Professor Lawson Brigham
Distinguished Professor of Geography and Arctic Policy, School of Natural Resources and Extension
Dr Lawson W Brigham is Distinguished Fellow and Faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fellow at the US Coast Guard Academy’s Center for Arctic Studies and Policy, and Senior Fellow at the Institute of the North in Anchorage. He is a US Coast Guard Academy (BS) graduate and a US Naval War College distinguished graduate and holds graduate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MS) and Cambridge University (MPhil and PhD). A career US Coast Guard officer, Dr Brigham commanded four Coast Guard ships, including the icebreaker Polar Sea on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.
During 2004–09 he was chair of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and Vice Chair of the Council’s working group on Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment. Dr Brigham has been a research fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a faculty member of the US Coast Guard Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School, and Alaska Director of the US Arctic Research Commission. He was also a 2008 signer of the American Geographical Society’s Flier’s and Explorer’s Globe, the Society’s historic globe of exploration, in recognition of Polar Sea’s 1994 voyages becoming the first ship in history to reach the extreme ends of the global ocean.
Dr Brigham was elected to the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research and was awarded the Polar Medal by the American Polar Society. Since summer 2017, he has served as a member of the US National Research Council’s Polar Research Board. His research interests focus on the Russian maritime Arctic, Arctic climate change, polar marine transportation and polar geopolitics.