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2.

Special Focus
Interagency Research Programs

The Interagency Committee’s research policy • Take maximum advantage of remote sensing
states: and new technologies;
• Strengthen interagency data and information
The IARPC agrees that a more comprehensive
approach to funding of research and baseline pro- management;
grams is required to ensure a long-term, viable • Draw on the strengths of the academic, indus-
research and development presence in the Arctic. trial, and government research communities in
This presence will ensure support of the national planning and implementing programs;
needs, which include renewable and nonrenewable • Support and enhance programs to acquire
resource development, environmental protection, long-term measurements of key parameters
and partnerships with the private sector and resi- and environments; and
dents of the Arctic. It will complement other • Enhance international research collaboration.
national and international scientific programs, The U.S. has a substantial economic, strategic,
such as Global Change. To this end the IARPC
and environmental stake in the Arctic. Domestic
agencies agree to develop an integrated interagency
energy reserves and the growth in Bering Sea
program sufficient for meeting national needs.
fisheries harvests are two examples of our depen-
For this biennial revision of the plan, agencies dence on Arctic resources. Sound management
agreed that the following six programs are ready decisions for sustainable development of Arctic
for immediate attention as multiagency focused resources hinge on enhanced understanding of
efforts: the environment, leading to better forecasts. In
• The International Polar Year (IPY) addition, there is a strong international commit-
• Study of Environmental Arctic Change ment to collaborate.
(SEARCH) Benefits to the Nation from Arctic research
• Developing a Research Plan for a include improvements in:
Sustainable Bering Sea • Knowledge of fishery resources and control-
• Arctic Health Research ling dynamics;
• Research on Resource Evaluation • Models and data for assessing past climates
• Research on Civil Infrastructure. and global change and their effects;
These coordinated, multiagency programs are • International cooperation in a strategic
being designed to: region;
• Focus research activities in concert with • Forecasts of weather, ice, and ocean conditions;
national policy; • Protection of the Arctic environment;
• Build on individual agency efforts in recon- • Understanding of the causes, effects, and
naissance, monitoring, process studies, and limits of air and water pollution; and
modeling; • Protection and understanding of cultures
• Facilitate research and logistics coordination and cultural resources.
through regionally focused programs;

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2.1 The International Polar Year: 2007–2008

The years 2007–2008 will mark the 50th anniver- 2.1.1 National Science Foundation
sary of the International Geophysical Year (IGY)
and of the third International Polar Year. This International science years of the past, includ-
period has been designated the fourth Interna- ing IPY 1882–1883, IPY 1932–1933, and the Inter-
tional Polar Year (IPY) by the National Academies national Geophysical Year of 1957–1958, provided
of Sciences (NAS), the International Council for bursts of internationally coordinated research that
Science (ICSU), the World Meteorological Organi- led to significant discoveries about our planet and
zation (WMO), the Antarctic Treaty System and left a long-term legacy of data and observations
its adhering nations, the Arctic Council, and many for future generations. In particular, the IGY of
other international organizations. The National 1957–1958 brought a tremendous increase in our
Science Foundation (NSF) was designated by ability to predict weather worldwide, to measure
the President’s Office of Science and Technology the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheets, and to
to be the lead U.S. agency in organizing IPY understand the dynamics of Earth’s magneto-
activities. sphere. However, there are still significant gaps
Preparations are underway worldwide to make in our understanding of the polar regions and the
the IPY a period of intense activity that promises, processes that structure polar environments. For
in the words of the NAS publication A Vision for example, the factors in the Arctic that are respon-
the International Polar Year 2007–2008, to “fur- sible for increasing surface air temperature and
ther our understanding of physical and social pro- decreasing sea ice cover are poorly understood.
cesses in the polar regions, examine their globally In the Antarctic, little is known about why a
connected role in the climate system, and estab- portion of the West Antarctic ice sheet is rapidly
lish research infrastructure for the future, (and) … melting, thinning, and retreating, thereby contrib-
serve as a mechanism to attract and develop a new uting to global sea level rise. In both polar regions,
generation of scientists and engineers with the many organisms are adapted to withstand pro-
versatility to tackle complex global issues” (see longed periods of darkness and extreme cold, yet
http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11013.html). we do not understand how these adaptations
The 1957–1958 IGY and IPY activities greatly evolved or how these organisms may respond
increased our knowledge of the world around us to increased variability in the polar environment.
and provided profound legacies that continue to The NSF views IPY 2007–2008 as offering the
benefit research and researchers today. These potential for scientific advances of global impor-
activities also resulted in the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, tance comparable to those achieved in the previ-
which “promotes international scientific coopera- ous IPYs. NSF is poised to support the IPY in a
tion including the exchange of research plans and variety of ways and will emphasize three major
personnel and requires that results of research be research areas in an Announcement of Opportunity
made freely available.” The U.S. played a leading due to be released in the late summer of 2005.
role in shaping and implementing the 1957–1958 These areas of emphasis are compatible with
IGY activities and plans to do so again in 2007– the guidelines developed by ICSU and the U.S.
2008. IPY activities planned for this period are National Academies. They have evolved within
consistent with agency missions and the NAS the research community as high-priority topics
report of an implementation workshop (Planning derived from workshops and existing science
for the International Polar Year 2007–2008: programs. Education and outreach are also areas
Report of the Implementation Workshop, http:// where NSF, with its partners in other agencies,
books. nap.edu/catalog/11110.html). U.S. activities can make a significant impact on the understand-
during IPY 2007–2008 will focus on research, edu- ing of how polar regions influence society and the
cation, and public outreach efforts and will be global environment. Thus, NSF has a particular
coordinated among the Federal agencies and inter- interest in conducting activities in the polar
national partners that support research in polar regions that will leave a lasting legacy of data,
regions. observing capabilities, and educational resources
The following is a discussion of Federal agency for scientists and educators of the future.
planning for the International Polar Year. Within NSF, the Office of Polar Programs (OPP)

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is committed to implementing these activities with it is one of the least-studied areas of U.S. waters.
the assistance of the research and education In recent years, it has become evident that this
directorates. Partnerships for IPY will occur at seasonally ice-covered sea is subject to decadal
many levels—within NSF, through interagency changes in climate that have resulted in abrupt
collaborations, and in the international arena. The and unexpected changes in the ecosystem. Of par-
NSF directorates that have expressed interest ticular concern is the possibility that the combined
include Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and effects of climate change and fisheries removals
Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE), may shift marine ecosystems into alternate stable
Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineer- states that may have a lower yield of species valu-
ing (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Mathematical and able to people. Identifying the mechanisms driving
Physical Sciences (MPS), and Social, Behavioral ecosystem change, including social and cultural
and Economic Sciences (SBE). Federal agencies factors, in the Bering Sea is a key research need.
such as NOAA, NASA, NIH, USGS, DOE, EPA, and
the Smithsonian Institution, as well as national Ice Sheet Stability, Dynamics, and History
science agencies of other countries, have closely The global ice sheets are dynamic features that
related interests. Thus, maximizing the value from contain unprecedented records of climate over
partnerships is a key overarching theme for NSF the past several hundred thousand years. Future
as we plan for IPY. changes in the ice sheets of both polar regions
The following are areas where NSF will play a will affect sea level, and this is one of the major
significant role in IPY. uncertainties in Intergovernmental Panel on Cli-
mate Change (IPCC) climate models. In Antarctica,
Study of Environmental Arctic Change NSF expects to emphasize studies of the stability
SEARCH is a broad interdisciplinary, multi- and history of the major ice sheets. How do they
scale interagency program with the core goal of work, how fast are they changing, and what will
achieving a predictive understanding of recent they be like in the future decadal-to-century time
and ongoing changes in the Arctic environment. frame? Inquiry into these questions involves
In addition to understanding how changes in the direct studies of ice sheet dynamics but also
Arctic are interrelated, SEARCH will investigate includes work to understand processes important
the links between Arctic change and global pro- for interactions of ice sheets with the lithosphere,
cesses and will assess the impacts that Arctic oceans, and atmosphere. The combination of
change may have throughout the Northern Hemi- space-based and surface-based studies is critical
sphere. SEARCH will evaluate the possibility that to success in this area.
observed changes in the Arctic can be used to A comparison of the dynamic behavior of the
anticipate changes elsewhere on the globe. Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is also a
For the period of the IPY (2007–2008), NSF’s potential topic of IPY research. One component
principal interest related to SEARCH is the imple- of this comparative work may include obtaining
mentation of an Arctic Observing Network (AON). a high-temporal-resolution ice core in West Ant-
The purpose of AON will be to understand envi- arctica for comparison with the climate records
ronmental change in the Arctic system and its obtained from the Greenland ice cores. There will
interplay with global oceanic and atmospheric likely be an opportunity to leverage logistics sup-
circulation. AON will employ an Arctic-wide cover- port to the ice-core camp with support for other
age of standard integrated measurements, long- ground-based activity in West Antarctica and to
term observations, and modeling and analysis. couple detailed ground- and space-based obser-
Development of the AON system by U.S. scien- vations. The work in West Antarctica might
tists will be closely coordinated with related include traverse-based studies, or other types of
efforts being planned by the EC and a number of work that will be possible from our logistical hubs,
other nations. The combined international effort that could be linked to related work in East Antarc-
will result in a substantial increase in our ability tica as well as a study of change in the Ross Sea
to monitor and study change in the Arctic. region.
Research related to the Bering Ecosystem Because of the long lead time required for
Study (BEST) is also under consideration. The developing and implementing ice coring programs,
Bering Sea supports one of the most productive NSF is also looking at the IPY as an avenue to
fisheries in the world, contributing about 40% of create an international collaborative framework to
all finfish and shellfish landings in the U.S., yet facilitate international ice coring projects beyond

