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UNI professor confronts the cold

December 12, 2011

Sam Lankford, professor, health, physical education and leisure services, 319-273-6840,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Sam Lankford, professor of health, physical education and leisure services at the University of Northern Iowa, has helped to pioneer a study about the impact the Arctic Winter Games have on the people involved. He hopes to analyze the personal, social and community benefits the games provide for the participants. He has worked on this research since 1992.

The games were created for youth in the circumpolar region of the Arctic. The participants are diverse, including Inuit, Inuvialuit, Dene and Metis aboriginals, as well as Sampi from Northern Scandinavia and Yamal from Russia. Athletes compete every two years by representing their country in a variety of contemporary and indigenous sports and games.

UNI students assist Lankford in his research and have the opportunity to attend the 2012 Winter Games, in Yukon, Canada. Students must take two semesters of the course Community Planning Workshop in order to participate, where they learn how to write proposals, timelines and budgets and collect, analyze and present data.

Lankford and his team will continue studying the games for the next four years. For more information, contact Sam Lankford, professor of health, physical education and leisure services, at 319-273-6840 or