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. The draft plan is now available for public comment through June 11, 2021.

Read the Draft Plan

Quick links:

How can I comment on the draft Arctic Research Plan?

Using public input collected from October 2019 to September 2020 and a workshop held September 14-17, 2020, staff from IARPC member agencies have developed a draft of the next Arctic Research Plan (2022-2026). We are asking the public to comment on this draft through June 11, 2021.

There are multiple ways that you can submit your comments:

  • Submit comments via the Federal Register Notice
  • Email comments to IARPCPlan@nsf.gov
  • Send hardcopy written submissions to Roberto Delgado, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314
  • Leave a voicemail at (703) 783-1658 or (888) 657-7759 (toll free)

Comments will be made publicly available with attribution after the comment period has closed.

If you would like to provide input or receive more information verbally one-on-one or at a gathering, please contact Meredith LaValley (plan@iarpccollaborations.org), and we will do our best to accommodate.

How can I learn more about the draft plan?

We will be holding a series of informational webinars throughout the comment period. At each webinar, staff from IARPC member agencies will give a presentation on the draft plan content, and there will be time for questions. Each webinar will give a full overview of the draft and go into more depth on one element of the plan. A teleconference session will be provided for those who do not have sufficient internet bandwidth for a Zoom webinar.

Please note that comments made at these webinars will not be considered official comments on the draft, nor will they be entered into the public record. Official comments must be made via the methods listed above.

Webinar dates/times:

  • March 22, 3pm ET/11am AKT: Focus on Foundational Activities
  • April 1, 3pm ET/11am AKT: Focus on Priority Areas 1 (Community Resilience & Health) and 3 (Sustainable Economies & Livelihoods)
  • April 6, 1pm ET/9am AKT: Teleconference only, for individuals and organizations with limited bandwidth
  • April 19, 2pm ET/10am AKT: Focus on Priority Area 2 (Arctic Systems Interactions)
  • May 17, 2pm ET/10am AKT: Focus on Priority Area 4 (Risk Management & Hazard Mitigation)
  • June 2, 2pm ET/10am AKT: Focus on Implementation

See the Information Session page for connection information.

To receive periodic updates on the status of the plan, get notified of upcoming engagement events, and more, sign up for our newsletter. You can also review past newsletters.

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

Additional resources:

  • July 14 2020 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.
  • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment article: "Innovative approach to latest US Arctic Research Plan" (scroll to the bottom of the page for the story)

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 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 and foundational activities

  3. 3 Drafting

    October 2020 to February 2021

    IARPC Principals approve plan framework, including policy drivers, priority areas, and foundational activities

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

  4. 4 Current Step: Public Review

    March 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 March 9, 2021)

What is the current status of the plan development?

In March 2021, IARPC released a draft of the next Arctic Research Plan. We are currently asking the public to comment on the draft.

Where can I find media resources?

Resources can be found in our media kit. With fact sheets, downloadable flyers, and social media graphics, this media kit is for reporters, organizations, and others interested in spreading the word about the development of the next Arctic Research Plan.

What input was received during the first public comment period (2020)?

The first comment period was focused on the general content and scope of the plan. 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.

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 were input and comments from the first comment period (2020) used?

All comments and input that we received during the 2020 public comment period are publicly available on this page (see What input was received during the first public comment period (2020)?" above). We did not provide any direct responses to commenters.

We used the information and ideas received in several ways:

  • Input was synthesized to inform a virtual workshop in September 2020. The workshop included 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. Participants worked together to identify recommended priority areas and foundational activities for the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026. The workshop report and appendices are available for download.
  • Federal drafting teams used the public input comments, outcomes from the workshop discussion, and guidance from the IARPC Principals to ensure they had robust information to shape the text of the first draft of the next plan.

What other materials have informed 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 Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026.

What happens next?

IARPC will be collecting comments from the public on the draft plan through June 11, 2021. All comments that we receive during this comment period will be made publicly available with attribution and responses on the IARPC Collaborations website.

Once the comment period has closed, federal agency staff will review and consider all input received and revise the plan as necessary. The revised draft will then undergo a final interagency review. We intend to release the final plan in December 2021.

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

Please contact the IARPC Secretariat at plan@iarpccollaborations.org.

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Contact

Liz Weinberg
Web Manager & Community Coordinator
liz@iarpccollaborations.org
(503) 893-8910