Geography 2050

Dr. Lawson Brigham

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dr. Lawson W. Brigham is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and a researcher with the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A member of the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board and the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Brigham was a career U.S. Coast Guard officer, commanding four ships, including the icebreaker Polar Sea, on Arctic & Antarctic expeditions. He has been a research fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a faculty member of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School, the Alaska Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and the Chair of the Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment. Dr. Brigham holds graduate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Cambridge. For more than three decades, his research interests have focused on the Russian maritime Arctic, environmental change, polar marine transportation, sea ice remote sensing, Arctic security, and polar geopolitics. He was a 2008 signer of the AGS Fliers' and Explorers' Globe, and was captain of the Polar Sea during its 1994 voyages, when it became one of the first ships to reach the extreme ends of the global ocean. Dr. Brigham was elected to the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research in 2013 and awarded the American Polar Society's Polar Medal in 2015. Meanwhile, a central peak in Victoria Land, Antarctica was named Mount Brigham in 2008 by the Board of Geographic Names.