Andrey N. Petrov

  Andrey N. Petrov (PhD, Toronto; PhD, Herzen) is Associate Professor of Geography, ARCTICenter Director and Academic Director of GeoTREE Center at the University of Northern Iowa. Dr. Petrov is an economic and social geographer who specializes in Arctic economy, regional development and post-Soviet society, with an emphasis on the social geography of indigenous populations of Russia. His current research is focused on regions of the Russian and Canadian North and concerns regional development, spatial organization, and restructuring of peripheral economies. Dr. Petrov leads the Research Coordination Networks in Arctic Sustainability (Arctic-FROST) and Arctic Coastal Resilience (Arctic-COAST). He has published on issues pertaining to socio-economic crisis, development, and demographic dynamics of indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in the North. Dr. Petrov is the President of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), Chair of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Social and Human Working Group and a Past Chair of the Polar Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers (AAG).

Faculty Fellows and Visiting Scholars

Professor of Economics Lee Huskey in his office at the University of Alaska Anchorage Friday, April 5, 2013. (Erin Hooley/University of Alaska Anchorage Office of Advancement)

  Lee Huskey (PhD, Washington University in St. Louis) is ARCTICenter Visiting Scholar in Geography and Arctic Studies. Dr. Huskey is the leading resource economist in the Arctic and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alaska Anchorage. 


  Jessica Graybill (PhD, University of Washington) specializes in urban ecology, political ecology, geographies of consumption in the former Soviet Union and Russian Arctic. She is Associate Professor at Colgate University.


  Bingqing Liang, Faculty Fellow (PhD, Indiana State University)  specializes in remote sensing and geospatial technology. Dr. Liang studies application of hyper- and multispectral imagery in polar regions.

  Marya Rozanova (PhD, St. Petersburg State University) is ARCTICenter Visiting Scholar in Arctic Social Sciences. Dr. Rozanova is an expert in the fields of migration policy and migrant integration, gender empowerment and in the Russian policy and the Arctic region. She teaches at the George Washington University and holds the rank of Professor at the Russian State Hydrometeorological University in St. Petersburg, Russia.   Natalia Loukacheva

  Natalia Loukacheva (PhD, SJD, University of Toronto) is ARCTICenter Visiting Scholar in Arctic Law. Dr. Loukacheva specializes in international and comparative constitutional law, with a research interest in the Arctic. She currently serves as Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Governance and Law and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Medea Scoba DeHaas (PhD University of Alaska Fairbanks (Anthropology) ARCTICenter Visiting Scientist. Dr. Csoba DeHaas has studied the fusion of Russian Orthodox religion with Alaska Native cultures, lived in Nanwalek and now works to preserve Sugpiaq culture and language in Alaska. She is also an expert in museum technology, in particular, 3D object representation. 

Marybeth Stalp, Faculty Fellow (Ph.D. Sociology, University of Georgia (2001), Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, University of Georgia (1998), M.A. in Sociology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1996), B.A. in Sociology, English Literature, and Communications, Regis University (1993). Gender, Culture, Leisure, Qualitative Methods


Michele Devlin, Faculty Fellow (Dr.P.H., UCLA) Dr. Devlin is Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Northern Iowa, and a specialist in human migration and mass disaster response. Dr. Devlin is a specialist in working cross-culturally during large-scale emergencies. She has worked or traveled in 65 nations around the world, including numerous countries in the Arctic. Dr. Devlin is also an avid musher every winter, and particularly enjoys dogsledding above the Arctic Circle.


Susan Meerdink, Regents Faculty Fellow (Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara) Dr. Meerdink is Assistant Professor of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at the University of Iowa. She works at the intersection of machine learning, remote sensing, and ecology to understand our functioning natural environment. She uses computational spatial methods to characterize the vegetation function and the effect of physiology on the optical and thermal properties of plants. Dr. Meerdink is an ARCTICenter undergraduate student alumna.

Vera Kuklina, Visiting Fellow (Ph.D., Sochava Institute, Russia) Dr. Kuklina is a Research Professor at the George Washington University and Senior Researcher at the Sochava Institute of Geography, Russia. Vera Kuklina works with geographically remote communities of Siberia studying the issues of cultural sustainability, urbanization of indigenous people, urban and transportation infrastructure, and gendered division of labor. 

Research Faculty and Staff

Tatiana Degai, Postdoctoral Scholar (Ph.D. University of Arizona (American Indian studies/Linguistics), M.A. University of Alaska Fairbanks (Anthropology)).  Member, Itelmen Peoples Council Tskhanom. Areas: Indigenous studies, Indigenous languages, knowledge, and culture, language revitalization, sustainable development in the Arctic, Indigenous methodologies, Sociolinguistics. 
Stanislav KSENOFONTOV | Senior Researcher | Doctor of Philosophy | BEST  Center Institute of Natural Sciences
Stanislav Ksenofontov, Consultant (Ph.D., University of Zurich). Dr. Ksenofontov has been conducting his research on the social-ecological systems of Arctic Yakutia in the context of global change, including impacts of global change drivers such as climate change, land use change and technological adaptation, overexploitation, social-political transformations on the Arctic biodiversity and Indigenous livelihoods. 

Nikolay Golosov, Research Associate (BS, St. Petersburg State University, Russia) – specializes in GIS, spatial analysis and cartography. He works on the TAMARA project mapping wild reindeer migration in Taimyr, Russia and COVITA projects.

2020 Schuerman Visiting Scholar 

Tatiana Egorova, Saami scholar and Head of the Indigenous Peoples’ Office of the Barents Secretariat in Murmansk, Russia. Tatiana’s visit was supported by the Jim and Connie Schuerman donation to the PROGRUS program.

