Fostering understanding, awareness, and appreciation of the Polar Regions through outreach, education, and research. Penn State University.

FYI THIS EVENT WAS CANCELLED. The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities

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The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities

Dr. Shari Fox Gearheard    University of Colorado Boulder

Monday January 25, 2016 4:00 – 5:00 pm. Paterno Library, Foster Auditorium.

The Arctic sea ice has received tremendous scientific attention, and media attention, as the Arctic region warms and sea ice declines. The loss of Arctic ice and the implications for the Arctic Ocean, environment, global climate, shipping, and even polar bears are what we are used to hearing about most. But what does not get as much attention is the fact that there are many perspectives and understandings of Arctic ice and snow. Sea ice has many meanings, in particular for Inuit, who with their ancestors, have lived on and with the ice for thousands of years.

Dr. Shari Fox Gearheard, a Canadian geographer with the University of Colorado but based on Baffin Island, will discuss Inuit culture, language, and ways of knowing sea ice based on her collaborative work with hunters and Elders. She will draw extensively on stories, illustrations, artwork, maps, and photos from the recently published book, The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities, which won the 2014 Polar Libraries Colloquy’s Mills Prize for best non-fiction polar book. At a time of tremendous change in the Arctic, Inuit provide important understanding not only of the Arctic environment, but of the human place within it.

More on…Dr. Shari Fox Gearheard (GEAR-HERD) is a Canadian geographer and research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University of Colorado Boulder. Since 1995, Shari has been working closely with Inuit communities in Nunavut, Canada, on collaborative research projects, in particular, on Inuit knowledge of climate and environmental change, sea ice, and weather.

Dr. Gearheard received her Bachelor and Master degrees in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo in Canada, her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Colorado Boulder, and completed a post doc at Harvard University. She is very active in working with Arctic Indigenous organizations at various levels, as well as scientific programs, with the goal to build partnerships and bring Indigenous leadership and Indigenous knowledge into Arctic research. She was a co-lead author of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Study Committee on Designing an Arctic Observing Network, and a co-lead author of the recent Arctic Human Development Report II. She has a number of publications and was the lead editor of the recently published book, “The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea ice in Three Arctic Communities” which won the Polar Libraries Colloquy’s prize for Best Non-Fiction Polar Book for 2014. Her work is featured in the IMAX film, “Wonders of the Arctic”, now playing, and she proudly notes that she advised on the Dr. Seuss Learning Series book, “Ice is Nice”.

Since 2004, Shari has been based and living full time in the small Inuit community of Clyde River on Baffin Island, Nunavut – working remotely to her research position at CU. Originally from southern Ontario, Canada, Shari has always enjoyed all things snow and ice. She loves outdoor life and her true passion is dog sledding, which she has learned and practices in the traditional Inuit style. She currently runs a team of 18 Canadian Inuit sled dogs.