About / Staff


Laura Sharp
Research/Program Assistant, Arctic Studies Center

Dawn BiddisonLaura Sharp is the Research/Program Assistant at the Arctic Studies Center. Laura joined the Arctic Studies Center in October 2011 as the 18th Inuit Studies Conference Coordinator and assisted Lauren Marr, William Fitzhugh and the Arctic Studies Center in the planning of this conference. After the highly successful conference, Laura moved into the role of Research Assistant where she now supports the Arctic Studies Center staff and the many interesting anthropological and archaeological programs led by ASC senior staff across the circumpolar north.

Laura began her career in Arctic Studies with graduate research in Hopedale, Nunatsiavut, in northern Labrador, Canada. She completed an honors undergraduate degree in International Studies and Geography in 2005 at the University of Guelph, Ontario, and later pursued her M.A. in Geography in 2007 also at the University of Guelph. Her graduate research focused on human-environment interactions and climate change adaptation in Hopedale, an Inuit community in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, northern Canada, exploring the role of formal and informal institutions in facilitating adaptation to climate and other change. Her field studies included two months in the spring of 2008 interviewing hunters, elders and institutional representatives at various levels of government. The project became a case study for the 2007-2009 International Polar Year Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in the Arctic Regions (CAVIAR) project, and for the Arctic Net Phase I Project 4.2, and Phase II Project 1.1, both led by her thesis supervisor Dr. Barry Smit.

Following her graduate studies, Laura continued her involvement with IPY and ArcticNet research through her role as Research Associate with the Global Environmental Change Group (GECG) in the Department of Geography, University of Guelph from 2009-2011. During her two years with the GECG she attended and presented at several arctic conferences, including the 2010 IPY Oslo Science Conference, the 2010 State of the Arctic Conference, 17th Inuit Studies Conference in 2010 and the 2008, 2009 and 2010 ArcticNet Annual Science Meetings. She has published a chapter in “Settlement, Subsistence, and Change Among the Labrador Inuit: The Nunatsiavummiut Experience” and has a paper submitted to Regional Environmental Change. She has presented on her research at several academic conferences and received a prize for the best Arctic social science poster at the ArcticNet ASM in 2008.