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

THE NORTH includes the lands and seas of the Arctic Regions, the taiga or boreal forest and the seas which border these regions, as well as alpine areas adjacent to the tundra and taiga. The purview of Center for Circumpolar Studies is the natural environment of these regions, the people, both indigenous and non-indigenous, who live there, and the natural, political, and cultural phenomena that affect, and often stress, these ecosystems and human communities. The Center for Circumpolar Studies continues the 40-year tradition of the Center for Northern Studies.

Like the original Center for Northern Studies, the guiding philosophy of The Center for Circumpolar Studies is to transcend traditional academic disciplinary boundaries, and to combine a knowledge of the current natural and cultural environment of the North with an understanding of the forces, often with roots deep in the past, that have created and shaped the modern North.