Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Arctic Dreams: The Role of Science in the Political and Economic Geography of the Arctic by Hannah Moench, Research Intern, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC (former CU student)



Physical geography underlies and in many ways defines the shifting of political and human geography over time. In no place, perhaps, is this more apparent today than in the Arctic. As the Arctic melts, it is not only scientists, oil and gas prospectors, and far northern communities paying attention. Climate change has often been framed in terms of loss in the Arctic and in the globe, but many actors, from private companies to nations, see opportunity and are investing billions of dollars into that perceived opportunity today. I recently moved to D.C. to intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Although I work with a program that is focused on Eurasia as a whole, I also loan my time to our Arctic program and do a bi-weekly Arctic news compilation that I share more broadly. As a former University of Colorado student, I have been astounded by the absence of science in the discussion of Arctic economic potential and foreign policy. In my brief experience, it is often discussed either in broad terms or painted as a contradiction to realizing economic or political opportunity. In my talk, I will give a brief overview of the D.C. Arctic thinktank community, of CSIS research on the Arctic, and of current investment in connectivity and trade infrastructure in the Arctic. In addition, I will discuss the national economic and political dreams that are tied to these investments, and the specific and practical intersections I see between snow and ice science and the aforementioned topics. I look forward to gathering insights, thoughts and opinions from NSIDC and the broader cryosphere community!


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Meeting ID: 540 961 8610

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018
11:00 am to 12:00 pm




  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public



East Campus, RL-2, Room 155