The United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC), the independent agency that advises the President and the Congress of US on domestic and international Arctic research through recommendations and reports, has just released a report unveiling their goals and objectives for Arctic research for 2015-2016. The US, which now hold the chairmanship of the Arctic Council until 2017 (read here the priorities of the US Chairmanship 2015-2017), has reaffirmed through USARC their commitment to address environmental changes in the Arctic, improve Arctic human health and enhance Internationla scientific cooperation ( the theme for the AC is indeed "One Arctic).
Here the press release by USARC:
In response to rapid changes in the Arctic, scientific research should be expanded and focused on six major themes according to the "Report on the Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research 2015-2016 for the US Arctic Research Program," a report released today by the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC). The Commission is an independent federal agency that was established in 1984 by the Arctic Research and Policy Act. The report is published biennially and may be found here. Fran Ulmer, who was just reappointed Chair of the Commission by President Obama, will present Secretary of State John Kerry with the report on May 21 at the Department of State, which is hosting a reception in celebration of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Last July, Kerry named Ulmer "Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy." The six priority research goals are to:
- Observe, Understand, and Predict Arctic Environmental Change
- Improve Arctic Human Health
- Advance Knowledge of Arctic Natural Resources: A Focus on Renewable Energy
- Advance the Arctic "Built Environment"
- Explore Arctic Cultures and Community Resilience
- Enhance International Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic
Ulmer said, "Dramatic changes in the Arctic environment, and the pace of resource development, combine to make it very important that public and private decision makers have access to relevant research, including timely and comprehensive information and a more thorough understanding of Arctic ecosystems, resources, and infrastructure challenges. The Commission strives to be an effective link between the people who do the research and those who need the results." The Commission's research goals help shape the national Arctic Research Plan, the most recent version of which was released by the White House on February 19, 2013, and may be found here. Implementation of this plan, developed by the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council, involves 12 teams from 14 federal agencies and nonfederal partners, constituting over 250 individuals. IARPC is currently considering how it will update this research plan.
The Commission's goals report will also inform the work of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee that was created by President Obama's Executive Order 13689, released in January. USARC's mission is to develop and recommend US Arctic research policy to the President and to Congress and to build cooperative links in Arctic research within the federal government, with Arctic residents, the State of Alaska, researchers and international partners.