Data Management Collaboration Team

Applying modern cyberinfrastructure to improve capabilities for integrating and blending data.

Scope of Activities

Arctic data, including physical and biological samples and Indigenous Knowledge data, are irreplaceable. Often stemming from difficult and remote conditions, Arctic data are valuable in a time of rapid environmental change driven primarily by climate change. Data management is critical to basic research, monitoring, and applied research in the Arctic. It follows a cycle of data discovery, collection, and sharing; ideally, each step in the data lifecycle contributes to maximizing return on investment in data management. There is great care, review, and often standardization or harmonization in preparing, producing, and publishing data products which allow for their reuse. Nevertheless, customization of global or national tools is often necessary for Arctic applications. As data volumes increase, computational infrastructure and software management are both inextricably part of data management.

A National Academies study outlines best practices related to open, searchable, and rapidly accessible data; there is a need for centralized discovery and access to Arctic data across institutions and agencies. IARPC encourages the adoption of open data collections, development of intelligent data management tools and practices, and use of existing data and metadata platforms to achieve interdisciplinary and interagency coordination. In order to reflect the complexity of Arctic data and knowledge systems, data management for Arctic research must be responsive to a range of partners. Arctic research, participatory research, and data management now operate in an environment of FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data management principles and CARE (collective benefit, authority to control, responsibility, ethics) Principles of Indigenous Data Governance. While working toward open and accessible data, it is important to recognize these nuanced approaches that protect private and sensitive data, and to respect Indigenous data sovereignty and governance.

Continued international joint cooperation, innovation, and learning in all aspects of data management are integral to facilitating Arctic research. Working with international partners to implement harmonized standards and practices will make Arctic data more readily available and will improve U.S. Arctic research. Innovations in data collection, curation, discoverability, and use, such as new advances in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cloud computing, will be essential to fully use Arctic data.

IARPC will share best practices, innovative ideas, lessons learned, and networking opportunities as it works towards discoverability, understanding, and interoperability of Arctic data and tools. IARPC will help strengthen data management literacy and expertise by proactively connecting federal agencies, local partners, early career scientists, established researchers, Indigenous Knowledge holders, and others. IARPC is in a position to develop a culture around thoughtful data management (i.e., FAIR and CARE) and encourage the development of skills and knowledge related to advancing data management in the Arctic. IARPC is able to facilitate access to Arctic data by being a forward-looking space that can stimulate dialogue between diverse sectors to embrace actionable science.

As agencies work towards sharing data across the government and with the public, IARPC will be a strong partner and bridge towards achieving their Arctic research goals. Data management is rooted in federal policy and mandated for federal research agencies. Data sovereignty and CARE principles need to be considered in the context of federal data policies. Clear guidance, aligned with FAIR and CARE, on how to manage data compliant with these broad federal mandates can benefit those who enable Arctic insights and can support data users, providers, and managers in achieving their aims. federal agencies should aim to make data more discoverable, connected, and useful, emphasizing meaningful new Arctic insights. Therefore, this plan pursues responsive, responsible, and well-resourced application of best practices in Arctic data management.

Team Leaders

Lauren Decker
PolArctic (Website)

Vanessa Raymond
Alaska Center for Energy & Power

Jordan Kazemi
U.S. Geological Survey

Cynthia Garcia
NOAA OAR - GOMO, Arctic Research Program

Deliverables from the Arctic Research Plan

1.1 Support the health of Arctic residents through research on public health needs, disparities, and delivery.

  • 1.1.3 Continue research on air quality and human health. This will include an evaluation of outdoor air quality and health outcomes in Alaskan communities and a Federally-funded, local-partner-conducted evaluation of interventions to improve indoor air quality and decrease respiratory symptoms in children. Research will be shared and summarized in webinars, publications, and reports.

1.3 Provide research and technical support for water and sanitation infrastructure.

  • 1.3.1 Synthesize and expand upon existing efforts to create data visualization maps of areas at high risk for coastal erosion, permafrost thaw, and flooding within specified future time periods (e.g., 10 years, 50 years, 100 years) to identify at-risk areas and inform investments in climate resilient infrastructure.
  • 1.3.2 Develop a publicly accessible database for information on drinking water contaminants (including PFAS) and effective treatment processes. The database will be of use to water treatment operators, regulatory agencies, researchers, and treatment process consultants and designers. It could also support responses to emergency contamination events.

