Arctic innovation

by Greg Lincoln

Photo by Greg Lincoln

Hello friends. Do you know a person who finds ways to make tasks and jobs easier and or safer that are related to living in the arctic (or subarctic) by building their own contraptions, tools, or projects? Our ancestors invented many interesting and useful things using the natural resources around them and so can we.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a contest where you can submit your ideas – your very own Arctic Innovations. You can enter a product, service, or a process and there are different categories to choose from – sustainable/renewable, healthcare/medical, equipment/machinery, electronics/computing/technology, transportation/automotive, and other.

Past winners have submitted ideas such as: inflatable snowshoes, tidal pumped hydro storage to use to generate electricity, a nose hat that covers your nose and cheeks that you can use while doing vigorous activities outside that allows you to breathe freely, and a fish wheel salmon selector that releases certain species back to the water to continue on to spawning grounds while allowing more abundant species to be caught.

Honorable mentions include a firewood chopping table, a handheld firestarter, and a wastewater treatment system.

Kids can enter too, there is a 12 and under division, and a junior division for kids 13-17. Kids, get those ideas going.

There are monetary prizes for the winners. There are also awards for college students, the best arctic-related idea, a sustainability kicker prize, an air quality kicker prize, and honorable mentions.

You may know someone who could be the next Arctic Innovator. In fact, they might be someone in your family, or it could even be you.
Sign up at