Maine-Greenland Collaborations

It’s all about relationships.

Our aim is to connect North Atlantic communities around shared interests and commonalities.

The Maine North Atlantic Institute supports this interdisciplinary team of student and faculty researchers exploring the pressing environmental, cultural, and socio-economic challenges facing coastal communities in Maine and Greenland.

We’re just getting started.

Mapping decades of vegetation shifts across south Greenland, getting to know people and the landscape through collage workshops and public walks, delving into local, regional, and national archives – from rural farming communities and historic sites to bustling cities and towns, the research team continues to deepen relationships and work together on critical educational, cultural and economic needs.

Students involved in this work report they feel like “equal partners on a research team.” They learn that ethically responsible research “isn’t just about taking samples and collecting data—it benefits participants and local communities who are affected by the research.”

 “Reciprocity, relationship building, and giving back to the Greenlanders who share their stories, spaces, and time”.

Dr. Pavri and I stayed up until nearly midnight with one farming family [in Greenland]. They were using our maps as a planning tool, looking for ways to make their farm more resilient in the future. It was an incredible moment. For the first time, I felt like my research was making a difference. It was a big realization for me. I want to use my geographic skillset and planning education to change people’s lives.

Izaak Onos, USM Muskie School Policy, Planning, and Management Graduate Student

University of Southern Maine undergraduate and graduate students from the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences are a part of this initiative. It is made possible through the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF) and other funding.

Looking for more information? Get in touch!


  • Jan Piribeck, Professor of Digital Art and Foundations, Emerita
  • Firooza Pavri, Professor of Geography, USM Muskie School of Public Service
  • Paula Gerstenblatt, Professor of Social Work, USM School of Social Work
  • Matthew Bampton, Professor of Geography, USM Muskie School of Public Service
  • Joseph Staples, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, USM College of Science, Technology, and Health