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About the Center

The Center for Circumpolar Studies is the successor to the Center for Northern Studies. The new institution seeks to build on the traditions and accomplishments of CNS while recognizing the increased role being played by polar regions in the rapidly-changing modern world. At a time of pervasive specialization and technological complexity, CCS offers a venue for interdisciplinary studies and humanistic approaches to understanding northern lands, biota, cultures, and peoples.

Mission Statement

The Center for Circumpolar Studies is a private, non-profit institution for education and research in all aspects of the natural and cultural environment of the Circumpolar North.


Education: CCS concentrates on university-level educational opportunities and expects to work cooperatively with the University of the Arctic and other educational institutions. It also is building programs in the K-12 range, both directly and through teacher education. Its public education program includes lectures, workshops, and films relevant to circumpolar concerns.

Publications: CCS will publish a Journal devoted to exploring approaches to northern issues that transcend disciplinary boundaries. We are especially interested in speculative essays that provide springboards for discussion of wide-ranging points of view.

Networking: In addition to maintaining a website/weblog, CCS sponsors professional meetings and symposia on circumpolar issues, often in collaboration with other institutions.

Community of Scholars: CCS serves as a venue for northern scholars (not limited to academics) to participate in its activities through committee work, meetings, and other interactions to promote the growth and contributions of the Center.

Support and Collegiality: CCS encourages individuals and other organizations with polar interests through cooperative efforts and administrative support for projects and new initiatives. The Center plans to provide temporary facilities for northern scholars and researchers working on relevant projects. We are especially interested in supporting early career scholars and innovative projects.

Living in the North: CCS provides an ongoing forum for discourse regarding the unique challenges of living in the North. We especially encourage participation in Center activities and programs by residents of northern regions.

Contact Us

226 Spring Street
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Board of Trustees


William W. Fitzhugh is a specialist in circumpolar anthropology and archeology who has spent more than forty years studying and publishing on arctic peoples and cultures in northern Canada, Alaska, Russia, Scandinavia, and Mongolia. His archaeological and environmental research has focused on the prehistory and paleoecology of northeastern North America, especially the problem of Eskimo and Indian cultural development across the forest-tundra boundary in Labrador, Baffin Island, and Quebec. Broader aspects of his research feature the evolution of northern maritime adaptations, circumpolar culture contacts, cross-cultural studies, and acculturation processes in the North. His research has been directed at archeological studies of the arctic voyages of Martin Frobisher AD 1576-78 and the prehistory of the Russian Arctic. He is currently investigating Asian influences on early Alaskan Eskimo culture and art through fieldwork at Bronze Age deer stone and burial sites in Mongolia, and contributions of early Basque voyages to the history of the New World.


Bruno Frohlich is trained in archaeology, biological anthropology, and forensic sciences. He has conducted fieldwork in the Middle East, Asia, Scandinavia, England, Greenland, Alaska, and Mongolia. His research interests include the fields of anthropology, mortuary practices, population demography, geographic information systems, forensic sciences, and how such research aids in reconstructing the histories of human populations over time. His Arctic and Sub-Arctic experience includes surveys and excavations of settlements and burial sites in the Aleutian Islands and Norse Greenland. During the past decade he has collaborated with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences on Mongolian research projects related to Bronze Age burial structures, medieval cave burials, and mass burials of executed Buddhist monks. Born and raised in Denmark, he resides in Vermont and works at the Smithsonian Institution's Department of Anthropology in Washington DC.


Victoria Hust studied environmental sciences and trained in the interdisciplinary field of science, technology, society (STS) and has taught math and science at the middle and high school levels as well as social sciences at the university level. She is interested in the ways in which technologies and institutions help shape perceptions and interactions, both with the natural world and with one another; she is particularly interested in the influences of modern technologies and the participation in imported governmental structures in contemporary northern villages, especially Eskimo villages in the North American Arctic and in Greenland. Hust's research interests also include issues revolving around worldview, cultural identity and self-determination. She has traveled in the Antarctic as well as the Arctic, and has spent many years living and working in villages in the arctic regions of Alaska.


With a doctorate in comparative literature, Kathleen Osgood's primary research focus is the literary ecology of northern native peoples. She studied at the Giellegas Institute at the University of Oulu, Finland, and is collaborating on a series of online courses with Sakha State University in Yakutsk, Siberia. She is active with the University of the Arctic, a consortium of institutions involved with the circumpolar world. A long-term Vermonter, Kathleen Osgood lives in the same house where she grew up. While the stonewalls and sugarbush of her farmlands look much as they did in the 19th century, the 21st century reality has shifted from hardscrabble farming to locavore economies, from mutual aid to development covenants, from rural isolation to global connection.

  • University of the Arctic (
  • Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security (
  • Áilu the Shaman-Poet and his Govadas-Image Drum: A Literary Ecology of Nils-Aslak Valkeapää's Beaivi, Áhčážan (The Sun, My Father). Oulu, Finland: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis, March 2003.


Steven Young is a botanist and paleoecologist who has worked in the Arctic, Antarctic, and boreal regions since 1963. His major interest has been the changes in northern ecosystems since the height of the last Ice Age, and the processes involved. He is especially interested in how these factors have been related to human migrations and the development of modern human cultures in the North. His work has recently extended into the Russian Arctic and Central Asia, areas that seem to be keys to our understanding of the formation of modern Arctic ecosystems. Most recently, he has resumed work in northern and western Alaska in efforts to understand the physical (especially permafrost) and biotic factors influencing local plant distribution.