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the IPY. The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice seeking support from education programs for more
Sheets (CReSIS), a Science and Technology Cen- directed efforts, such as NSF’s IGERT and GK-12
ter led by the University of Kansas and supported programs, as well as Arctic Research and Educa-
jointly by NSF and NASA, will conduct and foster tion and Geosciences Education. Strong interna-
multidisciplinary research that will result in tech- tional partnerships in educational activities have
nology and models necessary to achieve a better developed in association with research programs
understanding of the mass balance of the polar ice in both polar regions. In the Arctic, such partner-
sheets (e.g., Greenland and Antarctica) and their ships include U.S. collaboration with groups from
contributions to sea level rise. The focus areas for Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Denmark,
CReSIS relate closely to the goals of IPY. Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In the Antarctic,
NSF-supported studies of ice sheet stability, partnerships include U.S. collaborations with
dynamics, and history will be conducted in close many nations that participate in the Scientific
coordination with related work supported by Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).
NASA, the British Antarctic Survey, the Institute OPP sponsored a workshop in June 2004
Polaire Emil Victor (France), and other nations. (www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~mkt/PolarED_Web.htm)
to bring together educators, researchers, media
Frontiers in Polar Biology: Life in Extreme Cold and museum outreach experts, agency representa-
and Prolonged Darkness tives, and others to discuss effective mechanisms
Ecologically important biogeochemical processes to conduct education and outreach in support of
begin before the traditional operational season in the IPY. The workshop highlighted many of the
polar regions and continue beyond the end of education and outreach efforts that have already
the traditional field season. Living organisms are been supported by NSF, including Teachers Expe-
known to continue functioning at temperatures riencing Antarctica and the Arctic (TEA), Teachers
well below freezing and during periods of pro- and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating
longed darkness. New technologies (genomics, (TREC), Antarctic Artists and Writers Program,
proteomics, etc.) offer the opportunity to gain various journalists in the field, museum exhibits,
a deep understanding of how organisms have and Research Experiences for Undergraduates
adapted to these extreme environments. The Long (REU). The NSF Education and Human Resources
Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites at Toolik Directorate (EHR) has been a key partner with OPP
Field Station in Alaska, at Palmer Station on the in many of these efforts and will play a key role in
Antarctic Peninsula, and in the McMurdo Dry Val- developing educational programs for IPY. The NSF
leys, as well as research platforms operating the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs will develop
Arctic and Southern Oceans, offer the opportunity an agency-wide outreach effort and will provide
to bring these new technologies to bear in research coordination for multiagency outreach.
on the polar regions. A recent NAS report, Fron- EHR plans to build on the fascination of stu-
tiers in Polar Biology in the Genomics Era (http:// dents with the remote polar regions to enhance
books.nap.edu/catalog/10623.html), describes their interest in science and engineering careers
some potential research benefits of these new tools. with the aid of educational materials developed
Within NSF, there is interest in OPP and in the in connection with IPY research. Other agencies,
Biology and Geology Directorates in this area of such as NASA and NOAA, have robust polar
research. OPP has examined the technical feasibil- research and education programs interested in
ity of extending Antarctic operations into the aus- supporting IPY efforts. NSF is developing the
tral fall and early winter and may be able to imple- foundation for international and interagency part-
ment such capability by 2007. Supporting winter nerships to bring together support and expertise
work elsewhere in the polar regions will require from the community of researchers and educators.
evaluation of options on a case-by-case basis. Another area where NSF can have a significant
IPY impact is in research on distance education,
Education and Outreach both in terms of technology and in terms of the
The Office of Polar Programs has maintained science of learning as it applies to different cul-
strong support for linking research in the polar tures. The aim of these efforts is to develop highly
regions with formal education and outreach to the visible, long-lived education and outreach prod-
public. NSF has fostered U.S. scientists’ interests ucts for IPY research and to provide opportunities
in sharing their research with broad audiences. for educating the next generation of polar
Many polar researchers have been successful in researchers, the public, and policy makers.

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Data Management research that addresses opportunities in the social
Archival and distribution functions for data sciences, systematic and biotic diversity surveys
required for support of Arctic and Antarctic IPY (e.g., the ongoing Census of Marine Life), imple-
research are distributed among all the U.S. nation- mentation of observing systems, and research in
al data centers. These data are held in global the Southern Ocean on the transport and fate of
archives at the National Climatic Data Center nutrients and carbon.
(NCDC) (climatology and meteorology), at the One example of research in the social sciences
National Oceanographic Data Center (oceanogra- is the study of endangered languages in Arctic
phy), at the National Geophysical Data Center cultures, where we have the opportunity to create
(seismology, geomagnetism, marine geology and a legacy of knowledge that will inform future
geophysics, solar and ionospheric studies, eco- generations of scholars while at the same time
systems, topography, and paleoclimatology), and strengthening local cultures. The Documenting
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Endangered Languages (DEL) program is a multi-
(upper atmosphere and ionospheric studies). For year funding partnership between NSF and the
example, data sets for a vast array of cryosphere- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to
specific variables in the Arctic (sea ice, snow cover, support projects to develop and advance knowl-
permafrost, etc.) are archived and distributed edge concerning endangered human languages.
through the National Snow and Ice Data Center This program is made urgent by the imminent
(NSIDC) and the World Data Center for Glaciology death of an estimated half of the 6,000–7,000 cur-
in Boulder, Colorado (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/ rently used human languages. Working with the
wdc/). These also include satellite-derived mea- SBE Linguistics Program, the OPP Arctic Social
surements, in situ observations, and ancillary Sciences Program has identified DEL as a natural
information from the Antarctic and the Arctic that IPY project. The unfortunate situation of the esti-
have been supported by NASA, NOAA, and NSF. mated 52 Arctic indigenous languages is no excep-
NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC in Asheville, NC, holds tion to the international prognosis. Following the
the global satellite data archives for polar-orbiting first DEL Announcement of Opportunity, over
satellites. 10% of the proposals were to research Arctic
For data management, a new focus on “Virtual languages, and the DEL Management Group antic-
Observatories” is being developed and promoted ipates that over 10% of the recommended propos-
by the “Electronic Geophysical initiative Year” als will be for research in the Arctic region. NSF
(http://www.eGY.org). As more researchers provide and NEH have agreed to funding for DEL for
their data on individual or institutional web or three years, with an evaluation and possibility for
FTP sites, rather than submitting to data centers, renewal in 2008, during the IPY. The IPY provides
the current “push data” approach (where the data an opportunity to bring publicity and resources to
must be submitted to the National and World Data the pressing issue of endangered languages in the
Centers System) is now becoming more difficult to Arctic.
implement. Therefore, the worldwide data manage- With regard to the implementation of observing
ment community is focusing on providing more systems, the National Ocean Partnership Program,
effective access to globally distributed data sets through the Ocean-US office, is pursuing the
via the “pull data” concept. The eGY group and establishment of an Integrated Ocean Observatory
the ICSU World Data Centers Panel are working System (IOOS). The IOOS is planned to include
toward a convergence of data centers into “data three “Regional Associations” in Alaska, includ-
clearinghouses,” while the Virtual Observatories ing the Chukchi Sea and North Slope, Bering Sea,
are developing a network of interconnected data and northeast Pacific. NSF is working with the
holdings and retrieving/visualizing software that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
constitutes the worldwide “data fabric.” NSF is and local groups to identify and support these
supporting the concept of Virtual Observatories regional associations. NSF is working with the
as a means of managing relevant data for IPY. research community in Barrow, Alaska, to develop
a plan for a major observatory to be located in that
Other Areas of IPY Research community, with an emphasis on research that
In addition to large-scale projects such as contributes to SEARCH and other high-priority
those mentioned above, NSF plans to support IPY Arctic programs. To enable the IOOS and to pro-
activities that address the ICSU and NAS guide- vide for a new generation of polar research, NSF is
lines in a broad spectrum of areas, particularly committed to supporting work in developing and

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deploying novel instrumentation. New work is energy sources. Sensors could be integrated into
especially needed in chemical and biological sen- a network that uploads data via satellites in real
sors (for example, for studies of nutrients and time. Upgrades and improvements of existing
plankton). In addition, a new set of platforms must infrastructure include improvements in the infor-
be developed for making and transmitting obser- mation technology infrastructure at research
vations from under the ice pack, including both hubs such as Barrow, Alaska; development of
gliders and autonomous underwater vehicles. unmanned sensor networks in the Arctic and
Finally, NSF will be deploying the first shore- Antarctic; development of remote power for sen-
based polar observatory off Palmer Station in sors, particularly using renewable resources;
January 2006 and is confident that this experience and improvements in field research facilities (e.g.,
will be invaluable in planning other polar coastal laboratory space and equipment, living quarters,
observatories. communications, and safety).

Logistics Support
Arctic and Antarctic Research Support and
2.1.2 Department of Energy
Logistics are supported through logistics con- DOE is planning to support the IPY in a variety
tracts and other agreements. These support con- of important ways through the Atmospheric Radi-
tracts provide a flexible mechanism that is capable ation Measurement Program and the Climate
of supporting a wide range of potential science Change Prediction Program.
and educational activities. NSF also works with
the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, the University– Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program
National Oceanographic Laboratory System The ARM Program will continue its year-round
(UNOLS), the Canadian Coast Guard, and others operation at the North Slope of Alaska (NSA) site.
to provide shipboard facilities for marine research This site is providing data about cloud and radia-
in both polar regions. Other support is available in tive processes at high latitudes. These data are
the Arctic through a cooperative agreement with being used to refine models and parameterizations
the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC) in as they relate to the Arctic. The NSA site is cen-
Barrow, Alaska, to provide research support and tered at Barrow and extends to the south to the
logistics for researchers working on the North vicinity of Atqasuk and to the east to Oliktok
Slope of Alaska and a cooperative agreement with Point. DOE will also support IPY-related proposals
the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University to conduct experiments using either the NSA site
of Alaska Fairbanks to support operation of the and/or the ARM Mobile Facility.
Toolik Field Station, an NSF LTER site. Coopera-
tion with other national polar research programs Climate Change Prediction Program
offers an avenue for supporting international The CCPP will continue research to develop
projects. coupled climate models. The CCPP is developing
One aspect of logistics support that is being ocean and sea ice models that are components of
explored is the feasibility of supporting year- the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). In
round research or extending the research season addition to coupled climate simulations, research-
at more locations in the polar regions than are now ers apply the ocean and sea ice models to a
set up to do so. (South Pole, McMurdo, Palmer, variety of ocean and sea ice problems, including
and Summit are staffed for year-round research, eddy-resolving ocean simulations, studies of the
plus there are remote sensors operating year-round thermohaline circulation, and polar ice feedbacks.
at a variety of locations.) Year-round research and CCPP also supports analyses of the causes and
research in remote areas is complicated and expen- consequences of biases in the mean climate and
sive to execute, yet it is necessary to provide ade- circulation of the Arctic.
quate spatial and temporal coverage to address
research questions. Evolving technology has 2.1.3 National Oceanic and
made it possible to collect many measurements
remotely through instrumentation or the use
Atmospheric Administration
of remotely operated vehicles. There are many NOAA will be supporting the IPY through pro-
improvements to be made to the technology to grams involving exploration, observations, predic-
ensure consistency of data collection under tion and modeling, and data, outreach, and deci-
extreme conditions and make use of renewable sion support.

