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.

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 can I get involved?

From October 2019 to September 2020, IARPC collected public input to inform the development of the next Arctic Research Plan (2022-2026). Thank you to the many individuals and organizations who submitted input during the engagement phase of plan development and the initial public comment period between April 3 and August 2, 2020. During this time, we received input on the structure, goals, and objectives of the plan. This input informed the Plan Development Workshop that was held virtually from September 14-17, 2020. The input provided during the engagement phase and from the workshop have been used to inform a plan framework which federal drafting teams will use to draft the 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 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 Current Step: Drafting

    October 2020 to January 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 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 December 10, 2020)

What is the current status of the plan development?

In October 2020, the IARPC Principals approved the plan framework and outline. Federal drafting teams are currently organizing to draft chapters. Drafting teams will work with input received during the public comment period to create goals for each priority area that are cross-cutting, promote multidisciplinary collaboration, and produce outcomes that are beneficial to northern communities, the state of Alaska, and federal agencies based in Alaska.

What input was received during the public comment period?

IARPC has put together an overview of our engagement process and mechanisms for receiving feedback 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 identified an initial list of potential priority research areas that was considered and narrowed down during a virtual workshop held in September 2020. During the workshop, participants worked collaboratively in a series of facilitated breakout groups and plenary sessions to identify and recommend foundational activities and priority areas for the next plan. These recommendations were considered by the IARPC Principals and Staff Group and used to inform the framework that will be used to draft the plan.

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 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 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 next Arctic Research Plan.
  • Federal drafting teams 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.

Additional documents were drafted to inform the virtual plan development workshop in September:

A full workshop report will be available later this winter, once it is reviewed by workshop participants.

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

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Liz Weinberg
Web Manager & Community Coordinator
(503) 893-8910