Thursday, January 5, 2017

Study the North at Carleton University

Northern Studies LogoBeginning in Fall 2017, Carleton University will be offering a groundbreaking interdisciplinary graduate program in Northern Studies.

Northern Studies at Carleton University will be the first ever interdisciplinary program at the Master level to present a combined focus on the social, political, and physical environments of northern Canada.

This compelling program focuses on northern environments and societies, and the policies that are developed to govern them. Northern Studies will offer graduate students a diversity of concentrated approaches to study these critical subjects, including intensive, one-year, course-based M.A. and M.Sc. degrees and Graduate Diplomas.

“We believe that Carleton is strategically placed for the new program because we have unique combinations of expertise relating to Northern Studies in the social and biophysical sciences and public policy development,” -Professor Burn

As one its many engaging attributes, Northern Studies students will have the chance to partake in experiential learning through field courses in the Canadian North, while degree students of the program will have a work placement at a northern agency in Ottawa or the North.

Winner of both the Camsell Medal and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Professor Chris Burn of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies championed the Northern Studies program at Carleton for a multitude of reasons.

Professor Burn

Professor Chris Burn

“We believe that Carleton is strategically placed for the new program because we have unique combinations of expertise relating to Northern Studies in the social and biophysical sciences and public policy development,” said Professor Burn.

Professor Burn and his colleagues also recognized the undeniable growing prominence of Northern issues on the international stage, so they made the decision to be proactive by offering those interested with an avenue to learn more.

“Northern Canadians are being called to address a number of challenges that have only recently begun to strike home. These are widely related to the effects of climate change and also to the new governance structures in the North, following devolution and signing of many land claims’ agreements.”

Burn believes an interdisciplinary approach to studying the North will provide students with a more comprehensive grasp of the region; an understanding which will equip them to confront these complex issues as they embark on careers related to the North.

“We recognize that the majority of Northern Studies programs in Canada are disciplinary-based and thesis-based. We intentionally offer an interdisciplinary experience so that students have a better chance of appreciating the multi-faceted nature of most real-world problems.”

“Our purpose is to provide opportunities for students to learn how to recognize and support wise public and private-sector decision making in the dynamic North. We hope the University will be better able to serve Canadians, especially northern Canadians, through the program. We trust that the program will provide an exciting graduate environment that is closely tied to developing potential solutions to real-world problems.”

Specifically, the program emphasizes the biophysical, social, and policy environments of northern Canada while concurrently recognizing the impacts of climate change on northern ecosystems and on the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that depend on renewable resources.

Through the Northern Studies program, students will come to understand the stresses of cultural transition and evolving governance as land claims and self-government agreements are completed and implemented. Students will learn about the importance of functional bureaucracies and practices that reflect the aspirations of northerners. They will also comprehend the changes to the Arctic Ocean that will facilitate shipping and bring many visitors to the North.

The program welcomes all applications from people interested in an interdisciplinary approach to Northern Studies, but in particular applications and inquiries from Indigenous and non-Indigenous northerners. The program aims to foster respect, appreciation, and interest in the vast diversity of cultures and environments found in the North.

To learn more about Northern Studies at Carleton University: Visit

Thursday, January 5, 2017 in ,
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