Interagency Teams Formed to Implement Five-Year Arctic Research Plan

The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) has formed 14 interagency teams to implement the Administration’s five-year Arctic Research Plan: FY2013-2017. The plan, released in February 2013, outlines key areas of study the federal government will undertake to better understand and predict environmental changes in the Arctic. The plan was developed by a team of experts representing the 14 federal agencies that comprise IARPC and is based on input from collaborators including the Alaska Governor's Office, indigenous Arctic communities, local organizations, and universities. It highlights seven research areas that are both important to the development of national policies and well poised to benefit from interagency collaboration. Among the seven priority research areas are regional climate models, human health studies, and adaptation tools for communities.

The IARPC implementation teams, listed below, meet regularly to chart progress on meeting objectives outlined in the plan.

IARPC Implementation Teams, Chairs, and Agencies

Implementation Team Chair(s), Agency
Sea Ice (SIIT) Martin Jeffries, ARC; Tom Wagner, NASA
Distributed Biological Observatory (DBOIT) Sue Moore, NOAA
Chukchi/Beaufort Ecosystems (CBIT) Brendan Kelly, OSTP
Glaciers and Fjords (GFIT) William Wiseman and Hedy Edmonds, NSF
Terrestrial Ecosystems (TEIT) Carl Markon, DOI; John Payne, NSSI
Wildfires (WIT) Kent Slaughter, DOI
Atmosphere (AIT) Wanda Ferrell and Ashley Williamson, DOE
Arctic Observing Systems (AOSIT) Erica Key, NSF
Arctic Data (ADIT) Marco Tedesco, NSF
Modeling (MIT) Mike Kuperberg, DOE
Human Health (HHIT) Alan Parkinson, CDC
Arctic Communities,
Local Priorities (ACIT-SG1) Anna Kerttula, NSF
Arctic Communities,
Scenarios and Food Security (ACIT-SG2) Bill Fitzhugh, Smithsonian Institution
Arctic Communities,
Language and Culture (ACIT-SG3) Igor Krupnik, Smithsonian Institution

The five-year Arctic Research Plan intentionally builds on the strong intellectual accomplishments and ideas of the research community at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels. It also includes ideas from the academic community, non-governmental organizations, and industry. The challenge is to continue to harness this scientific talent wherever it exists to address national Arctic research needs. Harnessing talent requires broad community participation and, therefore, the implementation teams will hold regular open meetings to coordinate domestic and international research in their focal areas.

Participation by federal agencies in IARPC implementation teams. The number and variety of non-federal partners is growing. Image courtesy of IARPC.

Some early accomplishments of IARPC teams include hosting a workshop to develop a conceptual model of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas ecosystems, developing a mechanism for real-time data sharing within the Distributed Biological Observatory, developing tools for strategic querying of cross-cutting research investments, and contributing to the "Stewardship Line of Effort" of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region.

On 9 December 2013, IARPC and SEARCH will co-host an Arctic Research Town Hall meeting at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco. In early 2014, IARPC will roll out a new website which will serve as a public forum for learning about Arctic research as well as provide a moderated workspace for the implementation teams.

For more information about IARPC, contact Sara Bowden (bowden [at]