at 3:27pm by Joe Copeland
The nation's only heavy-duty icebreaker, the Polar Sea, took off over the weekend on a months-long mission to the Antarctic. As a recent Associated Press report noted, Russia and China have been beefing up their icebreaker fleets — with eyes on controlling natural resources. Despite the lack of any action in Congress on new icebreakers, some people are looking ahead.The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington is now offering students the opportunity to earn a Minor in Arctic Studies. The purpose of the program is for undergraduates to develop skills addressing science and policy issues in the arctic region. The program is said to be one of the first of its kind offered in the states. KPLU reported earlier this year that the university hopes to eventually turn the program into a major and send students out on polar research vessels. — T.W.