Perspective on the State of the Arctic Conference

The State of the Arctic Conference, held in Miami, Florida 16-19 March 2010, was a truly significant event. The Arctic is undergoing enormous changes, primarily driven by climate, but with startling socio-economic as well as ecological impacts. This conference brought together a wide range of expertise from many nations, providing an ideal opportunity to bring forth the current state of our knowledge in a broad and comprehensive sense, while at the same time addressing potential impacts through multi-disciplinary discussions. In this, it represents a major step forward.

Web-based participation greatly increased the audience throughout the world; the total conference participation was approximately 650 people. The opening comments by Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director of the National Science Foundation, led to informative and challenging days. I cannot resist reflecting on my early days in the 1960s as an arctic researcher, recalling that the only real interest and presence was military. Today, it is a far cry from those days, and the challenges are enormous. The only way to meet these challenges is against a sound background of scientific understanding, coupled with wise application to social and policy action. The products of the State of the Arctic Conference will be essential in this regard. The ARCUS Board of Directors salutes the sponsors, organizing committee, and all participants.

— Vera Alexander, ARCUS Board President