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Ocean Exploration in Polar Regions in 1957, column ozone measurements were initiated
NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) at South Pole, Antarctica, using Dobson spec-
plans to support multiple projects in both the Arc- trometers. In 1985 the annual stratospheric ozone
tic and Antarctic in conjunction with the IPY. OE depletion over Antarctica—the “Antarctic Ozone
expects to solicit specific projects for the IPY via Hole”—was identified. In less than five years it
Federal Register announcements in calendar years was proven that the ozone hole was caused by
2005, 2006, and 2007. Ocean Exploration, together human-emitted fluorochlorocarbons (CFCs), and
with the Arctic Research Office of NOAA and the the ozone hole has become a globally recognized
Russian Academy of Sciences, will facilitate an “poster child” for showing how humans can cause
expedition to the Pacific Arctic in 2008, as part of global-scale changes.
the ongoing RUSALCA (Russian–American Long- The Arctic stratospheric ozone changes,
term Census of the Arctic) program. though lesser in magnitude than the Antarctic
ozone hole, are by no means of lesser importance.
Causes and Impacts of Recent Changes Key studies will be undertaken in the Arctic to
in the Pacific Arctic monitor these changes.
Unprecedented minima of sea ice area have
occurred in the Pacific Arctic during the three Short-term Arctic Predictability
most recent summers. Summer 2003 and 2004 The STAP study will explore the variability and
brought record forest fires and drought to eastern associated predictability of weather, sea ice, ocean
Siberia and Alaska after a decade of warm spring- wave, and land surface processes in the Arctic
time temperature anomalies. In surrounding seas region in the 3- to 90-day time range, with special
there has been a northward shift of ice-dependent emphasis on improving forecast guidance for high-
marine animals, with pelagic species such as pol- impact events in the 3- to 14-day lead time range.
lock favored over bottom-feeding flatfish. Many
Pacific Arctic changes are continuing, despite the Advances in Satellite Products and Their
observation that climate indices such as the Arctic Use in Numerical Weather Prediction
Oscillation were negative or neutral for six of the Spatially comprehensive observations of the
last nine years. The Pacific Arctic may be having atmosphere in the data-sparse polar regions sig-
a larger role in shaping the persistence of Arctic nificantly and positively impact high-latitude
change than has previously been recognized. numerical weather predictions. In addition, errors
NOAA will work with its partners to carry out in model forecasts for the high latitudes often
expeditions in this area to gather observations propagate to the mid-latitudes, implying that
about ecosystem indicators of climate change improvements to high-latitude forecasts will result
and to set up systems to monitor these changes in better mid-latitude forecasts. These findings
in the environment over space and time. provide the motivation to improve our ability to
measure the state of the polar regions with satel-
International Arctic System for lites and to expand the use of these data in numer-
Observing the Atmosphere ical weather prediction systems.
A system of strategically located, long-term
Atmospheric Observatories will be developed Arctic Climate Modeling
around the Arctic to carry out both routine measure- The general goal of this project is to improve
ments made at meteorological stations and inten- predictions of the Arctic environment on time
sive measurements at the surface and through the scales ranging from seasonal to climate change.
depth of the atmosphere. Measured quantities can Thus, NOAA’s research will focus on analyzing
include solar radiation, aerosols, air chemistry, trace and modeling the physical processes and telecon-
gases, cloud properties, water vapor, ozone, tem- nections between the Arctic and the rest of the
peratures, winds, precipitation, surface albedo, and globe.
stratospheric properties. The Atmospheric Obser-
vatory partnership includes the United States, Arctic System Reanalysis
Canada, Russia, Norway, Finland, and China. A concerted effort during the IPY to construct
pan-Arctic atmosphere–ocean–ice–land data sets,
Polar Stratospheric Ozone and to assimilate and enhance these with a high-
Depletion Observations resolution (coupled) reanalysis system optimized
As a part of the International Geophysical Year for the Arctic region, will provide researchers with

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an unprecedented description of the Arctic envi- 2.1.4 Department of State and
ronment over the past several decades. The opera-
tional analysis system (post-2008), expected to be
Department of Health and
a legacy of this activity, would provide constantly Human Services
updated depictions of the Arctic environment and Arctic Human Health Initiative
would foster improved short- and medium-range The AHHI will advance the joint research
weather forecasts as well as seasonal climate out- agenda of the Arctic Council, an eight-nation
looks. Improved understanding of Arctic climate intergovernmental forum for sustainable develop-
processes resulting from the development of the ment and environmental protection, in the areas
ASR will lead to better global climate models, in of infectious disease monitoring, prevention, and
turn reducing uncertainty in projected future cli- response; the effects of anthropogenic pollution,
mate states of the Arctic. The ASR will also serve UV radiation, and climate variability on human
as a vehicle for diagnostic evaluation of ongoing health; and telehealth innovations. Specifically,
changes in the Arctic system. the leaders of these research programs will build
on their years of circumpolar collaboration to
NOAA’s Data, Information, and Change extend the International Circumpolar Surveillance
Detection Strategy for the IPY network of hospitals and public health facilities
NOAA’s fundamental data management into Russia and include additional infectious
responsibilities will be to securely archive IPY diseases of concern, to continue monitoring
data sets and ensure that these and other relevant contaminants in human blood and tissues to
polar data are easily accessible for current and reveal temporal and spatial trends and to combine
future users. NOAA will utilize the existing World experiences from the rapidly expanding disciplines
Data Center (WDC) System and NOAA National of biomarker research and molecular epidemiology
Data Centers (NNDC) to serve as a clearinghouse with these monitoring programs, and to extend
and facilitator for data-management issues and will circumpolar cooperation on telehealth, particularly
work with IPY participants to ensure that ICSU/ to Arctic regions in the Russian Federation. In
WMO IPY Data Committee guidelines are fol- addition, the AHHI will draw on the outstanding
lowed. NOAA will also ensure that international leadership of the Arctic Council member states’
standards such as the Open Archival Information national and international research programs in
System Reference Model and the ISO19115 meta- the areas of human genomics, hypothermia/
data standards are met. hibernation, and health impacts of climate change
NOAA intends to build and maintain a pan- (including the spread of zoonotic and arboviral
Arctic view of climate variability and change that diseases in the Arctic).
will serve decision makers with information prod- The Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the
ucts. These range from baseline atlases against National Institutes of Health (NIH), as the desig-
which future assessments can be carried out, to nated DHHS lead in the Arctic Council and the
the Near Realtime Arctic Change Indicator web Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee
site, where information on the present state of (IARPC), plans to collaborate with other NIH
Arctic ecosystems and climate is given in histori- institutes and DHHS agencies to pursue these
cal context. priorities as well as to actively explore other
opportunities for trans-NIH and interagency
Decision Support collaboration (e.g., with NSF, NASA, etc.), such
The cornerstone of NOAA’s Regional Climate as mental health. For example, FIC is working
Decision Support program for Alaska and the Arc- with the National Institute of Mental Health
tic is to establish an integrated program spanning (NIMH), the Substance Abuse and Mental
stakeholder-influenced research and development Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
of decision support tools for the sustained deliv- and others to plan a symposium focusing on
ery of customer services. suicide prevention in the Arctic as part of the
This includes establishing in Alaska a Regional next conference of the International Association
Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) and a of Suicide Prevention, which will take place in
Regional Climate Center (RCC) with formal liaisons Durban, South Africa, in September 2005. It is
to NOAA’s National Weather Service and the expected that the outcomes of the symposium
State Climatologist Office to foster the growth will provide input for the 13th International
of climate services. Congress on Circumpolar Health, to be held in

17
Novosibirsk, Russia, in June 2006 as a “Gateway based monitoring of glaciers and icecaps for
to IPY.” volumetric changes and monitoring of thermal
The AHHI steering group, led by the U.S. changes in permafrost;
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will • Reconstruction of past climate and evaluation
work with the International Union for Circumpolar of current changes from sediment and ice
Health (IUCH), the FIC, and other partners to cores;
develop a program of outreach and public educa- • Monitoring and assessment of changes in rates
tion focused on the promotion of good health of coastal erosion and surficial process; and
for Arctic residents and better integration of the • Evaluation of changes in the status and distri-
findings of Arctic health research. The IUCH will bution of circumpolar vegetation, fish, and
make its triennial congress in 2006 available to wildlife (including invasive species) and
facilitate IPY health activities and its congress freshwater discharges in the Arctic.
in 2009 to underscore the health legacy of IPY.
Theme 3. Global Linkages
• Evaluation of the nature of Arctic and boreal
2.1.5 U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic interactions and the relationships
The U.S. Geological Survey serves the U.S. between climate and plant growth, productivity,
by providing reliable scientific information to: permafrost depth, and resulting effects on
• Describe and understand the earth; nutrient availability and heat source and
• Minimize loss of life and property from natural sinks; and
disasters; • Evaluation of the potential for methane
• Manage water, biological, energy, and mineral hydrate decomposition in a regime of Arctic
resources; and warming.
• Enhance and protect our quality of life.
The USGS intends to participate in the IPY Theme 4. New Frontiers
through extension and enhancement of program- • Development of a micro-seismicity array in
matic activities in research, assessment, and the Antarctic South Pole quiet sector for high-
monitoring in the polar regions that support the resolution studies of the earth’s interior;
scientific mission of the organization and address • Establishment of an absolute geomagnetic
the themes and goals of the IPY. These activities observatory at South Pole for long-term time
span biology, geology, hydrology, geography, series observations of variations in the
and information sciences and will include five earth’s magnetic field; and
themes: status, change, global linkages, new • Studies of extremophile interactions in polar
frontiers, and unique vantage point. geochemical and nutrient cycles.

