Game: SMARTIC Arctic Case Study

Author: Stephanie PfirmanContributing Author: Patrick CallahanContributing Author: Jessica Brunacini

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Students will build off of an introductory presentation on climate change in the Arctic to devise a strategy to manage climate change impacts on a global scale (the Arctic). After a brief synopsis on current issues and management approaches in the Arctic, students will use information based on the stakeholders and interests they've identified in readings done before class, to pinpoint areas of high interest, negotiate conflicts, and develop a sustainable, multi-stakeholder management plan for high priority areas. The net effect on students will be to: (1) understand the complex web of stakeholder interests and scientific issues (2) learn how to devise a strategic plan for a global issue and an area of significant socio-economic, political, and environmental importance.

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Learning Goals

In this lesson, students will:

  • Review and analyze Arctic stakeholder interests
  • Develop strategic management plans for the marine Arctic
  • Engage in a discourse around climate change responses based on projections, science, stakeholders

Context for Use

The Strategic Management of Resources in Times of Change (SMARTIC) activity is an interactive, role play scenario. It is best suited for upper level high school students, college and graduate students, and lifelong learners.

Description and Teaching Materials

As Arctic summer sea ice continues to retreat, there is a growing interest, both locally and internationally, in accessing and developing Arctic assets that have previously been unavailable such as hydrocarbons, fish and other natural resources.

Others are concerned about changes in the quantity and quality of sea ice habitat and what impact that will have on the Arctic ecosystem as well as those who rely on ice as a platform for transportation, hunting, and fishing, and other livelihood purposes.

SMARTIC is a simulation activity that gives players a first hand understanding of what it means to be a stakeholder competing with other interests in the rapidly changing Arctic.

Materials needed:

  • Intro PowerPoint (w/facilitator notes)
  • Copies of stakeholder role play sheets and distribution maps
  • Large copy (or copies) of the SMARTIC main game play map
  • Large piece(s) of clear acetate (to lay on top of large SMARTIC map)
  • Grease pencils or dry erase markers (one color for each stakeholder)

Attached below are the SMARTIC activity materials.

Lesson Plan SMARTIC Lesson Plan.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 52kB May1 17)

Introductory Presentation SMARTIC Intro Presentation (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 1.9MB May1 17)

Main Map SMARTIC Main Map (Acrobat (PDF) 690kB May1 17)

Stakeholder Roles SMARTIC Stakeholder Role Sheets (Acrobat (PDF) 1.9MB May1 17)

Stakeholder Maps SMARTIC Stakeholder Maps (Acrobat (PDF) 7.7MB May1 17)

Teaching Notes and Tips

The SMARTIC activity requires a minimum of 60 minutes.

Faculty Preparation Before Class:

  • Assign readings
  • Print maps
  • Print stakeholder role play sheets


Homework to Collect and Grade

Evaluate responses to the following questions regarding Arctic marine impacts:

  • List the key Arctic stakeholders and their interests that would need to be taken into account in developing a sustainable management plan for the Arctic marine environment
  • List Arctic information questions regarding science, society, etc. that are important to resolve in order to create an Arctic marine management plan
  • Evaluate maps of stakeholder interests
  • Explain your affective response: how did you feel throughout the activity?
  • Reference at least two of your readings in your written response (using MLA citation)

References and Resources

Arctic Matters Booklet

Reading assignment to be completed in advance of the SMARTIC case study

Arctic Marine Shipping

Recommended reading for the SMARTIC case study: executive summary (p. 2-7) and the Scenario section (p. 92-121).

Arctic Impact Assessment Highlights

Recommended reading for the SMARTIC interactive case study

USGS Arctic Resource Appraisal

Recommended reading for the SMARTIC interactive case study.