March 2017

Download our "Annual Report 2016".


February 2017

Rachael Discusses Indigenous Rights at Tufts University

Rachael joined the Fletcher Arctic VI Conference at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston on 17th and 18th of February. She took part in a panel on Legal Implications in the Arcticalongside distinguished scholars Timo Koivurova, Suzanne Lalonde and Oran Young. Rachael‘s paper examined how the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) may clash with indigenous rights to hunt the polar bear and the narwhal in the Arctic. 

Download Rachael's presentation here.


January 2017

Rachael gives expert evidence to the High North Inquiry of the UK Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee

On 25th January 2017, Rachael gave expert evidence to the UK House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee on 25th January 2017. The Committee is conducting an inquiry into Scotland‘s relations with the High North, examining the potential contributions Scotland can make in light of the rapid changes facing the region.

Rachael submitted written evidence in the Fall and was invited to the first oral evidence session of the inquiry where she answered questions put by Members of the House of Commons with a view to helping the Committee prioritise topics for further investigation.

A transcript of the session as well as Rachael’s written evidence to the Committee is available from the inquiry website.  Rachael is the first scholar to have written about contemporary links between Scotland and the Arctic States in an article published in the Arctic Yearbook in 2012. 


October 2016

On 7th October 2016, The Arctic Oil and Gas Research Centre held a Breakout Session at the 4th Arctic Circle Assembly to discuss the Social Impacts of Oil And Gas Activities In The Arctic – Challenges And Benefits.

Unfortunately, Anne Merrild, who had organised the session and planned to speak on Social Impact Assessment in Oil and Gas Development: Community Experiences from Greenland and Alaska, was stuck in Greenland owing to bad weather.

Rachael hosted the session, introduced the Centre, and introduced the four excellent speakers who presented as follows:

  • Anita L. Parlow, Fulbright-MFA Arctic Scholar at the University of Akureyri and National Energy Authority: Toward an Arctic Standard in the New North: Projected Considerations by Iceland and Norway in the Jan Mayen Offshore
  • Brigt Dale, Senior Researcher, Nordland Research Institute, Norway: The Post-Petroleum Perspective: Is There Security to be Found Beyond the Oil Ontology?
  • Natalya Novikova, Researcher, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences: Anthropological expert review in Russia: Goals of researchers and expectations of indigenous peoples
  • Emma Wilson, Associate, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University: Ethics and practice: implementing international social performance standards in Arctic extractive industry contexts

Around fifty people attended the session and a lively discussion followed each paper. 

On 8th October 2016, Rachael delivered two additional papers:


May 2016

Rachael presented the Arctic Oil and Gas Research Centre at the Arctic Circle Forum meeting in Nuuk on Wednesday 18th May. She used the opportunty to explain the objectives of the Centre and to encourage interested parties to come forward with comments and proposals for the research agenda.



Arctic Oil and Gas Research Centre has got its own beautiful logo - designed by a talented Greenlandic graphic artist, Ivalu Risager.

The logo is inspired by Ilisimatusarfik’s logo featuring the women‘s boats. The line below the boats in the Ilisimatusarfik logo is referenced in the logo of the Centre. The waterline from the Ilisimatusarfik logo is then taken to reflect the silhouettes of the traditional Inuit dolls and the iceberg. The dolls symbolise the contemporary view of nature derived from traditional Inuit culture and places humans in the centre.

Oil can be found under the seas and in the mountains so the reflection of the iceberg and the Inuit dolls are seen to drip, like oil.

The choice of blue colour for the iceberg indicates the Arctic focus for the research centre. 

April 2016

Anne Merrild Hansen is currently in Fairbanks Alaska, where she will be staying for the next six weeks as a visiting scholar at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The purpose of the trip is for Anne to do fieldwork and work with experts from UAF to learn about the Alaskan experiences from oil and gas exploration and the impact on the small coastal community on Alaska's north coast, where oil extraction has taken place since 1976. Anne will, as a part of her trip, visit the towns of Barrow and Deadhorse and the village of Kaktovik.

The trip is funded by a grant from the US Fulbright Arctic Initiative, which aims to promote new research and knowledge sharing in the Arctic. Anne will prepare a briefing note on the results from the trip when she returns to Nuuk in August.


International LLM Opportunity for Established Oil and Gas Professionals

The North Sea Energy Law Programme is an advanced programme for practitioners from both public and private sector covering all aspects of energy law, offered by the Universities of Gronigen, Oslo, Aberdeen and Copenhagen.

Drawing on the expertise of the leading academics in centres of excellence located in the region that has seen perhaps the highest degree of innovation in energy law, it offers participants both the fundamental knowledge and the conceptual tools to deal with whatever challenges this exciting area of practice raises.

This unique programme is structured to accommodate busy professionals through concentrated periods of teaching. Each of the four courses is taught in a different centre in an intensive two-week block. The language of instruction is English.

The two-year programme starts every September and will last until June two years later. For more information, see the NSELP home page

March 2016

Anne and Rachael met selected stakeholders to refine the research priorities of the Arctic Oil and Gas Research Centre, identify the most important areas for research, discuss opportunities for cooperation, and plan teaching at Ilisimatusarfik. Anne and Rachael met representatives from Ilisimatusarfik, the Greenland Institute for Natural Resources, the Mineral Licence and Safety Authority, Nunaoil, and WWF.

The Arctic Oil and Gas Research Centre was formally launched at Ilisimatusarfik, Greenland on 16th March 2016. Tine Pars, Rector of Ilisimatusarfik introduced the Arctic Oil and Gas Research Centre and the two directors, Anne and Rachael. Anne explained the objectives, priorities and planned activities of the centre. The directors then each delivered a presentation in which Rachael discussed the importance of the legal framework in managing hydrocarbon activities and Anne explained the essential criteria for an effective environmental and social impact assessment process. Over fifty people attended the launch and participated in a lively discussion where they talked about their hopes and expectations for the Centre. Participants came from Ilisimatusarfik; the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources; Niuernermik Ilinniarfik (the Business College); the Ministry of Industry, Labour and Trade; the Mineral Licence and Safety Authority; the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS); the Greenland Business Association; Greenland Business; S.I.K. (the Labour Association of Greeland); Nunaoil; WWF; and Transparency International Greenland.