UMFK Unveils New Arctic Studies Minor

The University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) is pleased to announce the creation of a new Arctic Studies Minor within the Arts & Sciences degree programs.

“We are excited to offer this new academic minor in Arctic Studies for students in Maine and beyond that connects with the University of Maine Arctic Initiative,” said Dr. Kaisa Holloway Cripps, assistant professor of business at UMFK.

“The environment, security, and economic stability of the Arctic is a strategic imperative for both the globe and the state of Maine,” added Dr. Michael Curran, assistant professor of business at UMFK.

The primary goal of the Arctic Studies minor is to make a positive and enduring difference in the world through education, research, and outreach. The minor connects undergraduate students with research and learning experiences in the University of Maine System where they can study the people, cultures, environment, governance, and contemporary issues of the Arctic and Circumpolar regions in an interdisciplinary program.

“This project will further connect UMFK and the University of Maine System with our current governor’s pledge of Arctic nation partnerships to combat climate change, strengthen trade, and provide for research opportunities,” said Dr. Leo Trudel, associate professor of business at UMFK. “Being an Arctic partner is also an area that Senator Angus King has discussed as an important role for Maine.”

UMFK’s new minor will also spearhead the need for academic community engagement, global collaboration, and cross-institutional partnerships. The faculty and students will embrace the transformative power of technology in support of student learning and faculty research and professional development.

“As Maine’s most northern university, we embrace our location and our climate as strengths and opportunities for research and careers,” said UMFK’s President and Provost, Dr. Deb Hedeen. “Our market research has shown us that careers in this field are growing quickly and we are choosing to be a part of that growth.”

There are several degree pathways that will now utilize this minor to assist students in finding their desired career. For example, a student may opt to pursue a business degree with the Arctic Studies minor to better understand how climate change is impacting trade routes in the Arctic region. Other students might wish to pursue an Environmental Studies degree with an Arctic Studies minor to examine the flora and fauna of a region. UMFK students can also benefit from a partnership with MaineLaw which provides a degree pathway toward a law degree.

“Students want to make a difference and we aim to provide them the tools with which to do so,” said President Hedeen. “There are endless career opportunities for students who pursue any of these degree options. Including Arctic Studies as a minor in our portfolio just made sense; it is a very desirable area of study for students.”

For more information on academic programs at UMFK, please call 834-7600 or email