Field Operations

Coordinating and collaborating among organizations supporting field operations and campaigns to collect Arctic data

Scope of activities

The Field Operations Working Group is reconstituted to facilitate coordination across federal agencies supporting fieldwork in the Arctic. The working group coordinates infrastructure resources and communications with local communities, promotes environmental compliance, and facilitates international access to field operations information and collaborations. The Field Operations Working Group promotes federal interagency cooperation by encouraging discussions and initiatives within and between Indigenous organizations, the state of Alaska, and local, national, and international Arctic research and logistic communities. Following the model of other interagency working groups, the Field Operations Working Group promotes collaboration by convening Arctic logistics resource and program managers to hold regular discussions about logistic needs, ideas, challenges, opportunities, best practices, and progress. The working group coordinates with other IARPC teams and efforts under the Arctic Research Plan to develop synergies and advance the goals of the plan.

Many of the Field Operations Working Group’s activities are federal-only. NSF and NOAA co-chair the group’s federal operations.

Non-federal members may join the Field Operations Working Group via the IARPC Collaborations website to stay informed about meetings, field operations concerns and other activities. At least twice per year, the Field Operations Working Group holds open meetings where individuals outside of federal organizations may join. As needed, sub-groups may be formed to work on specific activities.

Working Group Tasks

    • Maintain a regularly updated compilation of research expedition information.
    • Consider mechanisms (e.g., IARPC Collaborations, Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP)) to enhance, maintain, and share a research vessel matrix.
    • Develop ways to effectively communicate research activity in the region, and to make it more accessible for multiple end-users, especially Indigenous and local communities.
    • Develop an approach for collecting and sharing information about aircraft deployments, uncrewed vehicles, and terrestrial field campaigns.
    • Serve as an organizing center for communication about field operations. The working group will not be a dispute resolution center.
    • Host pre- and post-season research cruise meetings with agencies and principal investigators or their representatives engaging in research during the research season to facilitate collaborations, exchange of information, and sharing of initial results.
    • Review and evaluate outreach efforts to ensure they are meeting the needs of federal agencies, the research community, and Indigenous and local communities where the research is being conducted.
    • Seek opportunities to collaborate on data acquisition, and on developing technology and operational capabilities.
    • Seek opportunities to share logistical platforms and promote environmental compliance.
    • Collect and develop information to share with the international Forum of Arctic Research Operators (FARO) at their annual meeting.
    • Meet on a quarterly basis and report to the IARPC Staff Group as needed (federal members only).

Products and Deliverables

This list of products and deliverables may be modified by agencies over time and items will be phased in as agencies and Secretariat are able.

    • Research vessel season overview
    • Research aircraft/UAV overview (to come)
    • Research field work overview (to come)
    • Public summary reports of agency field and research operations (to come)

Team leaders

Renee Crain (Wagner)
Arctic Research Support & Logistics (Website)

David Allen
NOAA, Arctic Research Program (Website)


Under the 2017-2021 Arctic Research Plan, the Field Operations Community of Practice:

  • Held meetings before and after field seasons to inform the research community and Arctic communities about field expeditions.
  • Maintained the research expeditions tracker to inform the research community and Arctic communities about field expeditions.