Associate Professor of Communication Timothy Pasch has been funded by the National Science Foundation’s Arctic Social Sciences Division as principal investigator on a collaborative US/Canadian social scientific grant.
Pasch’s collaborators include Patrick Kane, Director of the Alaska Venture Capital Association; Dr. Olaf Kuhlke, Associate Dean at the University of Minnesota Duluth; and multiple team members in Nunavut, Canada and throughout Alaska. Funding for the initiative, Developing and Testing an Incubator for Digital Entrepreneurship in Remote Communities, totals over 300,000 USD (166,322 at UND, 139,721 at Duluth).
Pasch’s grant is just one example of UND and North Dakota’s long history of pioneering Arctic research. Vilhjalmur Stefansson, leader of the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913, was in his day one of the most colorful and notorious students at UND. Carl Ben Eielson of Hatton, N.D., was first to fly over the North Pole to Europe, flew over Antarctica the same year, and founded Alaska Airways.
UND is continuing its history as an important global Arctic/circumpolar research institution. Susan Felege’s innovative wildlife biology with UAS in Churchill Manitoba, Jaakko Putkonen’s geological fieldwork in Antarctica, Greenland and the Himalayas, Paul Sum’s political scientific engagement with the Kennan Arctic Geopolitical Conversation, and the Arctic applicability of UND’s unmanned aerial systems under the direction of Mark Askelson, are just some additional examples of how UND is pushing the boundaries at the poles.
Helping matters further is the North Dakota winter: absolutely perfect for Arctic training and research. UND’s recent acceptance into the global University of the Arctic consortium, along with the increasingly powerful research cyber infrastructure on campus managed by Aaron Bergstrom, will serve to empower polar scientists at UND well into the future.