USARC Appoints Cheryl Rosa as Deputy and Alaska Office Director

The U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) recently appointed a new deputy director and reopened their Anchorage office. The commission's biennial Report on Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research is also in the final stages of review.

Cheryl Rosa was appointed as USARC deputy director in November 2009. She will also serve as director of the commission's Alaska office in Anchorage. During this appointment, which may last for up to four years, Rosa will work with the seven presidentially appointed USARC commissioners to strengthen arctic research and ties between the commission and the State of Alaska and international partners, fully implement the Arctic Research and Policy Act (as amended), and improve coordination of arctic research within the U.S. As director of the Alaska office, which reopened in November 2009, Rosa will serve as a liaison between USARC and the State of Alaska. Rosa replaces Lawson Brigham who resigned from the position in December 2008.

Rosa received a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine from Tufts University in 1997 and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2006. She is a research biologist and wildlife veterinarian for the North Slope Borough (NSB) Department of Wildlife Management in Barrow, Alaska. Her appointment to the USARC from the NSB is through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program.

Rosa has worked and lived in the Arctic for almost a decade. She has a wide range of research experience on the North Slope, including studies of wildlife health and zoonotic disease, marine mammal stranding response, subsistence food safety, and oil spills. Her fieldwork includes marine and terrestrial mammal research in both the U.S. and Russia.

Rosa has been active on many local, state, and federal committees. Over the past three and a half years, she served as an advisor to the NSB Fish and Game Management Committee, Joint Commissions of the Inuvialuit Game Commission and NSB, and Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. She is currently a member of the International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee and the North Pacific Research Board's Science Advisory Panel and worked on the Polar Bear Technical Committee in 2009.

The 2009–2010 Report on Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research is in the final stages of review. The report, which is published biennially, calls for research efforts in five broad categories: environmental change of the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea; arctic human health; civil infrastructure; natural resource assessment and Earth science; and indigenous languages, identities, and cultures.

The report also calls for greater interagency efforts to coordinate and collaborate on arctic research programs, greater federal financial support of scientific research conducted by academia and non-profits, and means to capitalize and support the ongoing costs of infrastructure (icebreakers, laboratories, satellites, observatories, networks, sensors, and autonomous vehicles) necessary to conduct arctic research.

The report will be used by the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), which is led by NSF and consists of representatives of 15 federal agencies, departments, and offices, to update research priorities and the nation's five-year Arctic Research Program Plan. When finalized, the report will be available on the USARC website at:

USARC was established by the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984. Its principal duties are to develop and recommend an integrated national arctic research policy and assist in establishing a national arctic research program plan to implement the policy. Commissioners also facilitate cooperation between the federal government, state and local governments, and other nations with respect to arctic research, both basic and applied.

For more information, contact Kathy Farrow (kfarrow [at] or Cheryl Rosa (crosa [at]