The North is a frontier for exploration of emerging infectious diseases and the large-scale drivers influencing distribution, host associations, and evolution of pathogens among persons, domestic animals, and wildlife. Leading into the International Polar Year 2007-2008, we outline approaches, protocols, and empirical models derived from a decade of integrated research on northern host-parasite systems. Investigations of emerging infectious diseases associated with parasites in northern wildlife involved a network of multidisciplinary collaborators and incorporated geographic surveys, archival collections, historical foundations for diversity, and laboratory and field studies exploring the interface for hosts, parasites, and the environment. In this system, emergence of parasitic disease was linked to geographic expansion, host switching, resurgence due to climate change, and newly recognized parasite species. Such integrative approaches serve as cornerstones for detection, prediction, and potential mitigation of emerging infectious diseases in wildlife and persons in the North and elsewhere under a changing global climate.