The Arctic Studies Center (ASC) at Liaocheng University (LCU) was founded in March 2018. So far it is the only institution in China that focuses on the social science studies related to the Arctic Ocean. Its founding director is Dr. Feng Qu who received his PhD degree in Anthropology from University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).
ASC undertakes inter-disciplinary research to monitor human-environment interactions and explore cultural issues and ecological problems, with archaeological, anthropological, historical, and biological approaches. The Center has three divisions: ethnology and anthropology; environmental history and archaeology; and International Affairs and Public Governance.
The ASC houses Chinese and international scholars who actively represent LCU in international academic events. The center is affiliated to the School of History and Cultures at LCU, and undertakes teaching assignments from the school.
The center has launched a Journal of Arctic Studies in Chinese which publishes peer-reviewed articles in the field of Arctic social science and humanities, including anthropology, history, archaeology, sociology, cultural ecology, art history, and religious studies. It also runs a publication series for academic works in Arctic social science translated from English, Russian, and other languages into Chinese.ASC has established relations with the Arctic Studies Center at the Smithsonian Institution, the Department of Anthropology at UAF, the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO), and the Arctic Center at Groningen University. A Cooperative Doctoral Student Training (CDST) program between the ASC and the Department of Anthropology at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, began in 2019. The program is currently recruiting Chinese and international students to study Anthropology with an emphasis on Arctic and/or Chinese anthropology.