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Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC)


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Simon Stephenson
IARPC Executive Director and OSTP Assistant Director for Polar Science
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Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee Arctic Research Plan: FY2013 – 2017
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Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (amended 1990)
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Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) is chaired by the Director of the National Science Foundation. It is a sub-group of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability. For more information, visit the NSTC site at
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IARPC Collaborations is the structure created by IARPC to implement its 5-Year Research Plan and is organized around 12 topical Collaboration Teams. Many Collaboration 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 website
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AON report

Arctic Observing Network (AON): Toward a U.S. Contribution to Pan-Arctic Observing (NSF 08-42)
The U.S. Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) consists of fifteen-plus agencies, departments, and offices across the Federal government. Established by Congress through the Arctic Research and Policy Act, IARPC is chaired by the National Science Foundation.

The IARPC compiled member agency information about the Arctic environment in Arctic Observing Network (AON): Toward a US Contribution to Pan-Arctic Observing. The report pinpoints where and how the different Federal agencies are collecting environmental data as part of the implementation of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). SEARCH aims to understand the rapidly changing Arctic, improve predictive capability, and identify appropriate adaptive responses to change. The agencies will continue to coordinate their efforts, make the data readily available in usable form, and work together to serve Arctic residents, involving them in the observing and research efforts as full partners.

The development and deployment of the Arctic Observing Network, or AON, was a major contribution to the International Polar Year, a time of intense, coordinated scientific activity at both Poles. The report sets forth a plan to continue the observations in cooperation with local, State of Alaska, and international groups.

About the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee

The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) includes representatives of the following Federal agencies or offices:

the National Science Foundation
the Department of Commerce
the Department of Defense
the Department of State
the Department of Health and Human Services
the Department of Homeland Security
Office of Science and Technology Policy
the Department of Agriculture
the Department of Energy
the Department of the Interior
the Department of Transportation
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
the Environmental Protection Agency
the Smithsonian Institution
the Office of Management and Budget
the Ofice of Science and Technology Policy

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the lead agency responsible for implementing Arctic research policy, and the NSF chairs the IARPC.

  Arctic river and mountains


  • Helps set priorities for future Arctic research;
  • Works with the Arctic Research Commission to develop and establish an integrated national Arctic research policy to guide Federal agencies in developing and implementing their research programs in the Arctic;
  • Consults with the Arctic Research Commission on matters related to Arctic research policy, programs and funding support;
  • Develops a five year plan to implement the national policy, and updates the plan biennially;
  • Coordinates preparation of multiagency budget documents for Arctic research;
  • Facilitates cooperation between the Federal Government and State and local governments in Arctic Research;
  • Coordinates and promotes cooperative Arctic scientific research programs with other nations;
  • Promotes Federal interagency coordination of Arctic research activities, including logistical planing and data sharing; and
  • Submits a biennial report to the Congress through the President containing a statement of the activities and accomplishments of the IARPC since its last report.


This page provides useful links to reports by other Federal agencies and science organizations about arctic research policy.


The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984, Public Law 98-373, July 31, 1984; amended as Public Law 101-609, November 16, 1990 (ARPA), 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) to help implement the Act.


From 1987 through 2007, the journal Arctic Research of the United States was published by the National Science Foundation for the IARPC and the Arctic Research Commission.

Arctic Research was aimed at national and international audiences of government officials, scientists, engineers, educators, private and public groups, and residents of the Arctic. The emphasis is on summary and survey articles covering U.S. Government-sponsored or funded research rather than on technical reports, and the articles are comprehensible to a nontechnical audience. Although the articles went through the normal editorial process, manuscripts were not refereed for scientific content or merit.

  Arctic bird in stream



Last updated: 24 October 2014