By Helen Wiggins, Executive Director, ARCUS

Helen Wiggins

As we all settle into the "new abnormal" of the COVID-19 world, ARCUS staff, Board, members, and collaborators have been working hard to advance Arctic research and education. As Dave Cairns, ARCUS Board President wrote, our role at ARCUS is fundamentally about community. We've been putting into practice our skills and long-term experience with (virtual) community-building in many ways. Here are a few highlights:

Polar Technology Conference (PTC) – The PTC was held in March (our last event held in-person this year) and was live-streamed. The goal of the PTC was to link experts in polar science and technology development to address problems unique to the polar region. Meeting products, including abstracts, recorded presentations, and posters are available on the conference webpage.

Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Investigators Virtual Meeting – The first Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Investigators Meeting was held virtually in April. The goals of the meeting were to accelerate the rate of dissemination of ideas among researchers, build an intellectual research core to address NNA challenges, and enable enhanced research collaborations. Meeting resources, including lighting talk videos from the NNA projects and meeting notes, are available on the meeting webpage.

Sea Ice Prediction Network – SIPN2 activities have continued uninterrupted; we are in the midst of the 2020 season of the Sea Ice Outlook, which provides an open process for the research community to share sea ice predictions and ideas. We have just released the July Outlook report, and are planning upcoming webinars.

PolarTREC – Teachers will not be going into the field this year, but other work is ongoing, including publishing a rich collection of new polar learning resources on topics from Weddell seal pups to the impact of increasing ocean temperatures on marine life.

Engaging Rural and Alaska Native Undergraduates & Youth in Arctic STEM
Several "Listen and Learn" sessions earlier this year were held to discuss the gaps, challenges, and opportunities to support the representation of rural and Alaska Native youth, undergraduates, and/or graduates in STEM education and career pathways. Additional input to these topics will be gathered via virtual means or through an in-person workshop in 2021.

Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO): SIWO provides weekly reports with weather and wind forecasts, ice conditions, and expert local observations for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. The 2020 season wrapped up in June, with participation from observers in seven villages: Shishmaref, Wales, Nome, Brevig Mission/Port Clarence, Gambell, Savoonga, and Diomede.

In addition to the above, we've also been holding our Arctic Research Seminars (and we are always looking for new speakers and topics!); the Arctic Indigenous Scholar program; gearing up for the AGU Fall Meeting (where we'll offer virtual meeting support for Arctic research and education groups—more announced soon); planning for a virtual citizen science conference for 2021; finishing up a process to update ARCUS' strategic goals and objectives, and a lot more.

You can find updates on all our activities through the ARCUS website or by contacting me at helen [at] You can join the ARCUS community by becoming an individual or organizational member here. Follow and engage with us on twitter: @ArcticResearch.

Welcome New and Renewing ARCUS Member Organizations

(Since September 2019)

Welcome New and Renewing ARCUS Individual Members

(Since September 2019)

Levi Appel, Elizabeth Boyer, Howard Burrows, David Cairns, Guangqing Chi, Jim Costopulos, Peppi Croft, Carolin Curtis, Craig Dorman, Helena Edelson, Howard Epstein, Kaare Erickson, Celso Ferreira, Craig Fleener, Ayumi Fujisaki-Manome, Adrian Gall, Mary Gibbons, Karen Grosskreutz, Liu Hailong, Joyanne Hamilton, Jasper Hardesty, Matt Heavner, Victoria Herrmann, Karl Heummrich, Diane Hirshberg, Robert Holister, Larry Hurst, Suresh Immaneni, Mark Ivey, Christopher Ivins, Randy Kee, Madison Kluge, Timo Koivurova, Millie Lambert, Lorene Lynn, Gisele M.Arruda, Bruce Main, Ann McElvein, Tyler Miesse, Ryan Naylor, Karl Newyear, Daniel Otto, Prasad Padalkar, Kimberly Rand, Julie Raymond-Yakoubian, Cheryl Rosa, Savanna Schaffer, Jennifer Schmidt, Asma Shethwala Yu, Temenuzhka Spasova, Yvette Spitz, Talor Stone, Evelyn Strombom, Audrey Taylor, Steven Vavrus, Pips Veazey, Danielle Verna, Austen Whitney, Juliana Wilczynski, Erik Wilkman, MIng Xiao, Nadya Yanakieva, Leonid Yurganov, Laura Zanotti, and Jason Zottola.