ARCUS | Arctic Research Support and Logistics Working Group: Mission
Development of 2003 Report
Arctic Logistics Report is now available. Click here for new information.
The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) formed the Arctic Research Support and Logistics Working Group (RSLWG) in early 2000 to carry on and expand upon the work of ARCUS' former Logistics Working Group (LWG). Supported by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs (NSF-OPP), the mission of the working group is to represent the arctic research community in providing long-term expertise and advice on arctic logistics and science support issues for the NSF-OPP.
The working group is currently involved in updating the May 1997 report Logistics Recommendations for an Improved U.S. Arctic Research Capability. Since its publication, this report has provided effective guidance on logistics improvements to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and to the NSF-OPP Arctic Program. However, new science opportunities have emerged from the availability of expanded research support and logistics capabilities owing to an increased NSF-OPP research support budget as well as improvements in instrumentation technology, communications, and research platforms. Science priorities have also shifted somewhat due to increased evidence of Arctic change in both natural and social sciences. Arctic science is becoming more integrated and thematic, moving away from the traditional disciplinary approach. In addition to field logistics, other types of research support are becoming increasingly important. Examples include access to modeling results and GIS data management. Finally, the arctic science community is growing. More researchers are addressing Arctic related issues whether they be studying arctic science questions directly, or investigating phenomena best studied in the Arctic because of its unique environment and location.
As a first step in updating the 1997 report, the working group conducted a survey of the research community's recommendations for arctic research and logistics needs. We received over 100 responses to this survey which ended in August, 2000.
The survey results and discussions among the working group have encouraged us to adopt a thematic approach in the report update. We will follow the themes as presented in the 1998 report Opportunities in Arctic Research in outlining the scientific priorities and research support issues associated with those priorities. Those themes are:
- Variability in the physical environment of the Arctic,
- Biogeochemical cycling and contaminants,
- Effects of change on biological resources,
- Dynamics of human systems in the Arctic, and
- Upper atmosphere and space weather studies.
Two additional themes emerged from the survey that the community felt were important:
- Solid earth issues, and
- Life in extreme environments.
General categories of research support needs identified by the community that will also be addressed included:
- Long-term observation systems,
- Access to modeling capacity and results to develop a predictive capability,
- Synthesizing local and research based knowledge,
- Technology investments,
- Interagency cooperation, and
- International collaboration and access to critical locations.
Throughout the process of updating the report and beyond, it remains crucially important for the Arctic research community to identify scientific priorities and, thus, guide the science-driven planning and implementation of research support and logistics. The RSLWG has broad representation among its members, but it needs information from the entire research community to identify pressing science issues and to define the necessary research support. To assure community input, the RSLWG will hold community town meetings, and make draft recommendations and an implementation plan, ARCUS and the RSLWG will continue to promote and assist the development of a strengthened U.S. arctic logistics capability to enhance and expand current U.S. arctic research. Please be a part of this process and make your own views known to group members. To contact members of the working group, please visit this page.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory