A Note From the Board President

In the last issue of Witness the Arctic Vera Alexander quoted Bob Dylan's song "The Times They Are A-Changin'" in reference to the myriad environmental, cultural, and political changes we're witnessing in the Arctic. As Vera's successor I've thought a lot about that quote and also thought about how fast things change in one's lifetime. I want to personally thank Vera for sharing, over the years, her keen insights and vast experience in Arctic research. ARCUS and Arctic research will benefit from her strong and enduring commitment to developing a multidisciplinary Arctic research community, poised to take on the challenges that we are facing today.

In another major transition this fall Susan Fox, our Executive Director, announced that she would be leaving ARCUS in late October to take the position of Executive Director of the Acoustical Society of America. Susan was at the helm of ARCUS for four and a half years – that time seems to have passed so quickly. I vividly remember her interview visit during a cold, ice-foggy, early January in Fairbanks and wondering if we'd brought our candidate in the worst possible weather. Susan not only endured the visit, she quickly accepted the position and then immersed herself in learning about all aspects of Arctic research: the community, ongoing and planned initiatives, agencies, and stakeholders. I will always appreciate her positive attitude, her direct approach to problem solving, and her work, along with the ARCUS staff, to getting the job done well. I wish her well in her new position and thank her for all she has done for ARCUS and Arctic research.

Over the next few months the ARCUS Board of Directors will be working to recruit and hire a new Executive Director. In the meantime, the board has assembled a transition committee of board and staff members that will develop a short-term plan to ensure that ongoing and planned ARCUS activities continue during the interim period.

The board and staff are energized and looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We welcome several new members who've recently joined the board: David Cairns, Texas A&M University; Howard Epstein, University of Virginia; and John Payne, North Slope Science Initiative. Please visit the ARCUS website for more information about our entire Board of Directors. Earlier this year the ARCUS board and staff held several Task Force sessions to continue developing a Strategic Plan that clearly articulates and reaffirms our values, vision, mission, and goals. Arctic researchers are at the center of the ARCUS focus and a major goal for ARCUS is to be the place where Arctic scientists come to develop and manage interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.

A number of board and staff members will be attending the 2013 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting the week of 9-13 December in San Francisco, California. We look forward to visiting with researchers from our member institutions and learning about your research ideas and concerns.

Mike Retelle
President, ARCUS Board of Directors