Theme 1. Status Theme 5. Unique Vantage Point
• Research and monitoring of status and distri- • Establishment or extension of permanent
bution of fish, wildlife, and vegetation; monitoring infrastructure for permafrost,
• Determination of species at risk; global seismicity, and geomagnetic activity;
• Permafrost evaluation, including assessment • Assessment of energy resources in the
of thermal regime, organic carbon characteris- circum-Arctic area, including oil, gas, coalbed
tics, and distribution; methane, and methane hydrates; and
• Evaluation of hydrologic inputs, including • Production of geospatial data to include high-
the influence of large river deltas, snow- and resolution mapping and digital aerial photog-
water-borne contaminants, and freshwater raphy and the structuring of all data in a
inputs; and geospatially referenced knowledge manage-
• Evaluation of surficial and geochemical pro- ment system as an element of the USGS’s
cesses in understanding the changing polar Natural Science Network.
environment.
2.1.6 National Aeronautics and
Theme 2. Change
• Integrated monitoring for assessing regional
Space Administration
changes in carbon cycle of Arctic watersheds; NASA’s contributions to IPY likely will involve
• Extension of current ground and satellite- ongoing activities (operating satellites, continuing

18
ground networks, scientific research, and commu- Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to carry out the
nication/education/outreach), some episodic Antarctic Mapping Mission and the Arctic Snap-
activities (satellite snapshots and field cam- shot of Arctic sea ice characteristics at very high
paigns), new efforts related to the development spatial resolution using microwave remote sensing
and deployment of suborbital capabilities (aircraft methods (i.e, SAR). NASA expects to continue to
and unmanned aerial vehicles), and coordination develop these international efforts through a coor-
of remote sensing observations with in situ mea- dination of activities with its colleagues at space
surements supported both by NASA and other agencies in other countries.
agencies, primarily the National Science Founda- NASA is also implementing polar-oriented
tion. New opportunities associated with the Presi- missions that reach beyond Earth, including the
dent’s Vision for Space Exploration initiative are PHOENIX Mission that will land near Mars’s
also likely, particularly related to human–robotic North Pole in 2008, the Lunar Reconnaissance
interactions and concepts of operations in polar Orbiter that will map lunar polar regions for
regions as analogs for planetary settings. In addi- the first time starting in 2008, and the Mars
tion, NASA plans to land the first openly competed Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) that will explore
Mars “scout” mission (PHOENIX) near the north Martian polar regions in three dimensions from
polar ice cap of the planet Mars during the IPY as Mars orbit. Polar analogs in Mars exploration are
part of its ongoing campaign to understand the vital; for instance, scientists have used Earth’s
potential habitability of Mars as well as the polar polar regions to simulate aspects of Mars for over
climate on the red planet. Furthermore, NASA is 30 years. As an example, the Dry Valleys of Ant-
also interested in the polar regions of the Moon arctica are the best “Mars analog” known on
as potential human exploration sites and will be Earth, in terms of basic physical processes. The
undertaking orbital reconnaissance of these ASTEP Program (astrobiology) uses polar activi-
regions using a new array of remote sensing in- ties in Antarctic, Axel Heiberg, Svalbard, and
struments as part of the 2008 Lunar Reconnais- Siberia, and in the future potentially Iceland.
sance Orbiter (LRO) Mission in 2008–2010, during NASA efforts for the IPY are envisioned to
the IPY. These planetary polar activities naturally focus on:
dovetail with those being planned and coordinat- • Understanding of polar feedbacks in the Earth
ed by other Federal agencies and offer unique system;
opportunities for investigating the unique aspects • Development of a “snapshot” of the polar
of Earth’s polar regions during the IPY in a com- regions to serve as a baseline for future gen-
parative planetary framework. erations of observations, requiring coordina-
Currently, NASA operates 20 satellites that col- tion with international and industry partners;
lect information about the polar regions. The Ice • Ongoing satellite missions, including ICESat,
Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was Cloudsat/Calipso;
specifically designed to measure changes in the • New airborne surveys targeted at measuring
elevation of Earth’s great ice sheets and the ice land-ice elevation changes and thickness
sheet processes that are manifest in the surface characteristics;
topography in unprecedented detail. In addition, • Comprehensive observations of polar atmo-
the mission has revealed new information about spheric composition, dynamics, and thermo-
recent thickness characteristics of sea ice in the dynamics;
entire Arctic and Antarctic regions. Upcoming • Utilization of polar regions as a stepping
Earth orbital missions such as Cloudsat and Calipso stone to exploring planetary environments,
will provide three-dimensional information on the with emphasis on Mars and the Moon;
structure of Earth’s atmosphere, and, as with all • Understanding the poles of other planets and
near-polar-orbiting satellites, coverage will be at a similarities and differences to those on Earth;
maximum in the polar regions. Other polar aspects and
of the Earth system, such as storage and fluxes of • A sustained public engagement through a
freshwater and carbon, ocean biology, land cover suite of communication, education, and out-
and land use change, etc., are also being addressed reach efforts to allow individuals around the
by ongoing missions and scientific research. globe to explore science of the poles and life
NASA has demonstrated success in the past in on Earth.
developing comprehensive polar observations NASA continues to study Earth as a system
through international collaborations with the through the unique sampling capability afforded

19
by remote sensing. During the IPY and beyond, plans—all of which have been developed with
NASA will continue to develop this capability to interagency collaboration—are already underway;
understand polar processes, the role of the polar others need further discussion and are offered
regions in Earth’s environment, and the nature of here as ideas for consideration.
poles on other planets in our solar system. Devel- Of all U.S. governmental agencies, the Smithso-
oping and coordinating new scientific initiatives nian probably has the longest record of associa-
and opportunities associated with the President’s tion with IPY activities, because of its critical role
Vision for Space Exploration with other Federal in the first U.S. IPY field expeditions of 1881–1884,
agencies (NSF, USGS, and NOAA, for example) in caring for its collections, and in publishing
within the framework afforded by the IPY are many of its proceedings. Hence SI participation in
important aspects of NASA’s involvement. IPY 2007–2008 will include both historical and
contemporary dimensions.
2.1.7 U.S. Department of The SI contribution will be based on the insti-
tution’s time-tested strengths: the research of its
Agriculture scientific personnel, the special value of its museum
The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to collections as national treasures, and its broad
continue its mission-related activities in the Alaska public outreach program, coupled with the unique
region. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) position of Smithsonian museums on the National
will continue its work towards preserving Alaskan Mall and their special attraction to the general
plant diversity by preserving and archiving high- public and the nation.
latitude plant germplasm through traditional seed On the scientific side, the SI is already playing
collocation and modern molecular methods. The the leading role in framing the U.S. sociocultural
U.S. Forest Service, through the Pacific Northwest and Native studies programs based on staff exper-
Research Station, is responsible for managing the tise through the National Museum of Natural His-
Alaskan boreal forest and will continue its commit- tory’s Arctic Studies Center (ASC) and the value
ment in support of the Bonanza Creek LTER, which of its ethnological collections. An ASC Arctic eth-
takes place at the Bonanza Creek Experimental For- nologist is playing a key role in planning the IPY
est. The Natural Resources Conservation Service 2007–2008 social and cultural agenda as a member
(NRCS) will continue to provide assistance to of both the U.S. National IPY Committee and the
State, Native Alaska, and private landowners main ICSU–WMO Joint Committee for the Interna-
through the USDA Farm Bill. The Forest Service tional Polar Year. The ASC will continue its leading
and NRCS will continue their joint activities in per- role in the social and cultural planning through its
mafrost and wetland soil research. The Coopera- meetings, symposia, publications, exhibits,
tive State Research, Education and Extension Ser- coordination activities, and other means.
vice will continue its educational support for the Smithsonian scholars are also active in other
University of Alaska, which is the Alaska land- fields of Arctic and Antarctic research, particularly
grant institution. CSREES will also continue its in biology, paleontology, ocean, and astrophysics
extension activities through the Alaska extension studies that will be included in the Smithsonian’s
services and experimental research stations. IPY program. SI also curates the U.S. National
CSREES is currently contributing to the inter- Antarctic Meteorite collection.
agency Study of Environmental Arctic Change The Smithsonian offered to organize and host
(SEARCH) by providing resources to a joint solici- a national IPY symposium at the beginning of the
tation with NASA for proposals on land use and IPY 2007–2008 activities, with the participation of
land cover change. SEARCH is one of the primary the leading SI scientists and representatives of
activities of NSF for the IPY, and the USDA will other agencies and research institutions.
continue to work with the interagency working SI is eager to offer its Arctic and Antarctic col-
group of SEARCH to promote joint interests in lections (ethnological, botanical, zoological, min-
Alaska. eral, films and archival materials, etc.) and to facili-
tate all types of IPY collection research as its
contribution to the interagency IPY 2007–2008
2.1.8 Smithsonian Institution program. Of particular value are the ethnological
The Smithsonian is prepared to engage in a and biological collections from Barrow, Alaska,
variety of research, education, and outreach pro- Ellesmere Island (Greeley Expedition), and Ungava
grams in support of the IPY. Some of the following Bay, Arctic Canada, from the first IPY 1881–1884

