Research and education about Earth’s polar regions

The “Future of Ice” Initiative represents a commitment by the University of Washington to invest in knowledge about the polar regions.  Future of Ice also provides a framework through which to foster collaborative partnerships with stakeholders in the polar regions, where the triple challenges of climate change, new economic pressures, and rapid social and political disruption intersect.

Not only ice

The “Future of Ice” is not only about what is happening to the physical environment at high latitudes – melting sea ice and glaciers, and the most rapidly increases temperatures on Earth.  It is also about the biological systems that inhabit that environment, the economic and social structures that depend on them, and the people that live in the Arctic.

New activities

  • Public lectures by leading scientists, politicians, artists and activists, in association with the Walker-Ames and Danz lecture series.
  • Three new tenure-track faculty positions in College of the Environment.
  • A new Distinguished postdoctoral program supported by the  Quaternary Research Center,  the Applied Physics Laboratory, and the College of the Environment.
  • A new grant to the Jackson School of International Studies from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, designed to invigorate social sciences and policy studies in the Arctic.
  • A new Fulbright fellowship program that brings distinguished visitors from Canada to the University of Washington campus for an extended period.
  • An academic undergraduate Minor in Arctic Studies.
  • A number of graduate and undergraduate seminars and other learning opportunities.


Photo: The photo in the background of this site is from Nancy Williams of UW Oceanography. The photo was taken on the S4P CLIVAR repeat hydrographic cruise in February of 2011, sailing from McMurdo Sound out into the Ross Sea towards their first research station.