Arctic Visiting Speakers
Arctic Visiting Speakers

The Arctic Visiting Speakers Program (AVS), funded by NSF’s Division of Arctic Sciences and developed and managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), provides small grants to arctic experts to share their knowledge in communities where they might not otherwise connect. Speakers cover a wide range of topics and address a variety of audiences including communities and the general public, university audiences, K-12 students, and under-served populations.

In the first half of 2012, AVS supported five tours on topics including oral traditions in northern cultures, research on Weddell seals, award-winning films exploring pressures on northern populations of both people and wildlife, and rural Alaska issues. These five tours directly connected with over 1,100 people, with thousands more reached through media coverage.

Students at St. John Catholic School in Memphis learn about Weddell seals.
Alex Eilers and Dr. Jennifer Burns discussing Weddell seals with students at St. John Catholic School in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo courtesy of Alex Eilers and the Pink Palace Museum.

Applications are currently being accepted by potential host organizations for 2012 tours. Successful host applications will provide a schedule of events that includes a wide variety of speaking engagements to a diverse set of audiences. Rural and under-served areas are especially encouraged to apply.

For more information about AVS, past and upcoming tours, and the application process, please visit: or contact Judy Fahnestock (judy [at]

"Regardless of all the communication technologies we currently have at our fingertips, person-to-person contact is indispensable and by far the most powerful and lasting mode of communication. Thank you for honoring and facilitating it." K. Heuer, AVS speaker.