Witness the Arctic

Volume 22
Number 1
24 August 2018

Interagency News

2018 Anchorage Arctic Research Day Fosters New Connections

The 2018 Anchorage Arctic Research Day was attended by over 100 participants from government, corporate, academic, not-for-profit, and Indigenous groups engaged with Arctic research. The event fostered new connections and collaborations among the broad array of organizations.

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Lively Panel Discussion on Perspectives of Women in Polar Research at POLAR2018

International panelists explored the experiences and prospects for women in polar research during the "From Entering the Field to Taking the Helm, Perspectives of Women in Polar Research" panel discussion. This event, attended by more than 300 participants, was convened during June 2018 in coordination with the POLAR2018 conference held in in Davos, Switzerland.

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IARPC Seeks Public Comment on the Revised Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic

The newly revised Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic is now available for public comment. The new version was developed by the Principles Revision Working Group, that undertook a year-long process to update the 1990 version, to reflect approaches to collaboration and to be applicable across scientific disciplines. The process included a variety of methods, including listening sessions at scientific conferences, through a Federal Register Notice, and targeted interviews with Alaska residents and researchers. Public comments are due by 4 September 2018.

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Arctic System Science Program

Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2) – Advancing Research to Improve Sea Ice Forecasting

The Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 (SIPN2) network of U.S. and international members aims to improve Arctic sea ice forecasts using a multi-disciplinary approach that includes modeling, new products, data analysis, and scientific networks. Stakeholder engagement and partnerships are fostered through the open Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) process, action teams, webinars, and workshops.

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From the ARCUS Board

Meet the Board of Directors - Diane Hirshberg

ARCUS Board Member Diane Hirshberg is interested in understanding how both institutional and non-institutional education systems can support sustainable development in the Arctic. She views ARCUS' goal of connecting Alaska's Arctic communities and Arctic researchers as crucial to ensuring that Arctic research addresses the challenges facing Arctic communities.

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Meet the Board of Directors - Charlene Stern

As an Indigenous researcher, ARCUS Board Member Charlene Stern, is passionate about changing the paradigm of Arctic research to be more responsive to the needs of Indigenous communities. She believes that ARCUS has an opportunity to become a leader in helping to elevate the voices of Indigenous peoples in research.

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A Note from the ARCUS President

ARCUS - Responsive to Changes in the Arctic Research Environment

ARCUS Board President, Audrey Taylor, shares comments on the current trends in Arctic research and the ongoing strategic planning effort at ARCUS to stay on top of these trends as part of the organization's mission to connect and support the Arctic research community.

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Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)

SEARCH Program Updates

This update on the SEARCH program includes information about new members to the Science Steering Committee, a workshop organized by the Permafrost Carbon Network's Synthesis Working Group, and highlights of the Arctic Futures 2050 initiative activities, including Arctic Answer briefs and plans for the Science to Inform Decisions conference scheduled for early September 2019.

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ARCUS Member Highlight

ARCUS Member Highlight: Woods Hole Research Center

This article spotlights the Woods Hole Research Center that has been an ARCUS member institution since 2006. The work of the Woods Hole Research Center is centered on land-based carbon: where it is stored, where it is changing and at risk of being released. Their scientists combine fieldwork, satellite data, and computer simulations to examine the land-climate connection – how changes in land use effect the climate system and how the changing climate is altering systems on land such as forests, ecosystems, and agriculture.

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A Note From the ARCUS Executive Director

Welcoming Arctic Indigenous Scholarship to Washington, DC

A pilot program, "Empowering Arctic Indigenous Scholarship and Making Connections," has been recently organized by ARCUS and the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska to begin bridging the significant gaps in communication, culture, connections, and knowledge systems between remote Arctic villages and policy-makers in the nation's capital. ARCUS Executive Director Bob Rich reflects on the recent trip, supported by the pilot program, that two outstanding scholars made to Washington, D.C.

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Science News

Recent Study Shows Amplified Arctic Temperature Increase during Perceived Haitus in Global Warming

Recent work by a group of researchers at University of Alaska Fairbanks and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, revealed gaps in the spatial and temporal observation datasets analyzed in the earlier global warming studies. By analyzing a newly reconstructed global surface air temperature (SAT) dataset, the group found that the Arctic warming amplification has significantly contributed to the global warming trend, causing a continued and even accelerated increase in global mean SAT, rather than a hiatus or slowdown of the trend as earlier studies suggested.

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U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Update from the U. S. Arctic Research Commission

An update from the USARC include details about the public meeting scheduled for 5-7 September in northwestern Alaska; information about the upcoming Arctic Science Ministerial scheduled for 26 October 2018, in Berlin, Germany; and the development of USARC's "Report on the Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research 2019-2020."

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Arctic Natural Sciences Program

From Sea Ice to Volcanoes: EarthScope Transportable Array Provides a Wealth of New Data

The EarthScope Transportable Array (TA) of seismic stations across Alaska and western Canada covers areas that previously had sparse or no monitoring. Enhanced instrumentation can provide data to allow for detailed monitoring of sea-ice coverage and thickness, weather data available to fire managers, and expand both the geographic range and landscape-type coverage for permafrost study.

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Beavers as New Ecosystem Engineers in the Arctic

Beavers are ecosystem engineers that alter hydrology and impact many aspects of stream and surrounding ecosystems. A team of researchers recently developed a new approach that used Landsat data to identify wetting and drying trends and high-resolution satellite imagery to locate potential sites of beaver pond formation and map the beaver encroachment from the boreal forest into the increasing shrub habitat in the Arctic tundra.

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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. Witness has over 8,700 subscribers.



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.


If you have a question or an idea for a Witness article, contact Betsy Turner-Bogren at betsy@arcus.org.

Witness Community Highlights

Witness Community Highlights is an online publication launched in May 2017 to complement the regular publications of Witness the Arctic. It was developed in response to community feedback identifying the need for a monthly publication to highlight 1–2 Arctic research efforts and other timely items of interest to our readers. Community Highlights is distributed monthly via our Witness the Arctic mailing list of over 8,700 subscribers.

Witness Community Highlights

  • Arctic Research Consortium of the United States
  • 3535 College Road
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  • Fairbanks, AK 99709 USA
  • Phone: 907-474-1600
  • Fax: 907-474-1604
  • info [at] arcus.org
  • www.arcus.org

Executive Director: Dr. Robert Rich

Editors: Betsy Turner-Bogren, Stacey Stoudt, Lisa Sheffield Guy, Brit Myers, and Helen Wiggins

Contributors: R. D. Crain, R. Delgado, J. Farrell, B. Grassi , M. Holmes, D. Hirshberg, B. P. Kelly, D. McGlinchey, R. Rich, J. Rohde, S. Starkweather, C. Stern, K. Tape, A. Taylor, B. Turner-Bogren, X. Zhangr

Witness the Arctic is published by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), a nonprofit organization that advances Arctic research and education. Witness the Arctic is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the National Science Foundation (PLR-1304316). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.