Interagency Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)

Screen shot of ELOKA's Snowchange Oral History website
The Arctic has been home to Indigenous peoples for many generations. Out of the frozen landscape in which they dwell, Indigenous peoples have carved a productive, vital culture. From the learned experience and skills it is their local observations and knowledge that tell the story of drastic changes to the arctic climate—changes that have a global impact. Until recently, Indigenous local observations, knowledge, and involvement have been largely overlooked by science. Today, Indigenous peoples are acknowledged as investigators, partners, and collaborators. Their local knowledge and...

Data Management

The Advanced Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (ACADIS) team continued to expand data management planning, sharing, and preservation support for all projects funded by the Arctic Sciences Section in NSF's Division of Polar Programs (POL). ACADIS, a joint effort by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) , is entering the third year of a four-year continuing grant awarded by NSF in July 2011.
AOOS: Image of sea ice October 1978
A data-sharing agreement signed in August 2011 between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and three oil companies (Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Statoil) has laid the groundwork for the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) to provide public access to a wealth of oceanographic and environmental data collected between 2008 and 2012 in the Chukchi Sea. By: Molly McCammon, Excutive Director, Alaska Ocean Observing System Molly McCammon, Executive Director, AOOS. Image Courtesy of M. McCammon. A data-sharing agreement signed in August 2011 between the National Oceanic and...

Science Education News

Visitors learn about albedo
Public outreach is an important part of the mission of scientific agencies such as NSF and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) . While scientists are usually enthusiastic about their research they typically don't think about how to present it to general audiences and they may lack the time or confidence to seek out such opportunities. Partnerships with informal science education institutions offer scientists the chance to reach large public audiences and to develop the skills to communicate with them. The institutions benefit from the new content presented by the...

Science Policy News

National Strategy for the Arctic Region logo
National Strategy for the Arctic Region On 10 May 2013 the Obama Administration released the National Strategy for the Arctic Region . Priorities identified in the strategy include: advancing U.S. security interests, pursuing responsible arctic region stewardship, and strengthening U.S. international cooperation. According to the strategy, the Administration intends to advance these priorities in a manner that safeguards peace and stability in the region, utilizes the best available information for decisions, emphasizes the use of innovative arrangements, and underscores the importance of...

Interagency News

Image courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a new accelerated approach to climate change research called Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) . This strategy seeks to provide Earth System Models (ESMs) with improved representation of climatically sensitive and globally important ecosystem processes. Supported by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science program within DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research , NGEEs connect modeling and field studies in an iterative approach so that model needs are considered in development of field studies whose outcomes in turn inform and...

U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Witness the Arctic | 2013 | Article | Image
Fran Ulmer, appointed Chair of the Commission by President Obama, released the report on 21 March 2013 at USARC's 100th meeting held in Bethel, Alaska, the hometown of fellow Commissioner Mary Ciuniq Pete, who was recently reappointed to another four-year term on the USARC. The meeting included presentations by University of Alaska researchers and by arctic residents from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region of Alaska.

International News

AOS 2013 logo
The first Arctic Observing Summit (AOS2013) , held 30 April–2 May 2013 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, brought together a cross-section of the arctic community to deliberate on the design, implementation, coordination, and sustained long-term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS is a task of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) process, which is led jointly by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) . The International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) is responsible for leading the AOS task.


Witness the Arctic provides information on current arctic research efforts and findings, significant research initiatives, national policy affecting arctic research, international activities, and profiles of institutions with major arctic research efforts. Witness serves an audience of arctic scientists, educators, agency personnel, and policy makers. Witness was published biannually in hardcopy from 1995-2008 (archives are available below). Starting in early 2009 the issues have been published online 3-4 times per year depending on newsworthy events. Over 12,500 subscribers receive notifications, brief descriptions of content, and direct links to the articles online.



With the Spring 2009 issue, ARCUS changed the format of Witness the Arctic. To provide more frequent updates and reduce printing and mailing costs and associated environmental impacts, the newsletter is now distributed online in three or four shorter issues per year, depending on newsworthy events.


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