The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) has released the draft Arctic Research Plan for public review and comment. The plan is available in PDF format and can be downloaded from the National Science Foundation's IARPC website. Comments on the plan may be submitted through Friday, 22 June 2012. For complete instructions on how to submit comments, please see the bottom of this article.

IARPC consists of principals from 13 agencies, departments, and offices across the federal government and is charged with developing five-year plans for federally sponsored research in the region (see Witness, Spring 2011). The IARPC Arctic Research Plan focuses on research expected to benefit from interagency collaboration. For the years 2013 to 2017, the IARPC identified the consequences of rapid environmental change on ecosystems and societies as the most pressing and overarching scientific questions in the Arctic. Diminishing sea-ice cover is expected to have consequences for global climate; diminishing ice sheets and glaciers will raise sea level; and thawing permafrost will impact infrastructure and increase greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Thus, the plan comprises seven initiatives for arctic research:

  1. Sea ice and marine ecosystem studies
  2. Terrestrial ecosystem studies
  3. Atmospheric studies of surface heat, energy, and mass balances
  4. Observing systems
  5. Regional climate models
  6. Adaptation tools for sustaining communities
  7. Human health studies

The research aims to prompt solutions based on sound research discovered and implemented by collaborative efforts.This plan does not include all research conducted by Federal agencies. Many important priority investigations are and will continue to be conducted within individual agencies or other interagency collaborations.

Brendan P. Kelly, Assistant Director for Polar Science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, presented the Arctic Research Plan during an informational webinar on 12 June 2012. That presentation is available for download in PDF format on the NSF website.

Comments on the plan may be submitted through Friday, 22 June 2012, 11:59 EST. All submissions must be in English and must include name, return address, and email address, if applicable. Submissions should be clearly labeled as "IARPC FIVE-YEAR PLAN COMMENT" in any of the following methods:

agraefe [at]; include "IARPC FIVE-YEAR PLAN COMMENT" in the subject line of the message.

Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC)
c/o Arctic Sciences Division
National Science Foundation
Suite 755S
4201 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22230
Attention: "Linda Izzard, IARPC FIVE-YEAR PLAN COMMENT"


Attention: "Linda Izzard, IARPC FIVE-YEAR PLAN COMMENT."

Please note that submissions may be subject to public release "as is" under applicable law. Classified, personally identifying information (such as social security numbers), copyrighted material, or business confidential information should not be included with submissions.

For further information, please see NSF’s IARPC website or contact Brendan P. Kelly (Brendan_P_Kelly [at]