The IARPC Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 and its Alignment with the White House Arctic Science Ministerial Themes and Deliverables

September 8, 2017
By Jessica Rohde

We have updated the IARPC Collaborations website to demonstrate the alignment between our 122 performance elements that we are implementing under Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021, and the to 15 deliverables from the 2016 Arctic Science Ministerial. Browse them on our member space and read our summary document.

What is the 2016 Arctic Science Ministerial?

On 28 September 2016, the White House hosted the first ever Arctic Science Ministerial (the Ministerial) to advance international collaboration and scientific progress in the Arctic that will enhance the ability to inform and serve Arctic residents and the global community. The Ministerial was attended by the science ministers, or their equivalents or designees, from 23 foreign governments and the United States, and the European Union. The Joint Statement, signed by all the heads of delegation and released at the end of the Ministerial, resolved “that all nations conducting research in this region must work together to enhance and deepen scientific knowledge and understanding of the Arctic” and recognized “the importance of traditional and local knowledge and the sharing of scientific and technological information”. 

The Ministerial was organized around four themes that reach across national boundaries and disciplines, and provide opportunities to advance understanding of and the ability to respond to rapid climate, environmental and socio-economic change. Each theme has several deliverables, i.e., topics that are ripe for accelerated scientific progress through enhanced international collaboration to meet shared goals in the Arctic. The Fact Sheet released at the end of the Ministerial describes the four themes and the specific commitments—that is, projects, programs and initiatives—that individual governments made to advance each theme and their deliverables, and this official summary document details each country's commitments.

The Ministerial themes and deliverables are: 

  1. Theme I. Arctic Science Challenges and their Regional and Global Implications 
    1. Warming and Thawing Permafrost
    2. Diminishing Sea Ice
    3. Mass Loss from Glaciers, Ice Caps and the Greenland Ice Sheet
    4. Ecosystem Responses 
  2. Theme II. Strengthening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing 
    1. Towards an Integrated Arctic Observing Network and Strengthening SAON(Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks) 
    2. Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC
    3. Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP
    4. Community-based Observing 
  3. Theme III. Applying Expanded Scientific Understanding of the Arctic to Build Regional Resilience and Shape Global Responses 
    1. Community Adaptation Strategies 
    2. Responses to Societal Challenges 
    3. Arctic Operational Environmental Forecasting 
    4. Global Responses
  4. Theme IV. Empowering Citizens Through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Leveraging Arctic Science 
    1. Arctic Science for the Benefit of Arctic STEM Educators and Students 
    2. Arctic Science for the Benefit of Global STEM Education 
    3. International Arctic STEM Education Summit 

How does IARPC's Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 align with the 2016 Arctic Science Ministerial Deliverables?

In November 2016, the IARPC Principals endorsed IARPC efforts to advance Ministerial themes and deliverables that align with IARPC collaboration efforts described in Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 which was released in December 2016. Through IARPCCollaborations, the U.S. can lend its support to international efforts and strengthen Ministerial outcomes. 

The attached document illustrates the alignment between the Plan and the Ministerial themes and deliverables. The document has four sections, one for each theme. In each section, there is a brief description of each deliverable followed by a list of the contributing performance elements. It should be noted that some performance elements contribute to multiple deliverables, illustrating the synergies among performance elements and deliverables, and the connectedness inherent in the Arctic System. 

Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 performance elements contribute to each of the Ministerial themes, particularly themes 1, 2 & 3, and all of the deliverables. Of the total number of performance elements (123), 92 (75%) are contributing to the commitment the United States made at the Ministerial to strengthen international collaboration and the inclusion of Arctic Indigenous peoples in science and decision-making, and to chart a new collective approach in Arctic science. 

Request an account

Join scientists from Federal, State, academic, NGO, and industry organizations working to accelerate the progress of Arctic research.

Membership in IARPC Collaborations is subject to approval and adherence to the codes of conduct.


Sara Bowden, IARPC Executive Secretary
(703) 447-7828

Please direct website questions to Jessica Rohde, Web Manager, at