Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026: Implementation

In December 2021, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee’s Arctic Research Plan 2022–2026. The Arctic Research Plan is a high-level research strategy to address emerging research questions about the Arctic, including the impacts of climate change to the Arctic region and beyond. It presents a research framework with thematic goals and outlines a vision for Federal agencies to address emerging research questions about this vital region. It also provides pathways to strengthen relationships between Federal agencies and Indigenous communities, academia, non-Federal researchers, the state of Alaska, Tribes, nonprofits, the private sector, and international organizations.

In order for IARPC to respond more swiftly to emerging and immediate needs, including those caused by climate change, while continuing to support U.S. Arctic policy, the Arctic Research Plan will be achieved through Biennial Implementation Plans. The first Biennial Implementation Plan will be implemented from fall 2022 through fall 2024. It includes objectives, which are specific research actions that advance the goals of the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026. It also includes deliverables, which are tangible, measurable, and easily communicated research products that demonstrate progress made toward satisfying the objectives and goals and are made available to decision-makers and partners.

Implementation Approach

IARPC’s work under the Biennial Implementation Plan will be carried out by Priority Area Collaboration Teams, Foundational Activity Collaboration Teams, and existing IARPC Communities of Practice, all of which are open to anyone wishing to advance knowledge about the Arctic. Teams may include members from federal, state, academic, nonprofit, private sector, Tribal, Indigenous, and international organizations. The Priority Area and Foundational Activity Collaboration Teams will direct and coordinate activities to reach the plan goals and ensure coordination and collaboration across agencies and engage non-Federal partners. These multi-disciplinary teams are co-lead by at least two Federal program managers and one non-Federal partner and draw on Federal agency and community of practice expertise to achieve their goals. The leadership of specific deliverables will be updated as needed on IARPC Collaborations.It may be necessary to form additional new communities of practice or redistribute coverage for certain activities or topics, especially in areas where there has been little prior IARPC engagement.

The IARPC Collaborations website is a critical component of IARPC and serves as a hub for coordinating Federal government program managers and scientists, the non-Federal research community, and other collaborators to accelerate the pace of Arctic research and achieve priority area goals. The IARPC Collaborations website is used to help implement the Biennial Implementation Plan. Progress on implementing the plan will be tracked through an online tool on the website where those participating in implementation can post achievements towards the goals outlined in this plan and the objectives and deliverables described in the Biennial Implementation Plans.

Stewardship

Implementation of the Arctic Research Plan is stewarded by the IARPC Principals, Staff Group, collaboration teams, and participating agencies and partners, with support from the IARPC Secretariat as funding and resources allow.

four labeled concentric circles. Labels, from the outside in: Objectives; Collaboration Teams and Communities of Practice; Integration Group; Principals and Staff Group

Biennial Implementation Plan Stewardship Structure

Objectives: Objectives are specific research actions that advance the goals.

Collaboration: Priority Area and Foundational Activity Collaboration Teams collaborate on and advance objectives and deliverables. Within these teams, the communities of practice will contribute expertise and knowledge necessary to meet the objectives and deliverables laid out in the Biennial Implementation Plan.

Integration: The Biennial Implementation Plan Integration Group will:

  • Receive quarterly updates from the collaboration teams,
  • Meet quarterly to facilitate progress toward meeting objectives and deliverables,
  • Identify and evaluate gaps and opportunities and consider adjustments to implementation as necessary,
  • Prepare the biennial report on progress under the Biennial Implementation Plan and provide input to other IARPC reports as needed,
  • Evaluate and make recommendations regarding the development of subsequent Biennial Implementation Plans, and
  • Provide implementation updates to Staff Group.

Direction: The IARPC Principals and Staff Group provide direction on the Biennial Implementation Plan. The Principals provide policy direction, suggest adjustments for future Biennial Implementation Plans, and, when needed, approve official IARPC reports. The Staff Group facilitates agency engagement in designing and implementing objectives, addresses issues brought forth by the Biennial Implementation Plan Integration Group, approves updates to new objectives and deliverables, and reviews and clears drafts of official IARPC reports when needed.

Timeline

The 2022 Biennial Implementation Plan will be executed through fall 2024. It will be updated in 2025 with consideration of previous achievements and a current assessment of the most effective approach to achieve the long-term goals.

Timeline showing Biennial Implementation Plan (BIP) release in November 2022; plan implementation from November 2022 to October 2024; BIP updated from August to October 2024, and the 2024-2026 BIP released in November 2024

Schematic of the process by which the Biennial Implementation Plans will be updated, implemented, evaluated, and updated.

Biennial Implementation Plan Reporting

Progress on objectives and deliverables will be tracked quarterly. Any organization or individual that is a member of IARPC Collaborations may report actions towards a deliverable. Quarterly tracking will be used by collaboration teams for biennial reporting.

In the fall of 2024, the Biennial Implementation Plan Integration Group will produce a public report detailing progress on deliverables. The report will communicate outcomes and products that advance understanding of Arctic processes and are relevant to Arctic communities and decision-makers. The report will also include how deliverables were made readily accessible as appropriate based on the nature of the topic. This and future biennial reports will help the public, research, and policy communities understand the progress, obstacles, and pathways toward achievement of goals in the Biennial Implementation Plan. They will also demonstrate connections and responsiveness to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission’s Biennial Goals Report.

Biennial reports will address a variety of questions, including:

  • How did objectives and deliverables advance the missions and capabilities of more than one Federal agency and result in an efficient use of government resources?
  • How did objectives and deliverables meet the needs of decision-makers in the Arctic, in Alaska, and throughout the nation?
  • How did foundational activities enhance and support progress towards priority area goals?
  • How were deliverables conveyed and made readily accessible and how did IARPC engage with and communicate outcomes to non-Federal partners?
  • What is the significance of these findings? Why is this important?
  • Were there specific challenges or obstacles to successful completion of deliverables?