International Antarctic Institute

The new International Antarctic Institute (IAI), established in July 2006, will welcome enrolments in its first international degree programme — a Masters in Antarctic Science by course work — in early 2008.

With its secretariat being hosted by the University of Tasmania, the IAI is part of Australia’s commitment to education and outreach during the International Polar Year.

The IAI will serve as an international educational centre for Antarctic programmes, with cross-accreditation of courses between participating institutions. Students will enrol in their home institutions and take up an agreed proportion of their course units at other IAI member institutions during their degree programme.

Members and associate members of the IAI presently include 20 universities and colleges from countries including Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, the UK and the USA. The University of Tasmania will host the institute’s secretariat for the first developmental phase (three to five years) before it is rotated among partner institutions.

The major objective of the IAI is to produce expertly trained scientists and social scientists with international experience and skills in research and its application. The IAI will deliver the knowledge and information needed by our future scientists and policy-makers to address sustainable resource management, climate impacts and other global environmental and social issues associated with Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

Patti Virtue and Andrew McMinn, IASOS, University of Tasmania