Appendix 1: IARPC Agencies

  • National Science Foundation (Chair)
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Marine Mammal Commission
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Smithsonian Institution

Appendix 2: Implementing the IARPC Arctic Research Plan FY2017–2021 with IARPC Collaborations

IARPC Collaborations is the primary structure for implementing the Plan. Membership is open to anyone who can contribute to efforts to implement the Plan, and thus it serves as a mechanism for bringing together Federal government program managers, the research community, and other stakeholders to accelerate the pace of Arctic research.

To implement the Plan, IARPC Collaborations will be organized into nine thematic Collaboration Teams, each corresponding to one of the nine Research Goals in the Plan. Each team will be co-chaired by a Federal program manager and a co-chair from a different Federal agency or a non-federal partner.

Collaboration teams will meet virtually on a regular basis to discuss updates to Performance Elements and share information relevant to accomplishing research objectives.

The IARPC Collaborations website at is the primary tool that IARPC Collaborations members use to communicate and collaborate between team meetings. It was designed to support implementation of the IARPC Arctic Research Plan FY2013-2017. The website serves dual purposes as both a content driven dialogue system and a project management and tracking system.

  1. Content driven dialogue system. In order to share information, generate ideas, and form opportunities for collaboration, IARPC Collaborations members log into the member space of the website and post updates, documents, and events related to their or their organizations’ research or Arctic-related activities. These posts are permanently archived on and available to any member of IARPC Collaborations through the website. Open dialogue is encouraged through the comment section available on every post and “@tagging” system which allows interaction with any specific website member.
  2. A project management and tracking system. Through event and document posting, the website serves as the platform for organizing collaboration team meetings and delivering meeting information to team members. The performance element database section of the website keeps a record of specific actions taken on Performance Elements as well as information on people, agencies, collaboration teams, and deadlines involved. Team leaders and website administrators can enter actions on Performance Elements directly into the database, while any member can submit an action to a performance element by commenting or posting. The database can be exported into a report format for annual and biennial reporting.

The IARPC Collaborations, collaboration teams, and the website are open to anyone who can contribute to IARPC’s efforts to implement the Plan. Request an account by entering your contact information and a brief explanation of your background and interest in Arctic research at

Each fall team leaders will produce summary accomplishment reports for IARPC Principals and in support of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. Additionally, the secretariat will produce a biannual report summarizing accomplishments by policy driver in order to better understand how the various efforts in the plan relate to each other in the context of the policy drivers.

Collaboration Team leaders will develop annual implementation plans which focus on Research Objectives and Performance Elements to be accomplished in the upcoming year. Their plans will include meeting schedules with specific references to how the meetings support plan implementation.

Collaboration Team leads will coordinate their scheduling in order to promote coordination between teams pursuing related activities. For example, several teams may coordinate their meetings and activities around the cross-cutting theme of food security or the carbon budget.

The IARPC secretariat will host annual meetings of team leaders to support inter-team coordination. At this time, team leaders will explore overlapping Research Objectives and Performance Elements and pursue a joint course of action around related activities.

Regular Federal-only meetings will be arranged for agency representatives to explore collaborations to address cross-cutting issues for which multiple agencies are responsible.

The IARPC Staff Group and Principals will continually examine how well IARPC is addressing research Goals and Objectives in support of the policy drivers and how well the policy drivers are providing a framework for integration across the plan.

Appendix 3: How USARC Goals Inform the IARPC Arctic Research Plan FY2017–2021

The Arctic Research Policy Act (ARPA) establishes the relationship between IARPC and USARC and calls for IARPC to build a 5-Year Arctic Research Plan (hereafter the Plan) “in consultation with the Commission, the Governor of the State of Alaska, the residents of the Arctic, the private sector, and public interest groups.” In accordance with ARPA, the biennial USARC Goals and Objectives Report (hereafter the Report) provides key input in developing this Plan. This appendix to the 2017-2021 Plan summarizes the IARPC response to the USARC Goals Report 2015-2016, and provides an explanation for occasional divergence from it. While the structure and purpose of the two documents are distinct, connections to the Report are found at all levels in the Plan. It is important to note that, while the Report looks broadly at how Federally-sponsored research could address emerging and persistent needs, the IARPC Plan is only focused on topics requiring interagency collaboration. Specifically, this means that Arctic research topics addressed by individual federal agencies are not included in the Plan. The six goals in the USARC Report are:

  1. Arctic Environmental Change;
  2. Arctic Human Health;
  3. Arctic Natural Resources;
  4. The Arctic “Built Environment”;
  5. Arctic Cultures and Community Resilience;
  6. International Scientific Cooperation.