Student Researchers

In photo (L-R): Chris Pierce, Grant Burke, Atiq Rahman, Varvara Korkina, Nikolay Golosov, Atan Sasmal, and Andrey Petrov (courtesy of Northern Iowan)  

  Maria Monakhova (BS in Economics & Law, RUDN University, MA, UNI) – specializes in sustainable development and spatial analysis. Maria works on the ARC-NAV project assisting in the investigation of community adaptation to changing ice conditions in the Bering Sea. She is a PhD student at ASU. 


Natalia Khortseva (BS, Higher School of Economics) – specializes in human geography. Works on a project about municipal sustainable development in the Russian Arctic.

  Petr Grin (BA, MS Moscow State University, Russia) – specializes in GIS, spatial analysis and cartography.  Specializes in economical geography, cooperation in oil and gas development in Arctic area. 

Elena Golosova (BA St. Petersburg State University). Elena is a graduate student in the Women and Gender Studies Program. She examines the experiences of refugees and particularly Indigenous women displaced from their homelands. 

  Nikolay Golosov (BS, St. Petersburg State University, Russia) – specializes in GIS, spatial analysis and cartography. He works on the TAMARA project mapping wild reindeer migration in Taimyr, Russia and COVITA projects.

  Siobhan McTiernan (BA, University of California, Berkeley) – specializes in physical geography, remote sensing, wildfire ecology and impacts of transportation infrastructure in the Arctic.

  Ayan Sasmal (MS, University of Kota; BS, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, India) – specializes in biogeography, remote sensing of cold environments and cryosphere. He works on a bio-energy model of caribou and wild reindeer.


Administrative Staff


Ann P Crawford (BA, University of Iowa & BA, University of Northern Iowa) – ARCTICenter administrative assistant. Ann leads Center’s operations and coordinates administrative processing for RCN Arctic-FROST and Arctic-COAST. Ann also serves as the Secretary for the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA).


Varvara Korkina Williams (BA, Altai State University, Russia) – specializes in Indigenous rights, governance, cultural economy, and community well-being. Her research also involves Arctic youth.


Research Affiliates and Alumni

Anna V. Pestereva  

  Anna V. Pestereva (ABD, St. Petersburg State University; MA, University of Northern Iowa) – Anna is interested in spatial modeling of climate change and wild reindeer migration in northern Russia. She works as a data analytics adviser at the CVS Health headquarters. 

  Atiqur Rahman (MA, University of Northern Iowa; BS, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) – specializes in GIS and remote sensing of Arctic tundra landscapes. Atiq is a PhD students at Florida Atlantic University. 

Copy of Banquet 2011 030

  Philip A. Cavin (MA, BA, University of Northern Iowa) – works on issues of economic development, human well-being and socio-economic impact assessment in remote and rural areas. Phil is a project manager at the Data Business Equipment Inc.

Jonathon J. Launspach

  Jonathon J. Launspach (MA, BS/BA University of Northern Iowa) – specializes in GIS analysis, remote sensing and fire-induced ecosystem change. Jon is a senior GIS Specialist based at the EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division.

Image result for susan meerdink

  Susan Meerdink (PhD, MA, University of California, Santa Barbara; BS/BA, University of Northern Iowa) – specializes in remote sensing, biogeography, environmental analysis and GIS. Susan studied spatial dynamics and behavior of migratory wild reindeer in the Arctic. She received PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara and now works as Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa.

Matthew Cooney

  Matthew Cooney (MA, University of Northern Iowa; BA, Clarke University) – specializes in environmental analysis and GIS. Matt studies climate change and spatial dynamics of migratory caribou and wild reindeer in the Arctic. Matt is the GIS Director at the Colorado College.

Ekaterina Korzh

  Ekaterina Korzh (MA, University of Northern Iowa; BS, St. Petersburg State University, Russia) – specializes in human geography and GIS. Her research focuses on economic development strategies and population change in marginal communities. Ekaterina is a graduate student at the University of Iowa.

Andrey Kushkin

  Andrei Kushkin (MA, University of Northern Iowa; BS, St. Petersburg State University, Russia). Andrei’s research concentration is GIS, cartography, computational geography and low altitude remote sensing. Andrei is a PhD student at Texas State University.

  Arif Masrur (MA, UNI;  BS, University of Dhaka) – specializes in environmental geography and GIS. His research focuses on wildfire activity and climate change in the Arctic. Arif is a PhD student at Pennsylvania State University.

 Emily Francis (MA, UNI; BS, Keene State College) – specializes in environmental geography, biogeography and GIS. Her research focuses on wild reindeer/caribou and environmental dynamics in the Arctic. Emily has worked as a Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  and  Fellow  at  the  National  Science  Foundation  (NSF).  She  now  pursues  her  PhD  at the University  of  Maine. dan1

  Daniel Murphy (MA, BS, University of Northern Iowa) specializes in GIS and remote sensing. Dan is the Customer Service and Satisfaction Manager – North America at senseFly. 


  Narmina Iusubova (MA, UNI; BS, St. Petersburg State University, Russia)  specializes in GIS and renewable energy. Her research focuses on geovisualization techniques and renewable energy in the Arctic. She currently works at the North Carolina State University.

  Leonid A. Kolpashchikov (Dr. Sci.) – Head of Research, The Joint Directorate of Taimyr Nature Preserves. Dr. Kolpashchikov is the world’s leading specialist in biology and biogeography of Arctic large mammals.