and lead prominent multi-disciplinary climate research programs at the three poles (Greenland (25 US institutions), the International Trans Antarctic Expedition (21 countries) and the Himalayas/Tibetan Plateau (most recently the 2019 National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Mt. Everest Expedition – 34 international researchers).

Dr. Mayewski has more than 500 scientific publications, hundreds of popular and scientific lectures worldwide, two popular books, The Ice Chronicles and Journey Into Climate, and has appeared hundreds of times in media including the New York Times, LA Times, NOVA, NPR, BBC, CBS 60 Minutes and on the Emmy Award-winning Years of Living Dangerously documentary television series.

January 20 – Great Powers and Geopolitics in the Arctic
Dr. Rebecca Pincus, U.S. Naval War College

Audience comments:
Dr. Pincus’ delivery this morning was excellent – great slides and thoughtful, animated analysis. The more we come to know about the Arctic, the more I yearn to know…and go!

Dr. Pincus was fabulous. I so enjoyed her presentation….clear, concise and informative!

Dr. Rebecca Pincus is assistant professor in the Strategic and Operational Research Department (SORD) in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the U.S. Naval War College, and a member of the Institute for Future Warfare Studies within SORD. She previously served as primary investigator (PI) at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Center for Arctic Study and Policy (CASP), located at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. While at CASP, she served as lead author on the Coast Guard’s High Latitude Study Addendum on polar icebreaking, and supported U.S.-Russian Federation negotiation of shipping corridors in the Bering Strait.

Dr. Pincus’ research on Arctic security issues has been published in academic journals (Polar Geography, War and Society, and others) as well as in popular outlets such as War on the Rocks, the BBC, and others. In 2015, she was a Fulbright Fellow in Iceland. Also in 2015, Yale University Press released her co-edited book, Diplomacy on Ice: Energy and the Environment in the Arctic and Antarctica. Dr. Pincus earned her PhD in 2013 from the University of Vermont.

January 27 – NATO in the High North
Rachel Ellehuus, Center for Strategic & International Studies

Audience comments:
Another great lecture! Thank you, DCA and everyone involved! What a gift these lectures are!

Rachel was outstanding!

Rachel Ellehuus is deputy director and senior fellow with the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Her research focuses on the future of NATO; the transatlantic relationship; U.S.-European Union relations; and regional security and defense dynamics, particularly in Northern Europe and the Arctic. Before coming to CSIS, she served as principal director for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the U.S. Department of Defense. From 2009 to 2012, Ms. Ellehuus was based in London, assigned to the Strategy Unit in the UK Ministry of Defense. Prior to her work at the Department of Defense, Ms. Ellehuus was a researcher at the Danish Institute of International Affairs and lived in Prague, Czech Republic, where she worked at the EastWest Institute. She holds a B.A. in international relations and German from Colgate University and an M.A. in political science and European affairs from the College of Europe (Bruges/Natolin).

Thursday Evening at 7:30pm, lecture is a virtual event (separate ticket).

February 3 – China’s Arctic Interests
Dr. Anne-Marie Brady, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Professor Anne-Marie Brady, BA and MA with Honours (University of Auckland), PhD (Australian National University), Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies (University of Canterbury), is a specialist in Chinese and polar politics based at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She is a fluent Mandarin speaker.

In addition to her duties at the University of Canterbury, Professor Brady holds a number of honorary positions. She is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC and a Senior Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. In 2014 she was appointed to a two-year term on the World Economic Forum’s Global Action Council on the Arctic. She is an advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC).

Professor Brady is founding and executive editor of The Polar Journal, and has written ten books, including China as a Polar Great Power, and over fifty scholarly articles on topics ranging from China’s modern propaganda system and foreigner-management, to competing foreign policy interests in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Click here for the complete list of Academic Lecture Series topics from 1956 to 2021.

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Academic Lecture Series Committee
Speakers Committee Co-Chairs:
 Mary Genco, Kate Larson
Committee members: Martha Banks, Adria Bates, Brooke Beck, Susan Bhirud, Erin Conway, Ann Lang, Ann Mandel, Christy Munro, Clare Myers, Zeynep Saah, Robin Woods