This past Monday, I ran a fourth online ‘mini’ Model Arctic Council (MAC) for students at Trent University, as well as students from other universities and countries studying online with Trent through the UArctic Circumpolar Studies programme. Like my previous mini-MACs, which students seem to have found enjoyable and educational, the online simulation was the capstone project of a course in Trent’s innovative online Circumpolar Studies Diploma programme. But I’m delighted to say that, in this case, the participating students were taking my own special course on the political geography of the Arctic, entitled ‘GEOG 2811 The International North and the Arctic Council’. My Trent colleague Prof Heather Nicol was the course instructor, and I’m grateful to her for inviting me not only to run the mini-MAC, but to develop the new course from scratch for her programme.
These online mini-MACs offer a course-based complement to my full, multi-day online and in-person MACs for universities and schools. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has made it impossible to run any of my in-person MACs this year, and I’m glad to be able to offer these online opportunities in lieu. But the GEOG 2811 course is now the official home of my online mini-MAC for Trent, and I hope to see both the course and the mini-MAC as part of Trent’s regular course offerings in future academic years, pandemic or no!