June 13, 2018
Maine is geographically positioned to lead the charge as the United States pursues opportunities in the Arctic and North Atlantic, particularly as climate change opens new shipping routes and changes fisheries. University of New England President James Herbert makes this point in an op-ed published by the Portland Press Herald.
Herbert writes that Maine Senator Angus King has served as a leader in efforts to collaborate with countries in the region, cofounding the Senate Arctic Caucus with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. He points to economic milestones, such as Icelandic shipping company Eimskip moving its North American headquarters to Portland, more than doubling traffic in the Port of Portland in the last five years, as well as plans for land-based salmon farms in Belfast and Bucksport.
“These opportunities extend beyond the prospects for expanded economic development,” writes Herbert. “Just as we share geographical, environmental, cultural, demographic and industrial similarities with the Arctic nations, we also face many of the same challenges. And by collaborating with these neighbors, we can develop scalable solutions.”
However, Herbert explains, Maine cannot wait for these opportunities. “We must encourage investment – both foreign and domestic – in industries linked to the North. We must educate industries in the U.S. about the opportunities for trade in the region and position Maine’s ports as international gateways. We must invest in facilities that will support greater trade with regional partners. We must increase cultural exchanges and joint educational and research programs.”
To that end, UNE has launched UNE NORTH: The Institute for North Atlantic Studies. This initiative will utilize UNE’s strengths in the marine, environmental and social sciences, health care and humanities through projects and collaborations that help Maine achieve its goal in the “New North.”
“By acting intentionally, proactively and collaboratively, we can maximize our state’s potential in this exciting new arena,” stated Herbert. “A back door no longer, Maine’s ports are open and we’re ready to share our ideas, products and unique spirit with the world beyond our shores.”
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions