First SEARCH Knowledge Exchange Workshop on the Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss

Event Type: Workshop (by invitation only)
When: 14-15 September 2016
Where: Consortium for Ocean Leadership, 1201 New York Avenue, Fourth Floor - Washington, DC 20005
Contact: Matthew Druckenmiller, Email: druckenmiller [at]
Workshop Flyer


As the Arctic experiences rapid changes in the marine environment, there is unprecedented need for effective communication, collaborative science, and actionable knowledge to support responses by a variety of stakeholders. This workshop focused on the implications of diminishing Arctic sea ice by convening diverse science experts, decision-makers, Arctic residents, industry specialists, NGO's, and other stakeholders to define and address important societal questions.

The First SEARCH Knowledge Exchange Workshop gathered 33 invited experts to discuss impacts of sea-ice loss on:

  • Arctic ecosystems. How are marine ecosystem structure and primary productivity changing, and what are the implications for the Arctic and beyond?
  • Lower latitude weather. What are the linkages between Arctic sea ice loss, amplified Arctic warming, and changing mid-latitude weather patterns?
  • Human activities in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas. What roles can improved understanding of current and future sea ice conditions play in informing the actions and decisions of Arctic residents and regional stakeholders?


  1. Provide a forum where Arctic scientists, stakeholder community representatives, and decision makers can share perspectives on Arctic research priorities and effective means for cross-community communication and collaboration;
  2. Identify critical knowledge gaps where scientific synthesis efforts are (a) needed to support stakeholders and decision makers and (b) currently possible based on existing data and knowledge;
  3. Identify emerging research topics that warrant scoping studies;
  4. Develop new communication pathways to sustain continued and focused knowledge exchange between Arctic scientists, stakeholders, and decision-makers.

Workshop Agenda & Participant List:

Workshop Agenda & Participant List (PDF - 4.62 MB)

Workshop Report

Workshop Report (PDF - 7.7 MB)


  • Matthew Druckenmiller, Rutgers University and National Snow and Ice Data Center, Univ. of Colorado, druckenmiller [at]
  • Jennifer Francis (SIAT co-lead), Rutgers University, francis [at]
  • Henry Huntington (SIAT co-lead), Huntington Consulting, hph [at]

Early-Career Travel Award

The Northern Pacific Research Board (NPRB) sponsored two early career researchers to attend the workshop. Graduate students or early career researchers (within five years of receiving a terminal degree) were eligible to apply.

Strategy Task Force Workshop

A Strategy Task Force was convened 9-10 September 2015 to develop the Sea Ice Action Team's long-term workplan. The workplan will guide Action Team activities, provide a method for evaluating and refining Action Team work, and help Action Team leaders select new members with the skills and expertise needed to achieve the science goals and objectives.

Strategy Task Force Workshop Summary (PDF - 300 KB)

Strategy Task Force Members:


At the SEARCH kick-off meeting participants prioritized the Sea Ice theme activities with a focus on communication, networking, and collaboration between the scientific community, decision-makers and the media. To better meet these needs, a decision was also made to hire a ‚ÄúCommunicator/Facilitator‚ÄĚ to provide Action Team staffing instead of a traditional post-doc research associate. This position was filled in June 2015. See the Action Team membership page for a bio of the Communicator/Facilitator.