Who We Are

At the Institute of the North, we are a community of professionals championing responsible care and management of commonly owned lands and resources, in Alaska and beyond. We are policy experts, scientists, business leaders, conservationists, storytellers and students. We share a passion for Alaska and wise decision-making concerning the future of the Arctic. As a team, we combine our individual expertise to create a more comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities present in this unique region of our world.

Our Staff

Ian Laing Executive Director

Ian is a lifelong Alaskan, raised in Homer and a graduate of Dartmouth College. He  has worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors, with a consistent emphasis on making Alaska a better place for everyone. He spends his free time outdoors, reading, or building furniture in the woodshop.

Hanna Eklund Program Coordinator

Hanna Eklund was born and raised in Finland, and moved to Alaska in 2007. She studied Environmental Management and Engineering at the Tampere Polytechnic and has a Master’s in Human Geography from the University of Eastern Finland. She has been the Honorary Consul of Finland in Alaska since 2012. She is a mother of two little boys and enjoys outdoors and camping with her family and friends.

Our Fellows

As a research organization, the Institute of the North regards its Fellows Program as a key component on which we are able to build our programs and accomplish our mission. The Fellows Program provides a wealth of knowledge, experience and historical background to the Institute of the North’s work. Each of the Institute’s Fellows brings a high level of expertise in one or more fields that together form an interdisciplinary team.

The Institute of the North’s Fellows program provides a platform for Alaska- and internationally-recognized researchers and advocates to conduct mission-related projects and programs that compliment their work and interests. Fellows come from a wide array of backgrounds and with diverse experience in Alaska and Arctic issues. Some have served since the Institute was founded; many bring fresh approaches to the Institute’s work.

  • Senior Fellows – are long-time associates of the Institute of the North and invested heavily in the Institute’s mission and core programs. Senior Fellows are strongly aligned with the Institute’s mission and therefore make broad intellectual contributions (chairing panels, authoring scholarly papers, compiling best practices, presenting at symposiums, etc.) on behalf of the Institute. Senior Fellows meet annually with the Board of Directors and staff to set the research agenda for the coming year. Working together to identify key issues on which the Institute aims to make advancement, the shared agenda will inform decision-making regarding research topics and projects.
  • Visiting Fellows – are brought on for a limited term to meet the needs of the Institute. Potential Visiting Fellows apply to fulfill specific research or program needs or propose projects that fit within the current research objectives of the Institute.  A Visiting Fellow retains his/her status with the Institute for the duration of the project, until such time as the agreed upon product is delivered. Often relatively new to the Institute, Visiting Fellows bring knowledge and experience that compliment the mission and legacy in Alaska and the Arctic.

To  lean more about the Fellows program please contact Ian Laing at ian@institutenorth.org or 907-313-6986. 

The views expressed by Fellows are the sole responsibility of the fellow and do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute of the North. The contents of their work are the sole responsibility of the fellow(s). The Institute of the North will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in their work.

Sarah Barton
Arctic Infrastructure and Policy

James R. Hemsath
Arctic Energy
+1 (907) 230-8947

Dr. Barry Zellen
Arctic Security
Project: Arctic Exceptionalism – Cooperation in a Contested World

Dr Elizabeth Buchanan
Visiting Fellow, Non-Resident
Arctic Security

Dr. Lawson W. Brigham
Arctic Marine
+1 (907) 786-6365

Mara Kimmel
Commons Governance
+1 (907) 786-4774

Theodore Rockwell
Circumpolar Solutions

Roberta Graham
Public Diplomacy
+1 (907) 345-6162

Dr. Roger Pearson
Geography and ANILCA
+1 (907) 776-8304

Keith Stinebaugh
Arctic Security Policy
+1 (303) 949-9794