About IARPC and IARPC Collaborations

What is IARPC?

IARPC – pronounced eye-ar-pick – is the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee. By bringing together leaders from 18 agencies, departments, and offices across the U.S. federal government, we enhance research in the Arctic.

IARPC was created in 1984 under the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (ARPA). The act called for a comprehensive national policy focused on research needs and objectives in the Arctic. It established IARPC and our sibling organization, the Arctic Research Commission (USARC), to help implement the act.

In July 2010, a presidential memo established IARPC as an interagency working group of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The director of the National Science Foundation serves as IARPC’s chair.

What is IARPC Collaborations?

IARPC Collaborations is a platform that connects federal government researchers, non-federal researchers, and Arctic communities—including those overseas—to work together on pressing Arctic research issues. It supports the five-year Arctic Research Plan.

IARPC Collaborations is free and open to anyone who can contribute, regardless of their role in Arctic research. The website has supported an unprecedented degree of interagency communication, coordination, and collaboration that has advanced Arctic science. Our member space includes more than 3,000 members of the Arctic research community, including those from federal, state, academic, non-profit, industry, Indigenous, and international organizations. IARPC communities of practice meet regularly via Zoom to advance research priorities.

Sign up for an account today.

caribou standing by a river

Danielle Brigida/USFWS

What does IARPC consider "the Arctic"?

Under the Arctic Research and Policy Act, the Arctic is defined as:

  1. All U.S. and foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle;
  2. All U.S. territory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim rivers;
  3. All contiguous seas, including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas; and
  4. The Aleutian chain.
map showing the arctic as defined by the arctic research and policy act

What is the Arctic Research Plan?

infographic showing the plan structure

Graphic showing the structure of the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026, including the policy drivers (top icons), priority areas (red), and foundational activities (blue).

Every five years, IARPC is required by law (ARPA) “to prepare and execute an Arctic Research Plan in coordination with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the Governor of the State of Alaska, residents of the Arctic, the private sector, and public interest groups.”

The plan outlines a vision for federal agencies to address emerging research questions about the Arctic, and provides pathways to strengthen relationships between federal agencies and Indigenous communities, academia and other non-federal researchers, the state of Alaska, nonprofits, and private sector organizations. It is implemented in part through IARPC Collaborations.

The Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 was released in December 2021. The first  implementation plan focuses on deliverables to be completed by 2024.

You can also read about the accomplishments of the 2017-2021 plan.

two researchers sampling meltwater from sea ice

Kathryn Hansen/NASA

Who is involved in IARPC?

As an interagency body, IARPC has several levels of staff and participants. IARPC is organized into Principals, Staff Group, and the Secretariat.

Principals: The IARPC Principals include one policy-level member from 16 federal agencies responsible for the U.S. investment in research in the Arctic, as well as representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget. The IARPC Principals meet annually to provide policy advice and direction. They also develop the five-year Arctic Research Plan, and sometimes direct the staff group to address particular issues.

Staff Group: The IARPC Staff Group includes program managers from IARPC's member agencies, and may include multiple representatives from one agency. It was created as an unofficial body to respond to directions from the Principals and to complete IARPC’s day-to-day work. The Assistant Director for Polar Sciences in White House Office of Science and Technology Policy serves as Executive Director of IARPC and chairs the Staff Group. The Staff Group’s main tasks are organizing and coordinating the development and implementation of the five-year Arctic Research Plan.  

Secretariat: The Secretariat assists the IARPC Principals, Staff Group, and collaboration teams and communities of practice in facilitating interagency coordination. It aids the implementation of the Arctic Research Plan by supplying hands-on support to IARPC teams.

Who is involved in IARPC Collaborations?

In addition to the IARPC staff and participants, IARPC Collaborations hosts many communities of practice. Some of these groups assist with the implementation of the Arctic Research Plan through research and community engagement, while others provide space for researchers and other community members to organize around other important topics. These teams are open to anyone who wishes to participate. They include members from federal agencies, state of Alaska agencies, Indigenous communities and organizations, academic institutions, nonprofits, and the private sector. They use the IARPC Collaborations website to communicate and many meet monthly via Zoom.

What are the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic?

Researchers working in the Arctic have a responsibility to respect local and Indigenous cultures and knowledge and advance stewardship of the Arctic environment. The core Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic are:

  • Be Accountable
  • Establish Effective Communication
  • Respect Indigenous Knowledge and Cultures
  • Build and Sustain Relationships
  • Pursue Responsible Environmental Stewardship

Land Acknowledgement

The circumpolar Arctic is the contemporary home to many different Indigenous Peoples. As researchers and others who are working in or residing in the Arctic, we recognize these lands and waters as the mostly unceded traditional homelands of Indigenous Peoples. IARPC honors and recognizes the place-based knowledge of Arctic Indigenous Peoples and their ancestral and contemporary stewardship of their homelands.

(Adapted from Arctic Science Summit Week 2020)

Get Involved

IARPC Collaborations contains a member space where scientists and others involved in Arctic research can share knowledge and resources. All are welcome – Please request an account if you can contribute to our efforts!

Key Publications

Review publications related to IARPC's operations and accomplishments.

IARPC Secretariat

Acting Executive Secretary: Lesley Anderson
Acting Executive Secretary: Natalie Wagner
Implementation Director:
Sorina Stalla
Policy Analyst & Director of IARPC Collaboration Team Activities: Meredith LaValley
Engagement Director: Liz Weinberg
US AON Program Assistant: Hazel Shapiro
Indigenous Engagement and Communications Specialist: John Orr
Policy Analyst and Coordinator: Toni O'Boyle

Learn more about the IARPC Secretariat.


Sea Grant Knauss Fellow: Alie Lepp
Indigenous Leaders Fellow: Michele Yatchmeneff
Indigenous Leaders Fellow: Caitlynn Tautuk Hanna