Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee
May 2008 meeting
Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee
Monday, May 12, 2008
11 am – 12 noon
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
|Arctic Research Commission
Mead Treadwell, Chairman
Michelle Longo Eder, Commissioner
Vera Metcalf, Commissioner
Susan Sugai, Commissioner
Charles Vorosmarty, Commissioner
Warren Zapol, Senior Advisor
John Farrell, Executive Director
Lawson Brigham, Alaska Office Director
Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist
Toykia Keys, Administrative Assistant
|Towson State University
|International Arctic Science Committee/Arctic Ocean Sciences Board
|University of Alaska
|Marine Mammal Commission
|IARPC Members and Staff (Principal designated with asterisk*)
|National Endowment for the Humanities
|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
VADM Conrad C. Lautenbacher*
|National Science Foundation
Arden L. Bement, Jr., IARPC Chairman*
Mike Van Woert
Raymond L. Orbach*
|Office of Management and Budget
|Environmental Protection Agency
|Office of Science and Technology Policy
|Health and Human Services
P. Lynn Scarlett*
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration
|Transportation (Maritime Administration)
Sean T. Connaughton*
The IARPC convened on Monday, May 12, 2008, with Dr. Arden Bement, Chairman, presiding. In accordance with the Arctic Research and Policy Act (Public Law 101-609, as amended), this meeting was open to the public.
Agenda Item 1: Arctic Observing Network (AON) Plan and Future Activities
Following introductions, the IARPC heard a presentation summarizing the AON plan, published as Volume 21 of the Arctic Research of the United States, entitled, Arctic Observing Network (AON): Toward a U.S. Contribution to Pan-Arctic Observing, by Dr. Martin Jeffries of NSF’s Office of Polar Programs. NSF and NOAA co-chaired the AON effort in IARPC. AON arose out of the IARPC-endorsed program, Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), a research program to observe, understand, and respond to the dramatic changes occurring in the Arctic. Dr. Bement underscored that a coordinated, integrated, interagency AON is critical to making progress in SEARCH. Vice-Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher noted that NOAA will continue to work with other agencies to coordinate a sustainable AON, which is critical to our nation’s ability to prepare for future changes in weather, climate and fisheries as well as the effects of such changes on the environment, commerce and society.
Dr. Mike Freilich introduced Dr. Don Anderson (NASA) who spoke on “Meeting Future Arctic Observing Needs: The Arctic Reanalysis,” a joint NSF-NASA-NOAA-DOE effort. Data input needs for the Arctic System Reanalysis tell us which and where observations are most needed in the Arctic. The project is a good example of how the understanding and observing components of SEARCH work together.
The Principals approved the AON plan, endorsed the plan’s ten action items, and charged the staff with the formation of a standing AON subcommittee to facilitate implementation of the action items.
Agenda Item 2: Current Interagency Staff Projects and Responses to Arctic Research Commission: Brief Updates
Dr. Bement reminded the Principals of the Arctic Research Commission’s “Report on Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research 2007” and the report’s focus areas of indigenous languages and cultures, civil infrastructure, natural resource assessment, and human health. The Principals heard status reports on each of the themes, as follows:
Updated: 27 March 2009
Indigenous Languages and Cultures: Dr. Fae Korsmo, NSF, reported that NSF, NEH, and the Smithsonian extended their collaboration in Documenting Endangered Languages. Several of the supported projects are taking place in the Arctic. In addition, the IARPC staff developed working relationships with program staff in the Administration for Native Americans in the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education. On the international side, NSF teamed with the European Science Foundation to introduce EuroBABEL, a program to promote empirical research on under-described languages. IARPC staff will compile a report on federal and international activities on Arctic indigenous languages and cultures.
Natural Resource Assessment: Dr. Mark Myers, USGS, indicated that the USGS, working with other DOI Bureaus in Alaska, will take the lead for the development of a strategy document that will convey the current status of terrestrial natural resource assessment activities and programs in the Arctic, and will also present to the ARC and IARPC a forward looking vision of the need and structure for these programs in the future based on assessment of emerging issues faced by these agencies. It will be holistic in that it will consider energy, hard rock minerals, water, fish and wildlife resources, vegetation (habitats), and the baseline cartographic maps and data bases essential for the accurate portrayal of these resources. A workshop, cosponsored by the Arctic Research Commission will be conducted as part of the assessment process to look at the status of existing programs and to help develop the vision for the future.
Civil Infrastructure: Drs. Chuck Byvik, Defense, and Robert (Bert) Davis, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), affirmed CRREL’s leadership in the development of a research plan for Arctic Civil Infrastructure. This activity, which recently got underway, will provide guidance for prioritizing related program activities over the next decade. This will require a survey of major current and planned research activities within the public, private and academic sectors and a review of identified research needs. The immediate effort is focused on defining the scope of the research plan (e.g. defining the elements of the infrastructure system), the contributing team members, and the timeline for producing the report.
Arctic Human Health: Dr. Jim Herrington, NIH, provided a summary of ongoing research and surveillance activities supported by HHS through the various NIH institutions (National Center of Research Resources (NCCR), National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He noted that HHS is in the planning stages of an interagency meeting that will seek to engage Arctic Health stakeholders to discuss gaps in research on the risk factors for and means to reduce suicide among Arctic populations. This meeting will be followed by a June 2009 workshop in Anchorage, Alaska, jointly supported by NIH centers and institutes, by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and by others, to specifically discuss behavioral and mental health research topics. The outcome of this discussion will serve as guidance in developing an interagency program or initiative on the topic of Arctic Human Health."
The Principals directed the IARPC staff to organize the next IARPC report, due at the end of 2008, around the themes of indigenous languages and cultures, civil infrastructure, natural resource assessment, and human health. The report also should include an update on AON progress.
Dr. Bement announced that a new staff director would replace Dr. Korsmo following the Principals meeting: Dr. Mike Van Woert, Executive Officer in NSF’s Office of Polar Programs.
The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.
Fae L. Korsmo
Director, IARPC Staff
National Science Foundation