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Lawson Brigham
Professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks


Lawson W. Brigham, PhD is a Wilson Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and a researcher 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, and a member of the National Academies Polar Research Board.  Captain Brigham 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 and Vice Chair of the Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group. Dr. Brigham has been a faculty member of the Coast Guard Academy, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and UAF; and, Alaska Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.  He is a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, 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, environmental change, polar marine transportation and logistics, Arctic security and polar geopolitics. Captain Brigham was a 2008 signer of the American Geographical Society’s Fliers’ and Explorers’ Globe, the Society’s historic global 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 (in the southernmost position of the Ross Sea, Antarctica and at the Geographic North Pole).  Dr. Brigham is a Council on Foreign Relations member, was elected to the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research (2013) and awarded the American Polar Society’s Polar Medal (2015).  A central peak in the Gonville & Caius Range, Victoria Land, Antarctica was named Mount Brigham in January 2008 by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names.

Agenda Sessions

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