2.1 Advance understanding of Arctic amplification and the associated connections with lower latitudes.

  • 2.1.3 Provide opportunities to support and coordinate research to enhance the understanding of connections between Arctic and global ocean circulation with a particular focus on Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

2.2 Observe, understand, predict, and project Arctic ecosystem change and its impacts on humans and the entire Earth system.

  • 2.2.1 Advance capacity to better understand, quantify, and predict methane emissions from permafrost changes in the Arctic through international collaborations.
  • 2.2.5 Convene community-wide workshop highlighting how remote sensing data products can be used to inform multi-scale land models from plot to pan-Arctic and inform use of remote sensing data in land surface models.
  • 2.2.7 Produce and support publications and data products enhancing understanding of the linkages among marine species, oceanographic and sea ice conditions, and climate change. Specifically improve understanding of mechanisms that affect trends in trophic interactions, abundance, distribution, vital rates, and behavior.

2.3 Understand interactions between social, ecological, and physical Arctic systems, particularly in the context of coastal, climate, and cryospheric change.

  • 2.3.4 Integrate information from field, laboratory, and remote sensing studies to examine and quantify relationships among surface topography, vegetation composition, hydrology, disturbance effects (including fire, thermokarst, land use change, and wildlife), geophysical processes in permafrost soils, and humans. Share results in reports, presentations, and scientific publications.
  • 2.3.7 Improve high-resolution models’ ability to capture coastal processes at the interface of ocean, land, and atmosphere by supporting targeted collaborations among model developers, users, and decision-makers. Products will include an interagency scientific peer-reviewed publication and conference sessions that address these models.

3.1 Conduct and support research to foster the development of Arctic infrastructure. This includes research on improvements in community capacity and infrastructure projects that are prioritized by Arctic communities to support resilience and leverage technology in community redevelopment and relocation efforts.

  • 3.1.1 Conduct a study to create an asset map of existing infrastructure as a baseline for understanding how to equip a community to be resilient to climate impacts. Facilitate sharing resources about and mitigation techniques for known threats to infrastructure impacted by climate change.
  • 3.1.2 Support new innovations and off-the-shelf technology that can be implemented in community development plans to support the ability of Arctic communities to combat climate change impacts.

3.2 Improve understanding of the importance and value of economies in the Arctic. Support local access to Arctic economic opportunities by examining the linkages among economic initiatives, infrastructure, socioeconomic factors, and values of rural Arctic communities.

  • 3.2.1 Support research that incorporates economic model insights and synthesizes available data to identify important factors affecting job availability and wages in major economic sectors.
  • 3.2.2 Research regionally appropriate and feasible options for building local human capacity, considering cultural attributes and vocational capabilities juxtaposed with evolving environmental trends and economic opportunities, and articulate results within regional economic development strategies and plans.

4.1 Summarize currently available data and information requirements associated with hazard and risk mitigation, adaptation, and response efforts. Synthesize community-led activities and information to identify potential needs for future efforts.

  • 4.1.1 Conduct a study identifying where information used in decision-making and planning can be improved through access to new or additional data sources. This study should consider a wide range of activities associated with ongoing responses to common and emerging hazards, including risk reduction efforts and emergency preparedness and response.
  • 4.1.2 Share findings of deliverable 4.1.1 as a means (1) to spur additional research and science communication aimed at addressing unmet needs for planning, prevention, response, and recovery and (2) to inform time-sensitive decision-making and planning processes.

4.2 Update and improve the “Statewide Threat Assessment: Identification of Threats from Erosion, Flooding, and Thawing Permafrost in Remote Alaska Communities.”

  • 4.2.1 Undertake a study to identify the top 10 threats/hazards to communities and critical remote state and Federal government infrastructure in the state of Alaska that should be included in the Statewide Threat Assessment. This might include coastal and river erosion, flooding, thawing permafrost, and changes in the seasonal snowpack.
  • 4.2.2 Upon completion of 4.2.1, establish a data collection and collation plan to include mechanisms to collect threat/hazard data that may not be readily available.
  • 4.2.3 Collect and integrate disparate threat/hazard information and perform modeling and analysis to understand where natural and human-made threats and hazards pose a risk to Arctic communities.

