Arctic Systems Science at UMaine

The University of Maine’s new National Science Foundation sponsored Systems Approaches to Understanding and Navigating the New Arctic (SAUNNA) National Research Traineeship (NRT) is focused on the challenges of complex socio-environmental changes in the Arctic, the impacts of which are striking and widespread, both in the region and more broadly throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Our program seeks to provide the next generation of Arctic systems scientists with competencies and skills to advance understanding of the new Arctic and to support improved outcomes in this region and beyond.

We are seeking Ph.D., Master’s, and J.D./J.S.D students in anthropology, earth sciences, freshwater ecology, economics, law, and marine sciences who are interested in conducting interdisciplinary research and training in our study system of southwest Greenland, the Arctic-North Atlantic,  and Maine. All students will have the opportunity to travel to the Arctic for program activities.

Click here to learn more about our most recent field experience in Southwest Greenland

SAUNNA Greenland Partners Newsletter Winter 2023 (English)

SAUNNA Greenland Partners Newsletter Winter 2023 (Greenlandic)




The SAUNNA NRT draws upon UMaine’s distinctive strengths and expertise in the following areas:

  • Polar Biophysical Research
  • Cross-cultural Perspectives and Integration of Knowledge Systems (including Traditional Ecological Knowledge)
  • Arctic Law and Policy
  • Socio-environmental Systems Research

SAUNNA NRT trainees will

  • Advance understanding of Arctic/sub-Arctic changes and their local and global effects
  • Conduct solutions-driven research focused on socio-environmental systems and their dynamics
  • Apply models, theories, and visualization tools to integrate across systems and provide transparent access to data and interpretations
  • Develop cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary perspectives on emerging environmental, economic, and cultural issues
  • Develop and conduct interdisciplinary collaborative research with stakeholders (including indigenous communities) to foster resilience of Arctic/sub-Arctic systems
  • Inform future Arctic policy
  • Effectively and rapidly communicate results geared to different audiences


NSF logo


An NSF NRT Program
National Science Foundation