We see education as inseparable from research, field experiences, and exchange programs. The Office of VP Academic is the education-centric hub with many points of connection to the UArctic network as a whole and the place to go for questions related to Education and Academic affairs in UArctic. The Academic Leadership Team works with the VP Academic and the Academic Coordinator, and is at the heart of UArctic’s core operations to nurture and ensure the quality of Arctic education.
Michael Castellini - Vice-President Academic University of Alaska FairbanksProvides strategic leadership for all of UArctic's academic activities.Dr. Michael Castellini earned his PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1981 and has been a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 1989. He was the founding Science Director for the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, the Director of the Institute of Marine Science, Associate Dean and then Dean for the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Dr. Castellini is now the Interim Dean for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Graduate School and a member of the UAF Center for Arctic Policy Studies team. His research focuses on how marine mammals have adapted to life in the sea and he has participated in many public outreach programs discussing climate change, the Arctic and Antarctic, including how animals at those locations are critically dependent on sea ice.
Marie-Sylvestre Olesen - UArctic Vice-President Academic Office Coordinator University of Alaska FairbanksResponsibility areas: Coordinates the Academic Office of UArctic and likewise serves as Arctic Program Coordinator of UAF. Primary UArctic responsibility is being the central contact point for UArctic’s education activities and supporting the Academic planning and review processes.After completing an MSc in Responsible Tourism Management at Greenwich University in England, Marie went on to work in Churchill, Manitoba as Program Coordinator for all tourism products at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. This is where she got her first taste of dog mushing. She volunteered for a sled dog race that traveled all the way to Arviat, Nunavut. Later that interest brought her to the Yukon where she worked for the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race for 5 years, the last two as Executive Director. The Yukon Quest is a 1600 km (1000 miles) race alternating starts between Whitehorse to Fairbanks. Now freshly immigrated to Alaska, Marie continues to volunteer for the Yukon Quest every year, as well as other local events and fundraisers. The new scenery is a great inspiration for her love of painting and photography, and she aims to raise her young family with a love for the North and exploring Alaska's landscapes. Our Canadian colleagues will be pleased to know that Marie is from Quebec and her first language is French.