DATA 1 Encourage and implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and CARE (Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, and Ethics) data management principles in the Arctic.

  • DATA 1.1 Identify verified points of contact (e.g., agency champions, data practitioners, Arctic residents, Indigenous organizations) and their areas of expertise and interests for working with the data team on exploring and implementing FAIR and CARE in Arctic data management. As part of developing the points of contact, identify and track representation across many axes of diversity (demographics, disciplines/sectors, IARPC experience, career stage, and others) to ensure a diverse and representative group of contributors. The data team will check in with these groups regularly to ensure the points of contact are up to date.

EDU 1 Develop a ONE STEM hub.

  • EDU 1.3 Engage in ongoing and respectful dialogue with communities about education, training, and capacity building needs. Document feedback.

MOMP 3 Support coordination and engagement with Federal, international, and non-Federal partners who are conducting monitoring, observing, modeling, and prediction of the Arctic.

  • MOMP 3.1 Support participation of United States researchers in international Arctic modeling and prediction efforts in order to quantify and improve the predictive capabilities of Arctic models as evidenced by relevant scientific papers, presentations, and meeting sessions.

MOMP 4 Support best practices in field observations and modeling.

  • MOMP 4.3 In coordination with the Data Management foundational activity, promote and support FAIR and CARE principles for observational and modeling data.

PILR 1 Fulfill Federal requirement to consult with Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.

  • PILR 1.1 Create a best practices document on meaningful consultation and engagement on Arctic research with Alaska Indigenous communities that is applicable to all Federal agencies.
  • PILR 1.2 Evaluate the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic 2018, and update as needed based on the evaluation.
  • PILR 1.3 Develop and deliver training for agencies to implement the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic.

PILR 2 Engage Arctic communities and individuals in research in a way that is meaningful to them.

  • PILR 2.1 Create a training toolkit for scientists that can be self-guided and used as needed. Topics may include cross-cultural communication, consultation, participatory research, Indigenous Knowledge, overview of Indigenous culture groups, formal agreements, and how to contract and consult with Indigenous companies and individuals.
  • PILR 2.2 Create a report of examples where IARPC member agencies have engaged Indigenous Knowledge holders in research.
  • PILR 2.3 Request that each Priority Area Collaboration Team host regular meetings that meaningfully engage with Indigenous leaders, groups, and/or communities. This includes developing a list of contacts to support requests for engagement or tracking engagement with Indigenous participation.
  • PILR 2.4 Analyze and develop a report on broader impacts of science/research teams on Indigenous health and resilience.
  • PILR 2.5 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify mechanisms for Federal agencies to effectively communicate science plans and findings among themselves and with communities.

PILR 3 Develop guidance for agencies to consistently apply participatory research and Indigenous leadership in research.

  • PILR 3.1 Co-define “Indigenous leadership in research” with Tribes, Indigenous organizations, and Federal agencies; and integrate into the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic and its training toolkit and best practices documents.
  • PILR 3.2 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify methods to streamline contracting/agreements and compensation processes to make co-stewardship and co-production in research more equitable and achievable.
  • PILR 3.3 Convene discussions to identify mechanisms to foster equitable pathways for Indigenous leadership in research.
  • PILR 3.4 Identify best practices for Federal agencies to support capacity for Tribes and Indigenous Knowledge holders in research. Distribute guidance on best practices to IARPC agencies.
  • PILR 3.5 Ensure consistent terminology for Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Local Knowledge for IARPC. Suggest primary language for IARPC be Indigenous Knowledge.


Under the Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021, the Data team:

  • Shared information about federal agency data science projects that supported data management capabilities for Arctic researchers.
  • Advanced tools developed to help Alaska Arctic communities understand and adapt to climate change.
  • Shared information about mapping the marine environment, ground ice content, and other parts of the cryosphere.
  • Shared information about data that support Arctic operators, such as data on icebreaker efficacy and research on artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches to satellite based measurement of sea ice and coastal change.

For a full summary of the Data team's accomplishments under the 2017-2021 Arctic Research Plan, see the 2021 Performance Element Summary Statements.