Policy makers need reliable and timely information about the Arctic, a region of rapid environmental, economic, and societal change.

The Center for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) facilitates sharing of the University of Alaska expertise in Arctic issues—ranging from natural resources to engineering to political science—with policy- and decision- makers. How do you prepare to respond to the circumstances? What information is needed to successfully navigate the uncertainty of a changing Arctic? Our center can provide you answers to these policy questions or connect you directly with people who have answers. 

The Center for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) at the University of Alaska makes accessible to decision-makers, the public, and scholars the knowledge and expertise of University of Alaska concerning rapid environmental and social changes in the Arctic.  We are an interdisciplinary, globally informed group rooted in Alaska’s Interior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Our projects and publications emphasize three major threads of the arctic policy tapestry.

  1. The importance of scale – local, community, state, national, pan-Arctic, global – to rules and regulations, trends in management, perceptions of change, knowledge exchanges, and governance.
  2. The value of diverse, even conflicting, perspectives on policies that directly and indirectly affect the Arctic, or which are affected by change in the Arctic. We seek to include multiple standpoints and modes of governance in our projects.
  3. The significance of “policy fit” to match the rapidly changing circumstances in the Arctic. We seek to promote nimble governance that considers the future trajectories of social-environmental systems and can match rules to circumstances. 

The aim of CAPS is to recognize the historical dimensions of policy contexts and offer new integrative approaches towards problem-solving using evidence-based practices, collaboration, and a positive outlook toward the future of Alaska and the Arctic.

What is the Arctic?