Bio

Dr. Lawson W. Brigham is a Distinguished Fellow in the Center for Arctic Policy Studies and Affiliate Faculty in the International Arctic Research Center, both at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).   He is also a Fellow at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Center for Arctic Study and Policy.  He was a career Coast Guard officer and commanded four cutters including the icebreaker Polar Sea on Arctic & Antarctic expeditions. During 2004-09 he was chair of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment. Dr. Brigham has been a research fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; a faculty member of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, and UAF as Distinguished Professor of Geography & Arctic Policy; and, Alaska Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (BS), a Naval War College distinguished graduate, and holds graduate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MS) and Cambridge University (MPhil & PhD).  His research interests have focused on the Russian maritime Arctic, Arctic climate change, polar marine transportation, and polar geopolitics. Captain Brigham was a 2008 signer of the American Geographical Society’s Flier’s and Explorer’s Globe, the Society’s historic globe of exploration, in recognition of Polar Sea’s 1994 voyages becoming the first ship in history to reach the extreme ends of the global ocean. Dr. Brigham is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was elected in 2013 to the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research.  He was awarded the American Polar Society’s Polar Medal in 2015.

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