The structure of the IARPC Plan is tiered, and begins with Policy Drivers and Implementation Strategies. The Policy Drivers of Well-being, Stewardship, Security, and Arctic-Global Systems are high-level and capture the scope of all six of USARC’s goals. The Plan’s Implementation Strategies address how IARPC will coordinate research, and again, the USARC goals are reflected in these principles. The principles include integration of basic and applied research, and that Arctic research should be conducted in collaboration with indigenous and international partners.

The IAPRC Plan has nine Research Goals. Each reflect a topic that the USARC Report considers important. In some cases, the Report identifies a research objective that is not reflected in the IARPC Plan. There are two fundamental explanations for this. The first is when other federal interagency work is already addressing an issue identified by USARC; IARPC sought a non-duplicative and exclusive Plan. For example, the Report highlights the important issue of ocean acidification in the Arctic, which is covered by the interagency Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST). And the Report stresses the importance of research into oil pollution prevention and response in Arctic waters, which is addressed by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR). The second occurs when there are limited Federal activities addressing a topic recommended by the Commission, or it is the remit of a single agency. For example, the Report identifies topics, like socio-economic research focused on the North, yet there are limited Federally-funded efforts to coordinate across agencies. In other cases, like renewable energy, there is significant Federal work, but interagency efforts have only recently been initiated and will take more time to develop concrete objectives.

Here are several examples where the Plan clearly reflects USARC recommendations:

The Plan reflects the Report’s emphasis on efforts to enhance research on Arctic environmental change (USARC Goal 1) in multiple ways, and examples include: (1) a focus on ecosystem interactions among marine trophic levels and their impacts on human communities; (2) interagency efforts to understand the warming-induced degradation of permafrost and other components of the cryosphere such as glaciers and sea ice; and (3) research to understand how change in fire activity is impacting rural and urban communities and atmospheric emissions.

Additionally, USARC calls for greater support of scientific monitoring and improved modeling of the Arctic System along with improved data sharing and integration (USARC Goal 1). The Plan responds vigorously through its Research Goal on Environmental Intelligence, which emphasizes systems research and the need to integrate observations, data sharing and modeling across all areas of foundational science in support of improving scientific understanding of Arctic environmental change.

The Plan’s responsiveness to the USARC’s emphasis on human health (USARC Goal 2) can be seen in IARPC’s Research Goal on human health and well-being through its support for (1) research seeking to explore the interconnections between human health and the natural environment; (2) community monitoring of environmental impacts associated with climate change on health, and research to increase understanding and surveillance of diseases, especially climate sensitive diseases; (3) efforts surrounding health-care education, water quality and sanitation innovations, improving indoor air- quality, and by supporting residents to become involved in health care processes; (4) research on violence against Alaskan Native women and children; and (5) efforts to improve effectiveness of responses, support health care delivery across the Arctic through methods like telemedicine.

Some emerging work in the Plan relates to Report recommendations towards the “built environment” (USARC Goal 4) and community resilience (USARC Goal 5). New efforts under the Permafrost and Coastal Research Goals consider the impacts of permafrost degradation and coastal erosion on infrastructure.

Issues related to community resilience are woven directly into the Health and Well-being Research Goal, for example research on the resilience of Alaskan Youth, and are present in community-based research approaches organized under the Coastal Research Goal.

Although the Plan spans a five-year period, Performance Elements are designed to be completed within two years and new Performance Elements will be designed to take their place. With this “living document” structure, IARPC hopes, through collaboration with partners like USARC, to grow the Plan’s focus on socio-economic research and renewable energy in the next two years. IARPC enjoys a beneficial partnership with USARC and looks forward to their next Report.

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