Arctic Research Plan 2017–2021

In December 2016, the Executive Office of the President released IARPC’s Arctic Research Plan: FY2017–2021 to advance research in areas of common interest to IARPC Agencies. The IARPC 5-year plan was drafted with contributions from all IARPC agencies and reviewed by the public. It intentionally builds on the strong intellectual accomplishments and ideas of the research community at the Federal, State, local, and tribal levels as well as inclusion of ideas from the academic community, non-governmental organizations, and industry. Introduction and background »

Nine research goals informed national policy and benefited significantly from interagency coordination

These research goals did not encompass all federal Arctic research activities that occurred from 2017 to 2021. Many important investigations outside the scope of this plan were conducted within individual agencies or through other interagency collaborations.

  • Health & Well-being

    Health & Well-being

    Enhance understanding of health determinants and improve the well-being of Arctic residents

  • Atmosphere


    Advance process and system understanding of the changing Arctic atmospheric composition and dynamics and the resulting changes to surface energy budgets

  • Sea Ice

    Sea Ice

    Enhance understanding and improve predictions of the changing sea ice cover

  • Marine Ecosystems

    Marine Ecosystems

    Increase understanding of the structure and function of Arctic marine ecosystems and their role in the climate system and advance predictive capabilities

  • Glaciers & Sea Level

    Glaciers & Sea Level

    Understand and project the mass balance of glaciers, ice caps, and the Greenland Ice Sheet, and their consequences for sea level rise

  • Permafrost


    Advance understanding of processes controlling permafrost dynamics and the impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, and climate feedbacks

  • Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Advance an integrated, landscape-scale understanding of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and the potential for future change

  • Coastal Resilience

    Coastal Resilience

    Strengthen coastal community resilience and advance stewardship of coastal natural and cultural resources by engaging in research related to the interconnections of people and natural and built environments

  • Environmental intelligence

    Environmental intelligence

    Enhance frameworks for environmental intelligence gathering, interpretation, and application toward decision support

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