Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026

What is the Arctic Research Plan?

By law (the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984), the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) develops and implements an Arctic Research Plan every five years. The goal of the plan is to improve the collective impacts of federal agencies in Arctic research. IARPC is currently reviewing public input and preparing to begin drafting the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026. We anticipate that the draft will be ready for public comment in February 2021.

How can I get more information?

To receive periodic updates on the status of the plan, get notified of upcoming engagement events, and more, sign up for our newsletter. Past newsletters:

Recordings of past information sessions are available on our YouTube channel.

You can also listen to the July 14 episode of Talk of Alaska. This episode featured Fran Ulmer (chair of the Arctic Research Commission), Nikoosh Carlo (Arctic Research Plan development director), and Simon Stephenson (section head of Arctic sciences at the National Science Foundation) and focused on how Alaskans can weigh in on the plan.

How can I get involved?

Thank you to the many individuals and organizations that submitted input during the engagement phase of plan development. We received input on the structure, goals, and objectives of the plan during events between November 2019 and February 2020, and during our initial public comment period between April 3 and August 2, 2020. We are now compiling this input and will use it to inform the first draft of the Arctic Research Plan.

We anticipate that the first draft of the Arctic Research Plan will be completed in early 2021. At that point, we will hold a second public comment period that gives members of the public the opportunity to review and weigh in on the draft plan.

How does the Arctic Research Plan get developed?

  1. 1 Review and planning

    September 2019 to March 2020

    Approval to begin plan development process and secure resources

    Develop engagement strategy and begin outreach

    Identify Federal Plan Development Steering Group

  2. 2 Current step: Development

    April to September 2020

    Plan Development Steering Group starts meeting monthly

    First Federal Register request for input, April 3–August 2

    Public input listening sessions and webinars

    Workshop to develop priority research areas

  3. 3 Drafting

    October 2020 to January 2021

    IARPC principal approve plan framework, policy drivers, and priority research areas

    Federal drafting teams write chapters & supplementary material, informed by input received from the public

  4. 4 Public Review

    February to June 2021

    Gather input on draft plan, including through Federal Register Notice

  5. 5 Revision and Release

    July to Dec 2021

    Revise plan

    Interagency review

    Release plan

Frequently Asked Questions (Last updated August 28, 2020)

What is the current status of the plan development?

A four-month public comment period closed on August 2, 2020, and we are now reviewing the input on the goals and structure of the next Arctic Research Plan. This information will inform a workshop in September. The workshop will include invited representatives of a cross-section of the Arctic research community, including Indigenous community members, federal employees, Alaska state agencies, and nonprofit and private sector representatives. They will develop a draft framework and scientific goals for the next Arctic Research Plan, which will then be presented to the IARPC Principals for their consideration. In November, a team from IARPC member agencies will begin drafting the plan.

What input was received during the public comment period?

During the public comment period, IARPC received 120 comments through the Federal Register Notice, online form, public webinars and listening sessions, email, and Collaboration Team meetings. Comments came from a variety of sources, including academic scientists and institutions, Indigenous organizations and individuals, federal agencies, the state of Alaska, and private sector and nonprofit organizations. A synthesis of the comments is available, as is the full list of comments, including links to long-form letters.

Through the input received from public comments and from federal agencies, we have identified an initial list of potential priority research areas that will be considered and narrowed down during a virtual workshop in September.

Who is developing the 2022-2026 Arctic Research Plan?

The new five-year Arctic Research Plan is being developed by a team from the IARPC member federal agencies.

How will input and comments be used?

All comments and input that we received during the public comment period are publicly available on this page (see What input was received during the public comment period?" above). We will not provide any direct responses to commenters.

We will use the information and ideas received in several ways:

  • Input will be synthesized to inform a virtual workshop in September 2020. The workshop will include invited representatives of a cross-section of the Arctic research community, including Indigenous community members, federal employees, Alaska state agencies, and nonprofit and private sector representatives. They will develop the draft framework and goals for the next Arctic Research Plan, which will then be presented to the IARPC Principals for their consideration.
  • The federal drafting team will use the public input comments, outcomes from the workshop discussion, and guidance from the IARPC Principals to ensure they have robust information to shape the text of the first draft of the next plan.

What other materials will inform the drafting of the next Arctic Research Plan?

In addition to the public comment period, IARPC requested that federal and state agencies, Northern communities, and international organizations share recent public strategic documents focused on Arctic research. These documents and comments were reviewed and synthesized in order to support the development of the next Arctic Research Plan.

We have drafted additional documents to inform the virtual plan development workshop in September:

What happens next?

Once a draft plan is complete, we will issue a second Federal Register Notice (scheduled for February 2021) to collect input and comments on the draft plan, which will be used by the federal drafting teams to revise the plan as appropriate. All comments and responses that we receive during this second engagement phase will be made publicly available on the IARPC Collaborations website.

Who do I contact if I have questions or need more information?

Please contact Liz Weinberg, IARPC web manager and community coordinator, at plan@iarpccollaborations.org.

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IARPC
Contact

Sara Bowden, IARPC Executive Secretary
bowden@arcus.org
(703) 447-7828

Please direct website questions to Liz Weinberg, Web Manager, at lweinberg@arcus.org.