Beginning with an examination of the geography, biological and physical systems of the Subarctic and Arctic, it then turns to the Aboriginal and contemporary peoples of the region. The history of the Circumpolar World is treated in a broad fashion, to provide grounding in the events and developments that have created the region’s contemporary qualities. The second part of the course surveys some of the particular issues facing the region, including climate change, economic, political and social development. This course ultimately is intended to stimulate interest in the Circumpolar World.


Upon successful completion of The Circumpolar World, students will have:

  • Acquired a basic knowledge of the region’s geography, peoples, and their systems of knowledge;
  • Developed an introductory understanding of physical and biological features and processes in the North;
  • Acquired an understanding of the diversity of northern cultures, social structures and political systems;
  • Gained insight into the complexity and inter-relatedness of human activity and the northern environment;
  • Examined some of the critical issues facing the region such as sustainability, subsistence living, community wellbeing, and self-government; and
  • Learn about the mandate and programs of the University of the Arctic.

Related documents

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BCS100 Module 1 Introduction to the Circumpolar North Karla Hardcastle
BCS100 Module 2 Northern Perceptions Alec E. Aitken
BCS100 Module 3 Northern Environments Bruce Forbes, Steve Young, Alec Aiken
BCS100 Module 4 Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar North Tuula Tuisku, Kathleen Osgood
BCS100 Module 5 Contemporary Economic Activity John Newark, Hayley Hesseln
BCS100 Module 6 Political Systems Gary N. Wilson
BCS100 Module 7A Climate Change (Part 1) Richard D. Boone
BCS100 Module 7B Climate Change (Part 2) Richard D. Boone
BCS100 Module 8 Stewardship of Resources & Sustainable Development Bjørn Sagdahl
BCS100 Module 9 Northern Governance Gunhild Hoogensen, Kirsti Stuvøy
BCS100 Module 10 Geopolitics, Security and International Society Lassi Heininen
BCS 100 Reading List UArctic