20
expeditions, as well as scientific instrument collec- would have to be supported by substantial
tions and records of the early IPY stations, as well agency contributions.
as its the instrument collections from the IGY at
the Air and Space Museum. 2.1.9 Environmental
SI offers its space and personnel resources to
serve as the key IPY interagency hub for educa-
Protection Agency
tion, outreach, and public communication during EPA plans to support other agencies’ IPY
2007–2008 (and even earlier), through its museum efforts through its Environmental Monitoring
programs, outreach, and exhibit ventures. and Assessment Program (EMAP) and its involve-
The following are proposed IPY events for the ment in the Global Earth Observation System of
National Mall: Systems (GEOSS). For 15 years, EMAP has
• The first event will be the opening of the new developed cost-effective and policy-relevant
Smithsonian exhibit, Arctic: A Friend Acting sampling approaches for freshwater and marine
Strangely (October 2005), focused on the cur- resources. EPA has supported monitoring of
rent impacts and science of Arctic environ- coastal resources in south-central and southeast-
mental change. This exhibit has been pro- ern Alaska, as well as freshwater monitoring in
duced with financial support from NOAA and central Alaska. The State of Alaska has submitted
NSF and will be a part of the National Muse- an IPY “Expression of Intent” for Arctic and
um of Natural History’s “Global Links” Exhibi- Bering Sea Coastal Assessments. EPA will give
tion Program. non-budgetary support to this proposal. Other
• SI proposes organizing a national IPY sympo- agencies also may wish to support this effort
sium at the beginning of the IPY period and perhaps support a larger potential effort of
(2007–2008). developing a circum-Arctic or even circumpolar
• As part of this symposium, SI will organize coastal monitoring program, using EMAP
a small exhibit on the history of the early U.S. approaches, to obtain baseline conditions.
IPY efforts based on its collections, instru- This larger effort could be done in the context
ments, and photographic and documentary of IPY 2007–2008.
records. SI invites other agencies to join EPA is involved in GEOSS as a data collector,
resources in exhibiting objects or graphic integrator, and user. Also, EPA is co-chair of the
materials related to their own contributions GEO Secretariat’s User Requirements and Out-
to the U.S. IPY efforts. reach Subgroup. EPA is interested in how the
• The major Smithsonian public contribution ocean observing network is expected to be included
could be a much larger exhibit, such as Sci- under GEOSS and how all the other earth observa-
ence at the Poles: IPY 2007–2008, to publi- tions overlap with IPY. EPA looks forward to col-
cize its preliminary results and major accom- laborating with other agencies in GEOSS activities
plishments. This might take place in early or related to the IPY.
mid-2010 and, as a major public venture,

21
2.2 The Study of Environmental Arctic Change
2.2.1 Introduction this is driven by changes in atmospheric
forcing of the barotropic circulation.
The following discussion is drawn in part from • Permafrost warming (0.5°C) and thawing in
the Science Plan for the Study of Environmental the intermittent permafrost region of Alaska
Arctic Change (SEARCH) program, a research (Osterkamp and Romanovsky 1999) and warm-
program sponsored by the Interagency Arctic ing and thawing of permafrost in the Russian
Research Policy Committee. The Science Plan was Arctic (Pavlov 1994) since the late 1980s.
prepared by the former SEARCH Project Office, • Decreasing permafrost temperatures in east-
Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, ern Canada (Wang and Allard 1995).
University of Washington, Seattle. • Below-average Northern Hemisphere snow
In addition to U.S. SEARCH efforts, the Inter- cover in recent years by reductions in spring
national Study of Arctic Change (ISAC)—the snow cover since the mid-1980s (Robinson et
international umbrella for SEARCH—has led to al. 1993, 1995).
first discussions of coordination of research on • Decreasing mass of small Arctic glaciers
environmental change in the Arctic among many (Dyurgerov and Meier 1997, Dowdeswell et
interested nations. The International Polar Year al. 1997).
2007–2008 (IPY) offers an opportunity to consoli- • Drying trend, increased forest fires (Oechel
date and expand existing studies and implement a and Vourlitis 1996, Stocks 1991), and southern
network or system of measurements that is driven pest infestations in Alaska.
by the needs identified within the scientific com- • Long-term increase in river runoff (Petersen
munity as well as by stakeholders and planners. et al. 2003).
As discussed in detail in the SEARCH Science • Large increase in Bering Sea jellyfish popula-
Plan, observed changes in the atmosphere, in the tions. According to Brodeur et al. (1999) the
oceans, and on land in the Arctic are affecting biomass of large jellyfish in the Bering Sea
virtually every part of the Arctic and now have has soared in the 1990s.
potential impacts, both direct and indirect, on • Whale migrations shifting with decreased ice
human society. These changes include a decline extent (Tynan and DeMaster 1997, Treacy 1998).
in sea-level atmospheric pressure [typically a 2-mb • Increase in Barents Sea cod size with tempera-
decrease in multiyear averages (Steele and Boyd ture increases (Bogstad and Gjosaeter 1994,
1998) over the Arctic with a peak change of 4 mb Brander 1994).
near the center of the basin (Walsh et al. 1996), • More terrestrial plant growth. According to
or on the order of one standard deviation in AO the SEARCH Science Plan, studies point to
Index]. Other observed environmental changes increased plant growth (Mynemi et al. 1997),
include: northward advances of the tree line (D’Arrigo
• Reduced sea ice extent [3% per decade (Par- et al. 1987, Nicholls et al. 1996), increased fire
kinson et al. 1999)] and thickness [–42% in frequency (Oechel and Vourlitis 1996, Stocks
the last 25 years (Rothrock et al. 1999)]. 1991), and thawing and warming of permafrost
• Shift in the balance between Atlantic and (Pavlov 1994, Osterkamp and Romanovsky
Pacific waters and changes in salinity and 1996, 1999).
temperature (e.g. Morison et al. 2000). The Because of the interplay of natural and human-
revealing changes in upper ocean tempera- caused factors, we do not know if the recent
tures and salinities are five times the RMS complex of changes is part of a pattern of natural
variability in the 1970s and exceed extreme variability or the beginning of a long-term shift.
values measured in the corresponding loca- We also do not know what climate and ecosystem
tions in the previous 50 years (EWG 1997, processes may be involved or what the long-term
Steele and Boyd 1998). impacts may be. We do know that environmental
• Sea level rise in the Russian Arctic. There are changes in the Arctic can affect other global
2- to 20-cm increases in sea level in the Rus- systems in major ways, mainly by changing the
sian marginal seas over a 50-year period, with amount of solar radiation reflected from the earth’s
interannual variations on the same order (Pav- surface (snow and ice reflect energy that is
lov 2001). Proshutinsky et al. (2001) argue that absorbed by earth and open water) and by reduc-

22
ing the global thermohaline circulation by capping together. SEARCH is the first interagency effort to
the subarctic seas with fresh water and melted sea combine funding sources, disciplines and knowl-
ice flowing from the Arctic Ocean. edge from across the United States and around the
world to address an issue of this type. The effort
is designed to bring researchers together to share
2.2.2 Arctic Oscillation knowledge and learn from one another. It is unique,
SEARCH scientists hypothesize, and statistical given the complexity of the Arctic environment.
analysis and modeling studies tend to confirm,
that many of the changes listed in Section 2.2.1 are
related to a strengthening of the atmospheric polar
2.2.4 Critical Science Questions
vortex [e.g., SEARCH Science Plan 2001, Morison The recent changes in the Arctic are complex,
et al. 2000, Zhang et al. 1998, 2000, Maslowski but a key idea of SEARCH is that many of the
et al. 2000) as characterized, for example, by the changes can be thought of as an interrelated
Arctic Oscillation (AO), which is a natural mode complex of pan-Arctic change related to the atmo-
of atmospheric variation. The strengthened west- spheric circulation of the whole Northern Hemi-
to-east motion of the atmosphere associated with sphere (SEARCH Science Plan). As discussed
an increased AO brings more warm air to the above, it is relatively straightforward to argue that
Greenland Sea, Scandinavia, and Russia. a strengthened polar vortex can drive the observed
The cause for the 1990s increase in the AO is complex of change through the effect of wind stress
an important research question. Some modeling and the transport of heat and moisture. A critical
studies (Fyfe et al. 1999, Shindell et al. 1999) question is to what extent the response of the
suggest the AO is strengthened by the anthropo- Arctic can in turn affect the Northern Hemisphere
genic (human-caused) rise in greenhouse gases, atmospheric circulation through effects on albedo
but the recent changes are larger and earlier than or the freshwater cycle and global thermohaline
these models suggest. Therefore, while anthropo- circulation (SEARCH Science Plan). Based on
genic climate change may explain part of the observations by the indigenous populations of the
observed environmental changes, a significant part Arctic, which bear much in common with the sci-
of the change is likely an extreme example of natu- entific observations, it seems certain that the com-
ral variability. This large-scale pattern of change plex of change has ecological and social dimen-
interacts with more localized natural and anthropo- sions as well (SEARCH Science Plan). For example,
genic factors to change the climate at any one people who depend on sea ice for transportation and
location. We do not know if the recent complex of subsistence gathering report firsthand the effects
changes is part of a cyclic pattern of natural vari- of decreases in ice extent. The SEARCH program
ability or the beginning of a long-term shift. We will test these hypotheses in order to understand
also do not know if these changes can themselves the changes seen to date, track the changes into the
reinforce or slow environmental change. future, and help society to adjust to future changes.
Science questions related to these hypotheses will
guide the efforts of SEARCH. For example:
2.2.3 Goals • Are the changes seen in recent decades in the
SEARCH is a broad, interdisciplinary, multi- Arctic climate system consistent with natural
scale interagency program with a core goal of variability, or are such changes at least par-
understanding the complex of recent and ongoing tially attributable to human activity?
intertwined changes, with a view toward predic- • What is the interplay among atmospheric
tion. In addition to understanding how changes in circulation, ozone loss, and UV radiation?
the Arctic are interrelated, SEARCH will investi- • Can climate changes in the Arctic be
gate the links between Arctic change and global predicted or assigned a probability?
processes and will assess the impacts that Arctic • How will hemispheric or global climate affect
change may have throughout the Northern Hemi- or be affected by changes in the Arctic (atmo-
sphere. SEARCH will evaluate the possibility that sphere, ocean, land surface, and hydrology)?
changes in the Arctic can anticipate changes else- • How will seasonal weather patterns in the
where on the globe. Arctic and mid-latitudes be affected by
To be most effective in understanding the changes in the Arctic?
Arctic’s many systems and their interplay, many • What are the likely effects and consequences
resources and kinds of expertise must be brought of environmental Arctic change on the health

