The Royal Geographical Society has recently elected Dr Anthony Speca to its body of Fellows, in recognition of his Arctic-related work. Dr Speca is a teacher of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Norwich School.
The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the UK's learned society and professional body for geography, founded in 1830 to advance the geographical sciences. Historically, the Society has supported many famous explorers and expeditions, and today it is one of the world’s leading centres for geography and geographical learning.
Dr Speca, who teaches Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Norwich School, served as a civil servant in the Canadian Arctic before relocating to the UK in 2011. He continues to write, speak and consult on issues of Arctic public policy and governance. Inspired to share his enthusiasm for the Arctic with his pupils, he developed the world’s only Model Arctic Council conference for secondary-schools, which he launched at Norwich School in 2016.
The Norwich Model Arctic Council, or NORMAC, is now in its fourth year. Norwich School continues to host this innovative experiential learning programme, which last year attracted pupils from 14 different home countries to play the roles of diplomats attending meetings of the real-world Arctic Council.
Dr Speca is currently travelling to Oulu University in northern Finland, where he will give a presentation to the Second University of the Arctic Congress about the educational impact of his Model Arctic Council initiative. This presentation follows earlier presentations about NORMAC to the Ninth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences at Umeå University in northern Sweden, and the First University of the Arctic Congress at St Petersburg University in Russia.
Last year, two Norwich School pupils, Lauren-Reid Edwards and Tom Brandford (now ONs), had the opportunity to join Dr Speca by Skype in Sweden to present their experience of NORMAC to an academic audience.
The next NORMAC conference is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2019. Details and a registration form may be found at www.normac.org.
Anthony Speca says:
‘It’s a special honour to be made Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for my Arctic work, including my Model Arctic Council initiative. I’m especially grateful to Norwich School, and the Friends of Norwich School, for hosting and supporting NORMAC, and to the talented pupils who have helped me run this conference here.’