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Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC)

Assistant Director for Polar Sciences & Executive Director, IARPC
Larry Hinzman

The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) is chartered as a subcommittee under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (ARPA), Public Law 98-373, July 31, 1984, as amended, provides for a comprehensive national policy dealing with national research needs and objectives in the Arctic. The ARPA establishes an Arctic Research Commission (ARC) and an Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) under the National Science Foundation to help implement the Act. IARPC was formally created by Executive Order 12501. Chaired by the Director of the National Science Foundation, IARPC's activities are coordinated through a secretariat supported by NSF and other agencies.

July 2010 Presidential Memorandum redefined the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee as an Interagency Working Group of the NSTC Committee on Environment. IARPC operates under the guidelines established by the NSTC for an interagency working group and reports directly to the Committee on Environment.

IARPC, which consists of principals from 18 agencies, departments, and offices across the Federal government, is charged with enhancing both the scientific monitoring of and research on local, regional, and global environmental issues in the Arctic. In order to meet the Nation's economic, scientific, and environmental needs, IARPC envisions a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Arctic understood through research coordinated among Federal agencies and domestic and international collaborators.

Need for IARPC
In recent years, the Federal Government has taken increased interest in the Arctic driven largely by the profound impacts of climate change on national security, military preparedness, transportation needs, natural resource management, and energy security in the region. All of these issues bear on science and technology. In addition, a wide range of agencies are now working in, and focused on, the Arctic, requiring greater interagency collaboration and coordination.

IARPC External Collaborations
IARPC Collaborations is the structure created by IARPC to implement its five-year Arctic Research Plan. Collaboration teams use the website to advance cooperation in Arctic research. Many team activities involve establishing and enhancing inter-institutional and interdisciplinary conversations. Harnessing diverse talent requires broad participation and, therefore, all collaboration teams are open to the public through the IARPC Collaborations Portal.

US Arctic Observing Network
The US Arctic Observing Network (US AON) is a sub-body of IARPC that works specifically on issues related to Arctic observing. It mirrors the IARPC structure, having both a federal advisory board and an open Observing Team on IARPC Collaborations. The US AON is co-funded by NOAA and NSF, with additional in-kind support from its member agencies.

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