Scott R. Stephenson

Photo of Scott Stephenson
Physical Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in geography, University of California, Los Angeles; M.A. in geography, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in human biology, Stanford University


Scott Stephenson is an environmental and political geographer with interests in climate security and policy. His research utilizes geospatial modeling and analysis to investigate linked human and natural systems. His recent projects have explored geopolitical conflict in the Arctic, resiliency of European transport networks, the geography of national critical functions, and Arctic shipping potential under scenarios of climate change. He serves as an associate editor of the journal Polar Geography and on the editorial board of FOCUS on Geography. He received his Ph.D. in geography from UCLA in 2014 and was assistant professor of geography at the University of Connecticut from 2014-2019.

Previous Positions

Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Connecticut


  • USCGC Richard Snyder takes part in Operation Nanook to enhance collective abilities to respond to safety and security issues in the High North, in the Davis Strait, August 13, 2021, photo by USCGC Richard Snyder/U.S. Coast Guard

    Putin's Actions in Ukraine Are Spilling North

    The decision of seven Arctic countries to suspend collaborative work with Russia in the Arctic is by far the most severe and consequential break in cooperation the region has ever seen. This breakdown of Arctic diplomacy could have several important impacts on the region and could potentially threaten the United States as well as its allies.

    Mar 30, 2022 The Hill

  • Snow-covered mountains rise above the harbor in Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Engaging with Greenland

    Greenland's resources and geographic position would confer economic and strategic value to the United States. But its postcolonial history and unique governance regime complicate the prospect of direct ownership.

    Sep 23, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • Sailors and civilians assigned to Arctic Submarine Lab haul ice to be used for potable water during an exercise, March 15, 2016

    Will the Breakdown in U.S.-Russia Cooperation Reach the Arctic?

    Over the last few decades, the U.S. and Russia have often found common ground on Arctic affairs, at least in such areas as search and rescue and environmental integrity. The Arctic has the potential to remain resistant to tensions building elsewhere.

    Oct 12, 2016 Inside Sources