Arctic Research Plan 2022–2026
Building on the successes and communities of practice of the 2017–2021 plan, the new Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 is a bold strategy for a changing Arctic. It outlines a vision for federal agencies to address emerging research questions about this vital region, and provides pathways to strengthen relationships between federal agencies and Indigenous communities, academia and non-federal researchers, the state of Alaska, nonprofits, and private sector and international organizations.
Read the executive summary
Read the introduction
Download the complete plan
Read the appendices
Biennial Implementation Plan 2022-2024
The Arctic Research Plan is a high-level strategy for the next five years. Its overarching goals will be accomplished through biennial implementation plans with specific objectives and deliverables.
The Biennial Implementation Plan 2022-2024 provides specific actions that IARPC and its member agencies will take to promote research aimed at improving community resilience and well-being, advancing scientific understanding of ongoing changes in the Arctic system, creating more sustainable economies and livelihoods, and improving risk management and hazard mitigation. Learn more about the implementation planning process.
Read the Biennial Implementation Plan
Putting the Plan into Practice: Collaboration Teams and Communities of Practice
The Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 presents a research framework with thematic goals. It seeks to address critical areas for which an interagency approach can accelerate progress, but it does not attempt to address all federally funded research in the Arctic.
Progress toward the goals, objectives, and deliverables of the Arctic Research Plan and Biennial Implementation Plan is led by collaboration teams and communities of practice organized via IARPC Collaborations. To participate in these teams, sign up for an account on IARPC Collaborations.
The four priority areas represent areas of broad, cross-cutting research focus. Teams include:
Goal: Improve community resilience and well-being by strengthening research and developing tools to increase understanding of interdependent social, natural, and built systems in the Arctic.
Goal: Enhance our ability to observe, understand, predict, and project the Arctic’s dynamic interconnected systems and their links to the Earth system.
Goal: Observe and understand the Arctic’s natural, social, and built systems to promote sustainable economies and livelihoods.
Goal: Secure and improve quality of life through research that promotes an understanding of disaster risk exposure, sensitivity to hazard, and adaptive capacity.
Foundational Activity & Collaboration Teams
Foundational activities are critical in supporting the priority areas in this plan, as well as a robust research program in the Arctic. The foundational activities are expected to continue beyond this plan.
Improving capabilities for coordinating and strengthening data management
Connecting STEM education efforts that leverage Arctic research to support a thriving future
Integrating and improving monitoring, observing, modeling, and prediction efforts to advance Arctic research
Supporting meaningful and equitable collaborations among Arctic Indigenous communities and researchers
Enabling, accelerating, and delivering accurate information and products to Arctic residents and researchers
Communities of Practice
Priority areas and foundational activities are supported by robust communities of practice. These are:
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated November 2, 2022
IARPC is the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee. By bringing together leaders from 16 agencies, departments, and offices across the U.S. federal government, we enhance research on environmental issues in the Arctic.
IARPC runs IARPC Collaborations, a platform that connects federal government program managers, federal and non-federal researchers, and other stakeholders – including those overseas – to work together on pressing Arctic research issues. IARPC Collaborations is free and open to anyone who can contribute, regardless of their role in Arctic research. The website has supported an unprecedented degree of interagency communication, coordination, and collaboration that has advanced Arctic science. Our member space includes more than 3,000 members of the Arctic research community, including those from federal, state, Tribal, academic, non-profit, private sector, Indigenous, and international organizations. Learn more about IARPC and IARPC Collaborations.
The Arctic Research Plan is a five-year strategy for federal agencies to address emerging research questions about the Arctic. It provides pathways to strengthen relationships between federal agencies and Indigenous communities, academia and non-federal researchers, the state of Alaska, nonprofits, and private sector and international organizations. The plan does not encompass all of the work federal agencies are doing in Arctic research, but rather focuses on areas where agencies can work together to amplify the impact of their activities.
Over the last five years, IARPC member agencies and collaboration teams greatly expanded our understanding of the Arctic system. A full compilation of achievements under the Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 can be found in the Performance Element Summary Statements.
To document the achievements of the 2017-2021 Plan, IARPC has produced an End of Plan Report. This report will become publicly available in January 2022, and it will provide more detailed examples of IARPC’s achievements since 2017.
The 2022-2026 plan substantially builds on the Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021. It has taken new knowledge we have learned implementing the current plan and attempted to take a more integrated approach to research.
At the direction of the IARPC Principals, this plan has fewer research goals. The plan focuses on four priority areas with research goals that target basic science and provide a more direct path to provide relevant and timely information that can be used by decision makers.
These goals are multidisciplinary and existing disciplinary collaboration teams will play a key role in advancing them. There are several new priority areas and a few foundational areas that will be new to IARPC, but many agencies have already been doing work in these areas that we hope to foster across the IARPC family.
In addition, unlike previous Arctic research plans, this is a high-level strategy that will be enacted via biennial implementation plans.
IARPC held two public engagement periods during plan development. The first engagement period (October 2019 to September 2020) was to collect public input to inform the development, general content, and scope of the plan. Input was received through a variety of mechanisms. This period included a Federal Request for Information Notice (April to August 2020). IARPC received 120 comments through the Federal Register Notice system, 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.
A second public comment period (March-June 2021) invited input on the draft plan including priority area goals, justifications, and potential partners; the foundational activities; and on implementation and metrics for measuring success. IARPC accepted comments through the Federal Register Notice, email, hardcopy, and voicemail. The compilation of comments is available, as is a list of IARPC’s responses.
In this new plan, we have intentionally brought more focus through the four priorities areas to research avenues that have a more direct pathway to provide relevant and timely information that can be used by decision makers from local, regional, and national scales.
The research described in this plan will address societal issues that challenge life in Alaska, including managing risks, mitigating hazards, maintaining community health and wellbeing, and adapting to an evolving climate and ecosystem. Information and understanding contributes to better decision making and better use of available resources.
The new plan emphasizes the importance of research to support community resilience and health and recognizes the interacting elements that feed into healthy and resilient communities. The need for research to support reliable infrastructure is also a theme that permeates throughout the plan. For example, the plan identifies several areas of concern that include poorly constructed and maintained roads, airstrips, and waste sites and systems; inadequate housing; lack of access to clean water; and maintenance backlogs at educational and healthcare facilities.
A biennial implementation plan is an implementation plan developed every two years that identifies specific objectives and deliverables that advance the goals identified in the Arctic Research Plan. While the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 provides the high-level strategy and goals, these two-year implementation plans will be more granular, providing specific and tangible objectives and deliverables.
Using this two-year implementation structure will allow IARPC and federal agencies to be more adaptable in the face of changes in the Arctic. This planning structure will also provide more opportunities for Arctic researchers and residents to drive the work we do.
We will not be writing new Implementation Plans every two years. We will update the existing plan to ensure our teams can evaluate progress and develop a common understanding of the next objectives.
This plan will be implemented by collaboration teams and communities of practice on IARPC Collaborations. Collaboration teams and communities of practice will use this website to share information about research, team meetings, and other events. We encourage all members of the Arctic research community to join IARPC Collaborations and take part in implementation efforts.