Echoing the goals of the Arctic Guardian exercise in Search and Rescue and Maritime Environmental Response within the Arctic.

The Arctic Guardians’ Dialogue conference is established to echo the goals of the Arctic Guardian exercise in Search and Rescue and Maritime Environmental Response within the Arctic. The conference is also built towards cooperation in the Arctic between the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) and the EPPR Working Group of the Arctic Council; the integration of Arctic cultures and knowledge in Arctic institutions; the progressive closing of the gender gap in maritime; and the protection of the marine environment in the context of an increasing shipping traffic in the Arctic region.

Day 1: Cross-Cultural Communication & Women in Maritime

Welcoming Words

Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, Rector, University of Akureyri

Opening Remarks

Rear Admiral Georg Kr. Lárusson, Director General of the Icelandic Coast Guard & Chair for the Arctic Coast Guard Forum for 2019-2021

Moderator: Andrew Paul Hill, Assistant Professor, University of Akureyri

Effective Communication in Multi-Agency Work

Andrew Paul Hill, Assistant Professor, University of Akureyri

The presentation will be interactive and explore cross-cultural communication issues, barriers to, and enablers for effective communication. Models & Theories Include:   

  • Betari´s Box (Attitudes & Behaviours) 
  • Transactional Analysis (Parent – Adult – Child) 
  • Responses to Dominance (Avoidance – Resistance – Acquiescence) 
  • C.U.D.S.A. (Conflict Resolution)  
  • Six Categories of Intervention (Support & Growth) 
  • Action Centred Leadership (Adair)
Cross-Cultural Communication, Policy and Personally

Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources, U.S. Coast Guard

Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, U. S. Coast Guard, will speak about the challenges of managing a workforce that is diversifying in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as facing some inevitable growing pains.  Effective cross-cultural communication is the solution, a balance of members’ respecting one another’s differences while also finding common cause in the Coast Guard mission.  This is a policy priority at the most senior level as well as a process that must take place personally - between shipmates - presenting the U.S. Coast Guard’s Human Resources directorate with their most important work to date. 


Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources, U.S. Coast Guard

All Aboard: History, Equality and Opportunity at Sea

Margaret Willson, Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington

Our perceptions of our histories in many ways set the boundaries of our present. In Iceland, women are not newly entering sea work, now defined as a ‘man’s world’, but reentering, their vibrant herstory at sea effectively erased. Their knowledge and experiences at sea, past and present, can teach us a great deal about the influences female incorporation into maritime management and crews at sea can have. Using a current example of positive gender maritime integration, Dr. Willson will make suggestions for avenues for achieving greater gender equality at sea.

Being a Woman in a "Men's" Job!

Steinunn Einarsdóttir, Instructor, Maritime Safety and Survival Training Center, Iceland

What is my experience of working as a woman in a man's job? What are male and female jobs and how do we define them and why? Do we need to have a plan to equalize the gender ratio? does it really matter? 

The Future of  Women  in  the Maritime Industry

Lara Barrett, Commanding Officer, CCGS Terry Fox, Canadian Coast Guard

Capt. Lara Barrett will discuss the past, present and future of women in the maritime industry and how she sees their position evolving over time. Not only are women more present on-board vessels, but they are increasingly taking management positions ashore and how this is changing the industry.

Present and Future for Youth in the Maritime Industry

Inga Fanney Egilsdóttir, Second Officer, Faroe Ship - Fossar, M/S Selfoss

Inga will discuss the present and future for young people in the maritime industry and how job opportunities have changed from  when she started working at sea, 1976 to present.

Moderator: Níels Einarsson, Director, Stefansson Arctic Institute


With all the speakers of Women in Maritime

Day 1 recording

Day 2 : Marine Environmental Response

Norwegian Oil Spill Response in Cold Waters: Lessons Learned from the Northguider and Godafoss Incidents
Trond Hjort-Larsen, Norwegian Coastal Administration

The Northguider incident will focus on the emergency off-loading of more than 330 000 litres of diesel from a grounded trawler at 80 degrees north in the Hinlopen strait, midwinter, and 24 hours of sailing from the closest port (Longyearbyen). The Godafoss incident will focus on collecting heavy oil at sea with booms and skimmers in temperatures down to minus 20.

Introduction of the Canadian Coast Guard Arctic Region and the Coast Guard Response to Two Cold Water Incidents
David Yard, Superintendent, Canadian Coast Guard

Join us for an overview of the new Canadian Coast Guard Arctic Region and to hear more about two cold water response incidents. In 2020, the Canadian Coast Guard responded to a pollution incident near the community of Postville, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in 2018 the Canadian Coast Guard conducted diverless, sub-sea oil removal operations from the Manolis L wreck in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

CAFF Activities, Oil Spill and Arctic Biodiversity
Tom Barry, Executive Secretary, CAFF, Arctic Council
Susse Wegeberg, Senior Advisor and Representative of the Kingdom of Denmark, CMBP, CAFF, Arctic Council

This talk will provide an overview of relevant activities by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Arctic Council biodiversity Working Group; links with relevant organizations; describe impacts of oil spills and oil spill methodologies on Arctic biodiversity; and illustrate how CAFF activities can provide information to oil spill response planning, and vice versa.

Restoration of Impacted Arctic Sites
David Pearce, Professor, Northumbria University

In a recent study on Svalbard, we evaluated the current environmental conditions around the coastal landfill site in Adventdalen (the wastewater from which discharges directly into the sea)and tried to identify future potential actions that might promote naturally occurring microbial communities to accelerate environmental recovery in cases of human impact. Combining molecular analyses of soil communities and physiological data from microcosm studies, we characterized the nature of the environmental changes induced at the landfill site, determined whether any intervention was necessary (or desirable) to restore the original environmental conditions, and evaluated whether the area of influence of the landfill site was stable, receding or increasing over time.

Is the Biggest Oil Spill on Our Planet in the Form of Plastic Pollution? 
Ásta Margrét Ásmundsdóttir, Adjunct Professor, University of Akureyri

A big part of the world’s oil production is used for making plastics. Plastic is inexpensive, easily malleable and widely used material. Actually, it is difficult to imagine our daily lives without it. However, the side effects of this waste plastic use cannot be ignored anymore and must be addressed. Plastic pollution is one of the major pollution problems in our oceans today. Apart from the obvious accumulation of plastic debris on coastlines and plastic islands forming in open oceans, there is also an invisible side of the issue, the microplastics, which caught the attention of scientists only recently. 

Closing Remarks
Captain Auðunn Kristinsson, Deputy Chief of Operations, Icelandic Coast Guard

Day 2 recording