Risk Management and Hazard Mitigation Collaboration Team

Securing and improving quality of life through research that promotes an understanding of disaster risk exposure, sensitivity to hazard, and adaptive capacity.

Scope of Activities

Research on risk exposure, sensitivity to hazards, and adaptive capacity are critical for ensuring safety and security in the Arctic. There is an immediate need for an Arctic research portfolio that builds community resilience and security with the fundamental purpose to provide for the well-being of all Arctic communities. It is imperative that the research portfolio is actionable and helps inform management and operational decisions. Risk management and hazard mitigation in the Arctic require a balanced research portfolio that provides actionable insights, services, and technology tools that protect communities at the local, state, and national level. Individual research disciplines will need to work in a multi-disciplinary fashion. Progress will be the result of fundamental and applied research, enhanced monitoring, sustained observations, and predictive modeling. Along with research, there must also be technology development and application. Development requires needs-driven efforts that look for scientific solutions to address foreseeable risk management and hazard mitigation in the near- and mid-term. Arctic communities and leaders responsible for infrastructure (e.g., villages, towns, cities, cultural resources, military installations, ports, air transportation, and pipelines) communicate the need for technologies and services based on their safety and security requirements. The below themes repeat across Federal government reports, state of Alaska-led climate change reports and implementation plans, community strategic management planning processes, the Alaska Legislature-led Alaska Arctic Policy Commission report, and the development of programs such as the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Center for Environmentally Threatened Communities, and others.

Arctic risk management and hazard mitigation challenges are diverse. These include, but are not limited to, advancing knowledge related to chronic hazards (e.g., climate change and its impacts, ocean acidification, sea level rise, environmental degradation, and coastal erosion), acute and episodic events (e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, wildfires, unusual mortality events, harmful algal blooms, shipwrecks, oil spills, and epidemics), and threats to holistic national security and all-domain awareness (e.g., communications fragility, cybersecurity, and response capability). The cross-cutting themes of resilience, hazard mitigation, threat reduction, and disaster response management are fundamental in reducing risk. To be successful, the combined research efforts across Federal agencies must address the entire spectrum of concerns from local environmental security to national security.

Hazards and risks cannot be effectively addressed by one entity alone. Resilience, hazard mitigation, and disaster management expertise are found across many Federal agencies and at many levels. This priority area seeks to manage and reduce risk by bringing researchers together with Arctic community members, planners, and leaders, Indigenous organizations, the state of Alaska, and emergency managers and service providers (operators and planners). By addressing this priority area over the next five years, the U.S. Arctic research community will have a better understanding of disaster risk exposure, hazard sensitivity, and adaptive capacity in the Arctic region to enhance existing and develop needed decision support products and services.

Team Leaders

Thomas Douglas
U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory

Steve Gray

John Vehmeyer

Anna Liljedahl
Woodwell Climate Research Center (Website)

Deliverables from the Arctic Research Plan

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.

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

  • 2.3.1 Observe, understand, and model processes to manage and mitigate potential and realized threats from coastal invasive species, biotoxicoses, and wildlife diseases on animals and human populations via existing research networks and initiatives, publications, participation in scientific meetings, and public engagement.
  • 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.

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.
  • DATA 1.3 Based on input from engagement activities, develop and update centralized documentation of thematic areas of interest, ongoing activities, and key documents and resources that can inform deliverables and future Biennial Implementation Plans.
  • DATA 1.4 Convene quarterly seminars, discussions, and training on FAIR and CARE data management in the Arctic. Ensure a diverse group of presenters and contributors are represented in these activities.
  • DATA 1.5 Develop a common format and structure (e.g., questions, prompts) for team meetings to help elicit and articulate perspectives on all aspects of FAIR and CARE to help work towards the community summary/synthesis products below.
  • DATA 1.6 Develop a summary document of perspectives on implementing FAIR and CARE in Arctic contexts.
  • DATA 1.7 Based on the summaries mentioned in DATA 1.6, develop concise (i.e., one-pager) public-facing documents on data management considerations to align with FAIR and CARE principles.

EDU 1 Develop a ONE STEM hub.

  • EDU 1.1 Establish a ONE STEM hub.
  • EDU 1.2 Provide access to STEM internships, skill development opportunities, and career pathways for those living in and/or with interest in the Arctic, in particular for rural and Indigenous communities.
  • EDU 1.3 Engage in ongoing and respectful dialogue with communities about education, training, and capacity building needs. Document feedback.
  • EDU 1.4 Use quarterly meetings to build the STEM Education team into a robust community that supports promotion of STEM careers and skills for rural and Indigenous students.

MOMP 1 Coordinate activities and communities of practice that bring together Arctic modeling, observing, monitoring, and prediction to advance Arctic research.

  • MOMP 1.2 Support development of metrics that measure key Arctic processes and implementation of these metrics in benchmarking packages to facilitate model validation against observations.

MOMP 2 Support assessment, gaps analysis, and intercomparisons to understand observational and modeling needs in Arctic research.

  • MOMP 2.1 Develop an online tool for the research community to support expert elicitation and data visualization for the value tree gaps analysis methodology.
  • MOMP 2.2 Conduct observational gaps analysis case studies using the value tree methodology to inform understanding of the capabilities, opportunities, and gaps in Arctic observing and data systems, with an initial focus on risk hazard and mitigation.
  • MOMP 2.4 Conduct workshops to identify Arctic modeling needs and priorities across research and operational modeling communities.
  • MOMP 2.5 Publish observing report tasked to the United States Arctic Observing Network (US AON) Board via IARPC.

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 3.3 Coordinate U.S. Federal Arctic observing and modeling research efforts with other relevant U.S. interagency groups (e.g., ICAMS, USCLIVAR, USGCRP, and USGEO) to identify priority activities to support the Arctic component of Earth System Predictability Research and Development Strategic Framework and Roadmap.

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.


To be added in 2023.