23
and well-being of Arctic residents? observing system. This system will require remote
• What are the likely effects and consequences and in situ systems focused on land, sea, air, and
of environmental Arctic change on ecosys- ice. It must provide the critical information on the
tems and key species of the Arctic? physical and biotic environment needed to meet
• How might Arctic-driven environmental the needs of SEARCH. The observing system
changes affect societies and U.S. national must be strongly coupled to modeling and data
security? assimilation efforts to ensure that the system’s
data are useful and used. This comprehensive
system must evolve to meet new requirements,
2.2.5 Major Activities comply with new strategies, and incorporate new
The changes of the last few years come at a technologies. Once new observing technologies
time when many of the large-scale observing sys- have been developed and proven in the field, a
tems of the past have declined or been eliminated. pathway will be needed to make these technolo-
For example, the large-scale hydrographic surveys gies operational. This pathway must include con-
and the ice camps maintained by the Soviet Union sideration of funding requirements, data quality
for many years have stopped (EWG 1997). Many and continuity, and data application.
of the weather stations in the United States, The observing system and models will provide
Canada, and Russia have been eliminated. There- useful information at different geographic scales
fore, according to the SEARCH Science Plan, a from local to regional to global. The use of
major emphasis of SEARCH is developing a long- satellite-based remote sensing is critical for pro-
term, large-scale program of observations, the viding the large-scale overview and finer-scale
related analysis and modeling, and activities to information when possible. Locally intensive
apply what is learned. SEARCH includes four observations will rely more heavily on in situ
major types of activities: observations. Whenever possible, these should
• A long-term observational program to detect be made with autonomous sensors or samplers.
and track the environmental changes; Continuous use of in situ data for calibration or
• A modeling program to synthesize observa- validation of remotely sensed data is essential
tions, test ideas about the coupling between and will require a multiagency approach.
the different environmental changes
observed, and predict their future course; 2.2.7 Summary of Agency
• Studies to test hypotheses about critical
forcing and feedback processes; and
Participation
• An application component to understand the Each participating agency will contribute to
impact of the physical changes on ecosys- SEARCH in ways consistent with its mandates,
tems and societies and to distinguish between strategies, and scientific capabilities. Each will
climate-related changes and changes due to undertake specific parts of SEARCH and share
other factors such as resource utilization, data, information, and understanding to achieve
pollution, economic development, and popu- the overall SEARCH goals. Results from SEARCH
lation growth. and other programs will provide the scientific
To achieve the goals of SEARCH, the agencies underpinning for Arctic regional and global
supporting it will invest not only in the four areas assessments of climate variability and change and
described above, but also in “infrastructure” associated impacts. Table 2 describes the major
activities such as: types of activity that each agency expects to
• Development of new observing technologies; undertake to support SEARCH.
• Creation of new computer-based models;
• Management and rescue of environmental 2.2.8 Resource Requirements for
data; and
• Construction and maintenance of field
Continuing Implementation of
facilities. SEARCH
The SEARCH program is planned as a long-
term effort to document and understand environ-
2.2.6 Observation and Modeling mental change and associated impacts. Given this
There is a need for the deployment of a com- long-term perspective, SEARCH can be successful
prehensive and sustained Arctic environmental even though all activities do not begin at the same

24
Table 2. Agency activity areas.

National Science Foundation Environmental processes research and observation, model development, observing
technology development, social sciences research, Native-led observatories

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space-based and airborne measurements of atmospheric and land/ocean surface
processes; model-based research

Department of Commerce/National Oceanic Sustained in situ ocean and atmospheric observations, data- and model-based
and Atmospheric Administration analyses, forecast services, impact assessments

Department of Defense/Office of Naval Research, Research and technology development leading to predictive capability for environ-
Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory mental conditions that affect defense operations

Department of Energy/Atmospheric Radiation Research on atmospheric processes, quantification of surface radiation budgets,
Measurement Program—North Slope of Alaska/ environmental modeling
Adjacent Arctic Ocean ARM Climate Research Facility

Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Use of protected and managed land areas for long-term terrestrial in situ observa-
Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, National tions; assessment of impacts of environmental change on glaciers, vegetation, fish,
Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals and wildlife; development of best management practices
Management Service

Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Impacts of high-latitude environmental change on plant germplasm, agricultural
Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, pests, soil quality, and boreal forests; assessments of environmental change on
Forest Service agricultural potential and forest resources.

Smithsonian Institution Research to understand current and past responses of society to environmental
change, and development of interagency outreach program

Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Coast Guard Logistics support for ocean and sea ice research and observations

All Integrated modeling and/or assessment efforts, joint studies, collaborative
publications

time. Agency planning processes are complex • Discuss and coordinate agency plans for
and require coordination. Over the next several budget requests to support activities related
years the participating agencies will further define to SEARCH and provide appropriate inter-
their individual roles in SEARCH and seek to agency assistance;
obtain the resources needed to implement those • Review agency activities that address
roles. SEARCH hypotheses and science questions
and coordinate agency activities;
2.2.9 Interagency Management • Facilitate international efforts needed to
address the SEARCH science questions;
of the SEARCH Program • Identify opportunities for and promote coor-
From its inception the Interagency Working dination of development and use of facilities
Group (IWG) of the Interagency Arctic Research needed for SEARCH;
Policy Committee has been responsible for devel- • Identify, encourage, and support activities to
oping the SEARCH program within the agencies. integrate and synthesize the results of sci-
The responsibilities of the IWG are to: ence supported by SEARCH funds; and
• Approve membership and “terms of refer- • Identify, encourage, and support outreach
ence” for the Science Steering Committee and education activities based on the results
(SSC); of activities supported by SEARCH funds.
• Review and approve science and science The SEARCH SSC will continue to provide
implementation plans prepared by the SSC scientific planning. In particular, it will develop
and its subsidiary bodies; the scientific bases for the thematic programs to
• Solicit science advice from the SSC and be implemented under SEARCH and will be instru-
develop responsive programs and plans; mental in devising means for synthesizing and

25
integrating the diverse information that SEARCH The position papers were circulated widely to pro-
will generate. The SSC will provide scientific liai- vide opportunities for the community at large to
son to international science groups and aid the express their views on the next steps of SEARCH
IWG’s efforts to achieve international implementa- implementation.
tion mechanisms. A report of this SEARCH Implementation
To provide guidance from different perspec- Workshop has been prepared (http://www.arcus.
tives and to open a channel for community and org/search/meetings/2005/siw/index.php). At the
stakeholder input during this period of SEARCH time of publication of this revision to the U.S. Arc-
evolution and implementation, the SEARCH SSC tic Research Plan (July 2005), the SEARCH Imple-
organized an implementation workshop that was mentation Workshop report is under review by the
held May 23–25, 2005, in Lansdowne, Virginia. SEARCH Interagency Program Management Com-
Preparation for the discussions during the work- mittee (IPMC, formerly Interagency Working
shop was guided by white papers prepared by the Group) of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy
three SEARCH panels: Observing Change, Under- Committee.
standing Change, and Responding to Change.

26
2.3 Developing a Research Plan
for a Sustainable Bering Sea
The Bering Sea, located between the Aleutian in the Bering Sea, and between 1989 and 2000 an
Archipelago and Bering Strait, is a marginal sea exponential increase in the biomass of large gelati-
that connects the North Pacific to the Arctic nous zooplankton occurred, which has since col-
Ocean. The Bering Sea region is productive and lapsed (Hunt et al. 2002).
ecologically diverse. Its multiple habitats are ideal There is a clear need to better understand the
as homes to a rich variety of biological resources. causal relationships between climate, primary and
The ecological riches of the Bering Sea have secondary production, and the population dynam-
attracted and supported aboriginal cultures for ics of upper-trophic-level organisms. Greater under-
millennia. Today, Bering Sea resources continue to standing about how these factors influence each
support the economic survival, subsistence, and other is vital for determining the relative roles of
cultural foundation for Alaska Natives. In addi- climate variability and fishery harvests in structur-
tion, the Bering Sea commercial fishery is a key ing the Bering Sea ecosystem and for understand-
economic force in the region. About 50% of all ing the region’s resiliency in the face of change.
fisheries landings in the United States in 1998
came from the Bering Sea (see http://www.pmel. 2.3.2 Arctic Research
noaa.gov/foci/overview.html). Walleye pollock
comprise much of the fish landings. Bristol Bay
Commission Charge
supports the world’s largest sockeye salmon fish- The Arctic Research Commission, in its 2001
ery, and snow crab landings represent the largest and 2003 Reports to Congress (http://www.arctic.
crustacean fishery in the U.S. gov), targeted integrated research and assessment
of the Bering Sea as key research priorities. The
Commission observed that concern about the Ber-
2.3.1 Changes in the Bering Sea ing Sea has engendered large and intense research
The Bering Sea is a seasonally ice-covered, synthesis and planning efforts. These efforts share
subarctic sea located at the southern extreme of a commitment by scientists from diverse disciplines
seasonal sea ice cover, and thus it is likely to be and organizations to come together to define the
exceptionally sensitive to variations in climate that most important research needs and to share research
impact the extent and duration of sea ice. Sea ice results. Significant research efforts have produced
is a forcing mechanism that influences the temper- important results. The Commission concluded:
ature and salinity of the water column, its hydro- • Greater integration of key Bering Sea research
graphic structure, and the availability of light programs is required.
for photosynthesis. As such, sea ice potentially • Current research has not enabled managers to
affects the timing, amount, and fate of primary pro- predict ecological responses to management
duction, the survival of larval fish, and the spatial decisions implemented within the Bering Sea
distribution of fish and their predators. Thus, region.
changes in the dynamics of sea ice, if they occur, • An integrated research program and a con-
can have profound influences on the ability of a certed effort are required to synthesize exist-
region to support diverse ecological communities ing and new information for an integrated
and fisheries. assessment.
Recent and rapid changes in the physical and
biological characteristics of the Bering Sea have
raised concerns (Overland et al. 2004). Changes in
2.3.3 Enhancing Research
the abundance of salmon, crab, and groundfish Continued research is critical to better elucidate
may result in significant economic impacts. Con- the mechanisms and processes of change in the
tinuing declines in some populations of marine Bering Sea as well as the Arctic. To meet the needs
birds and pinnipeds have prompted protective for an integrated assessment in the Bering Sea,
measures such as fish trawling closures around Federal partners will develop a strategic plan to
critical feeding areas used by the endangered clarify and connect scientific questions to man-
Steller’s sea lion. There have been unexplained agement needs.
blooms of phytoplankton never before recorded Since natural ecosystems, science, and man-

