The American Arctic Connection was established in 2021 with a visit from the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Finland, Ian Campbell, to the University of Lapland. Campbell and Rector Antti Syväjärvi signed a memorandum of understanding to create a platform for two-way dialogue between Finland and the United States to strengthen collaboration and facilitate dialogue on Arctic research.
Currently, the central mechanism of the space is a television screen that promotes upcoming partnerships, previous site visits in Finland or the United States, joint research projects, and educational material about the Finnish and/or American Arctic. The purpose is to promote shared interests and understanding of common experiences in the two countries: while Finland and the United States are in opposite hemispheres, the countries share northern and circumpolar attributes.
The American Arctic Connection space is found on the ground floor of the University of Lapland’s main building, between areas B and C. The present theme of digital content is focused on Alaska’s Changing Arctic, a series of videos created by the University of Alaska and the International Arctic Research Center to communicate pressing energy issues and climate change effects in the state.
American Arctic Connection is a joint effort between the University of Lapland and U.S. Department of State’s Federal Assistance Award from the US Embassy in Finland. Other AAC activities include: a presentation on dust particles in snow at the Arctic Centre, field visits to reindeer herders in Lapland, travels to Washington to plan service design collaboration, and the hiring of an AAC intern.