27
agement are all dynamic processes, an iterative integrated research and assessments. The
approach will be used to ensure linkages among expected outcome is a dynamic research plan
decisions that need to be made, new knowledge available to Federal agencies and others that
that will be obtained, and ongoing changes that capitalizes on existing research efforts and
will influence outcomes. The importance of this defines new research within a structured
process was reflected by the Polar Research Board framework for integrating research activity
of the National Research Council of the National and interpreting results.
Academy of Sciences, which published a study • Research implementation: New research will
on the Bering Sea ecosystem that included a set be initiated to evaluate predictive relation-
of recommendations emphasizing the vital link ships among natural and human influences on
between science and management, including: key values to be sustained. The research will
• Adopting a broad ecosystem perspective for investigate processes, trends, and effects, as
scientific research and resource management; well as monitor the impacts of management
• Adopting an adaptive management approach decisions. New information is fed back into
for Bering Sea resources; goal setting, synthesis, and planning for re-
• Evaluating how well management and research evaluating goals, refining conceptual models,
institutions are able to address emerging and developing updated research plans.
problems; • Ecological forecasting: To be useful to living-
• Providing appropriate management solutions; resource managers, the results of research
and must lead to the ability to provide forecasts of
• Developing research programs to help policy future ecological states. Research will be con-
makers solve short- and long-term ecological ducted to build coupled physical–biological
problems. models and to develop science-based prod-
ucts that provide value to resource managers.
Components of Strategic Integrated Research A long-term goal of this research is to specify
The Bering Sea Research Strategy includes five an ecological forecasting system that could
key components, each of which influences the be used in an operational setting for resource
others in an iterative framework. They include: management.
• Definition of a sustainable Bering Sea: Based The strategy is intended to be dynamic and to
on dialogue among interested parties, key involve interplay among research findings and
concerns, common interests, and desired environmental observations, desired management
outcomes from management actions will be outcomes, goal setting, and new insights that
determined. In this process the essential char- lead to new research. Strategy development will
acteristics of the Bering Sea are defined. This progress concurrently with ongoing research. The
will provide the necessary framework around outcome over the next several years is expected to
which to structure integrated assessments. include conceptual synthesis and a first-stage
Interviews were conducted with Federal and integrated assessment and research plan.
state officials and commercial and environ-
mental interests.
• Conceptual synthesis: Existing data will be
2.3.4 Bering Ecosystem Study
integrated to identify potential relationships The goal of the Bering Ecosystem Study
among forcing functions, ecosystem changes, (BEST) Program is to develop a fundamental
sources of stress, and ecological end points understanding of how climate change will affect
of concern identified in the goals. The process the marine ecosystems of the eastern Bering Sea,
is interactive, iterative, and interdisciplinary, the continued use of its resources, and the eco-
and it addresses the influences of multiple nomic, social, and cultural sustainability of the
natural and human stressors on ecological people who depend on it.
and human systems. The purpose is to learn A BEST Implementation Plan outlines the first
more from existing data, generate multiple phase of a ten-year research program focused on
working hypotheses about likely causal rela- the marine ecosystems of the eastern Bering Sea
tionships, and define essential research needs. and the people dependent on its resources. To
• Research plans: Based on the conceptual improve understanding of the variables and pro-
synthesis, research questions will be refined cesses shaping all aspects of the Bering Sea, from
and further research designed to produce physical forcing (atmosphere and ocean) to food

28
web responses including fish, seabirds, marine Bering Sea will involve the investigation of a full
mammals, and humans, fundamental research in suite of variables and processes that are linked
the physical, natural, and social sciences, appro- ecologically but divided by the research mandates
priate for funding by the National Science Foun- of different agencies and organizations. The BEST
dation (NSF), will be linked to studies funded by program must therefore be capable of integrating
other agencies with interests in this important a variety of complementary research efforts to
region. The BEST Science Plan (www.arcus.org/ develop a unified understanding. Collaborations
Bering/science_plan.html) outlines a broad range among scientists funded through NSF, NOAA,
of questions important for understanding how NASA, NPRB, BASIS, AOOS, USGS, and USFWS
climate variability could influence the ecosystems will be required to accomplish an end-to-end
of the eastern Bering Sea and their ability to sus- understanding of the eastern Bering Sea ecosys-
tain the goods and services required by people. tem and its users. In the face of the rapid ecosys-
Social scientists developed a parallel Science Plan, tem changes underway, this understanding is
Sustaining the Bering Sea (www.arcus.org/ essential to sustain the rich marine resources of
Bering/hbest/index.html), which outlines a commu- the eastern Bering Sea and the people and cul-
nity-based research program focused on the tures dependent on their harvest.
needs of the residents of Bering Sea communities Planning for a comprehensive study of the
to understand how climate variability will affect eastern Bering Sea began in September 2002 with a
their future. These two initially separate programs Planning Workshop in Laguna Beach, California.
have now been integrated into a single program Workshop participants agreed unanimously that
that will study the ecosystem as a whole, includ- there was an urgent need to improve our under-
ing the social implications of climate change and standing of the linkages between climate variability
the roles of people in the system. and the responses of the ecosystems of the Ber-
The BEST program will bring together physical, ing Sea, as detailed in the Workshop Report (http://
biological, and fisheries oceanographers; ecolo- www.arcus.org/Bering).
gists; climatologists; archeologists; and social sci- In March 2003, a second planning workshop
entists in a highly integrated and interdisciplinary was convened in Seattle, Washington, to develop
program. The work will draw on regional historical a Science Plan for the Bering Ecosystem Study
data sets derived from modern oceanographic pro- (BEST) Program (http://www.arcus.org/Bering/
grams over the last several decades, longer-term index.html).
instrumental and written records, and knowledge In March 2004, a workshop was convened in
of ecological change recorded by the multigenera- Anchorage, Alaska, with Bering Sea residents and
tional observations of local populations. BEST social scientists to outline possible goals of a
will develop the next generation of conceptual and social science plan for the Bering Sea. This work-
numerical models needed to link ecological and shop led to the development of the social science
physical change and provide better strategies to component of BEST, now integrated into this
anticipate and ameliorate climate-induced impacts implementation plan.
on subsistence and commercial resource users. In May 2005, an Implementation Workshop was
The study of ecosystem changes in the eastern held in Victoria, British Columbia.

29
2.4 Arctic Health Research
The Arctic Research Commission has recom- venting Emerging Infectious Diseases: A Strategy
mended: for the 21st Century,” focuses on four goals:
• Strengthening surveillance and response
“...a comprehensive, interagency study of Arctic
nationally and internationally;
Health. NIH has agreed to be the focal point for this
• Supporting research to understand and com-
effort focused primarily on the environmental health
questions outlined by the Arctic Monitoring and bat infectious diseases threats;
Assessment Program and on the study of incidences • Enhancing public health epidemiologic and
and trends in the major causes of morbidity and mor- laboratory capacity in the U.S. and interna-
tality in the Arctic. NIH should lead this effort with tionally; and
the assistance of other agencies, especially EPA and • Working with partners in public health to
NOAA. The potential effects of anthropogenic implement, support, and evaluate disease
contaminants such as persistent organic pollutants, prevention activities.
heavy metals and radionuclides are a growing concern The plan targets certain high-priority catego-
in the Arctic. The effects of both communicable dis- ries of emerging infectious disease problems and
eases such as tuberculosis, systemic diseases such as
special groups of peoples who are at risk for anti-
diabetes and cancer and external causes of illness and
microbial resistance, food- and water-borne
death such as alcoholism and accident likewise have
profound effects in the Arctic. The Commission diseases, vector-borne and zoonotic diseases,
eagerly awaits the organization of this multi-agency diseases transmitted through blood transfusions
effort under the leadership of the NIH Fogarty or blood products, chronic diseases caused by
Center” (Report on Goals and Objectives for Arctic infectious agents, vaccine development and use,
Research, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, 2005). people with impaired host defenses, diseases of
pregnant women and newborns, and diseases of
The Arctic Research Commission also travelers, immigrants, and refugees.
expressed interest that such a plan address health For the 2006–2010 planning period, the Arctic
concerns from two standpoints: What are the Investigations Program will target vaccine pre-
health concerns that people of the Arctic worry ventable diseases, antimicrobial resistance, chronic
about, such as pollution? What are the actual diseases caused by infectious agents, and bioter-
causes of morbidity and mortality in the Arctic? rorism response.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
2.4.1 Epidemiology and Health The NIGMS, through a partnership with the Indian
Health Service, is supporting a project carried out
Surveillance by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Research Goal: To understand the epidemiologic The study, funded in part by the National Institute
parameters of diseases important to Arctic resi- of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is determining
dents, providing data that will inform and guide the prevalence and serotype of chronic hepatitis
programs to prevent, diagnose, and treat such B, which may aid in understanding modes of com-
diseases, ranging from acute infectious illnesses munication of the disease.
to chronic conditions dependent on diet and life-
style. The Centers for Disease Control and Pre- Occupational Injuries and Disabilities
vention has been the lead in these activities. National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health. The CDC’s NIOSH, Alaska Field Station,
Infectious Diseases in collaboration with the Indian Health Service, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s State of Alaska, the Alaska Native Tribal Health
Arctic Investigations Program. AIP, based in Consortium, and the Alaska Native Health Board,
Anchorage, Alaska, is a division of the National will continue studies on the epidemiology, risk
Center for Infectious Diseases. Its mission is pre- factors, and prevention strategies for occupational
vention and control of infectious diseases with a injuries in Alaskan communities. Using surveil-
focus on diseases of high incidence and concern lance and analysis as information for action, injury
among the indigenous populations of the Arctic prevention partnerships have helped contribute to
and subarctic and emerging and re-emerging a 61% decline in occupational deaths in Alaska
infectious diseases. CDC’s long-term plan, “Pre- from 1990 through 2004. The Alaska Field Station

30
has focused recent work through two initiatives in in maternal blood and urine samples and in umbili-
Arctic research: cal cord blood in Alaska Natives. The POP levels
• Fishing industry: The commercial fishing in these samples will be related to pregnancy out-
industry contributes high numbers of fatal come (e.g., full-term live birth, miscarriage, birth
and severe non-fatal injuries. NIOSH is exam- defects) and to the rate of infectious diseases in
ining vessel stability and the deck environ- the infant’s first year of life. The Health Studies
ment surrounding the deployment and retrieval Branch plans to continue enrolling women and
systems of fishing equipment (including the their infants indefinitely and expects to add
use of cranes, winches, lines, nets, crab pots, regional hospitals and health consortia from
and crab pot launchers) from a mechanical across Alaska. A newsletter is being developed
and safety engineering perspective. to update study participants about the study’s
• Aviation safety: Since 2000, the U.S. Congress progress.
has supported a Federal initiative to reduce Another study examines the relationship
aviation-related injuries and fatalities and to between environmental exposures and breast can-
promote aviation safety in cooperation with cer. Pregnancy history, dietary history, and other
the air transportation industry in Alaska, relevant risk factors are being analyzed, and labo-
through a partnership of four Federal agen- ratory analyses of blood and tissue for POPs and
cies: the Federal Aviation Administration, the other analytes is underway. Aggregate results will
National Transportation Safety Board, the be reported to Alaska Native health consortia and
National Weather Service, and NIOSH. A study subjects.
large survey of the air taxi industry and a
study examining the roles of fatigue and inex- 2.4.2 Biomedical and Behavioral
perience in aircraft crashes have been com-
pleted, and the results have recently been
Research
published. The information from these studies Research Goal: To uncover new knowledge that
is enriching discussions with the industry will help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat
about how best to implement changes to pre- disease and disability, thus improving people’s
vent crashes in Alaska. This concerted effort health and saving lives. The spectrum of research
involves collaboration between government includes basic through applied and clinical
agencies, industry, and NGOs applying research, with the ultimate goal of translating
research findings to develop higher voluntary research results into interventions and communi-
standards of practice and improved training cating research findings to patients and their fami-
and supervision regimes. The goal is to lies, health care providers, and the general public.
reduce the number of aircraft accidents and The National Institutes of Health has been the
injuries in Alaska by at least 50% by the end lead in these activities.
of 2009.
In addition, the Alaska Field Station will collab- Infectious Diseases
orate in the integrated surveillance system for dis- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
ease and injury in the Arctic, linking to the Inter- Diseases. The NIAID promotes the development
national Circumpolar Surveillance system. of vaccines, diagnostic tests, and drug therapies
National Institute of General Medical Sciences. to prevent and control infectious disease.
For rural, subsistence, or working class families, Hepatitis: Researchers supported by NIAID are
disabilities can have profound effects on entire investigating the relationships between hepatitis
families. The NIGMS, through a partnership with C virus replication, evolution, and disease pro-
the Indian Health Service, is supporting a study gression in Alaska Natives. Complete histories of
that examines the prevalence of disabilities in the patients, including their estimated date of
Alaskan communities. infection and alcohol history, are being obtained.
Blood and liver specimens are being collected
Chronic Diseases both retrospectively and prospectively in order to
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s examine levels of and variation in the virus and to
National Center for Environmental Health. The compare these with disease progression. This
Health Studies Branch of the National Center for study of a well-defined Alaska Native population
Environmental Health is monitoring selected per- may lead to many key answers regarding the natu-
sistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals ral history of hepatitis C and may impact its future

31
treatment worldwide. cross-sectional study will add a longitudinal
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Since 1994, component to document recognized and emerging
the NIDA has been funding basic and applied risk factors for CVD through analyses of morbidity
research at the University of Alaska Anchorage on and mortality surveillance data. The investigators
drug abuse and related conditions in the Alaska will assay contemporary samples and serum speci-
Native population. Several of these research mens, which have been stored at the CDC office
projects have produced data on the co-morbidity in Anchorage for 10–20 years prior to this study,
of sexually transmitted diseases in Alaska Native for specific markers of inflammation and serologic
drug users, as well as other relationships to HIV responses to infection. In addition, the project will
risk, alcohol use, and unemployment. use genome-wide scan data from families to com-
plete a linkage study of CVD risk factors. This is
Chronic Diseases the first project to identify and map genes that
National Institute of Environmental Health contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease
Sciences. The NIEHS supports research programs in this unique and understudied population.
to define and understand the effects of environ- The NHLBI and the Canadian Institutes of
mental chemicals and other factors on human Health Research (CIHR) co-sponsored a Working
health. In the Arctic, one important factor is that Group meeting in July 2004 entitled “Research
of persistent chemicals, specifically chlorinated with Arctic Peoples: Unique Research Opportuni-
aromatics, being transported to cold regions and ties in Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Disorders” to
remaining there because of the “sink” effect of low address three objectives related to research with
temperatures. Arctic peoples. The meeting was international in
The NIEHS continues to have a small grant scope, with investigators from Greenland, Iceland,
program that attempts to assess health effects and Russia, as well as Canada and the U.S. The
from these contaminants. One program seeks to meeting concluded with a list of ten recommenda-
define dietary risks and benefits in Alaskan villages tions covering research priorities, barriers and
from bio-accumulated chemicals in traditional solutions to Arctic research, and international
foods. Another focuses on the mechanism of comparisons. The report of the meeting is avail-
effects of PCB compounds in children and on able at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/meetings/work-
methods to assess damage to development. Other shops/arcticpeoples.htm.
studies look for metabolic changes that might Additional discussions have been held
affect toxic impacts so that preventive and treat- between NHLBI and CIHR staff regarding poten-
ment modalities can be developed. Toxicogenomic tial joint activities. Several collaborative research
studies are likewise attempting to understand vari- opportunities are under consideration.
ability in response to such exposures. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alco-
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. A holism. The goal of the NIAAA is to identify the
study supported by NHLBI is a working partner- causes and consequences of abusive and chronic
ship between the Native-owned corporation that alcohol consumption and to develop effective
manages the health care of the Alaska Natives of treatment and prevention strategies for adverse
Norton Sound and investigators from the Strong consequences of drinking. Over the next five
Heart Study, a 14-year study of cardiovascular dis- years, NIAAA plans to continue the following
ease in American Indians. These Native villages studies in the Arctic region:
are remote and isolated, and the traditional life- • Prevention: This study will determine the
style is being eroded by mechanization and a effect of alcohol availability and other control
westernized diet. There has been relatively little policies on alcohol-related consequences in
outside genetic influence, and the Alaska Natives, Arctic communities.
like the American Indians of the lower 48 states, • Genetics and Environment: This study will
are beginning to show a marked increase in the address individual variations in behavioral
prevalence of atherosclerosis and coronary artery responses to alcohol that are directly linked
disease. to the influence of inheritance and environ-
The aims of the initial five-year $7.8 million ment, including the role of extended periods
study, begun in FY 2000, were to document cardio- of darkness in responsiveness, the role of
vascular disease (CVD) and associated risk factors adaptive mechanisms of prolonged stress, the
among 1,214 Alaska Natives who are members of impact of corticosteriod activation on health
approximately 40 families. This family-based, and survival, and differences in expression

32
between men and women. Research. The NIDCR, in collaboration with the
• Treatment: This study will test the efficacy of NIGMS and the Indian Health Service, is focusing
pharmacological adjuncts to alcoholism treat- on children’s oral health, specifically on community
ment in Alaska Native populations. intervention to reduce toddler obesity and caries.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. The NIDA American Indian youth experience the highest
is supporting a study investigating stigmas and rates of childhood obesity and early childhood
barriers to receiving treatment for drug abuse, caries in the U.S. population. At the same time,
mental health disorders, and HIV/STDs among obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes,
Alaska Natives. The project will make significant which is now occurring in American Indian youth
contributions to health services research in the as well as adults. The greatest dietary shift over
Arctic and other frontier and rural areas, leading the last 20 years has been the replacement of
to a better understanding of rural health problems water, milk, and juice with soft drinks and other
and their solutions. NIDA plans to include studies sugared beverages, coinciding with increases in
of a previously overlooked problem—rural run- energy consumption and leading to childhood
away youth—a group at extreme risk for sub- obesity and early childhood caries. Researchers
stance abuse, mental health disorders, and infec- working with the Northwest Tribal Health
tious diseases, as well as violence and other forms Research Center are testing whether community
of abuse. Another NIDA research grant is devel- and family-based interventions can alter patterns
oping a community trial to prevent inhalant use of recreational drink consumption in expectant
in Alaska. mothers and their offspring and extend the length
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive of breastfeeding, and whether such behavioral
and Kidney Diseases. The Nonalcoholic Steato- changes can impact childhood obesity and caries.
hepatitis Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN) If successful, the intervention will have great sig-
is a multicenter collaborative effort of clinical cen- nificance for the many tribal communities, includ-
ters and a data coordinating center, supported by ing those in northern regions, facing similar issues.
the NIDDK, which is intended to accelerate clini- National Cancer Institute. The NCI is support-
cal research and progress in understanding the ing several research projects related to Arctic
pathogenesis of NASH, defining its natural history, health:
and developing safe and effective means of treat- • Alaska Native Tumor Registry: The Alaska
ment. A comprehensive database for two clinical Native Tumor Registry was initiated in 1974
trials (one in pediatrics and one in adults) has through a collaboration between the NCI and
been started. Ancillary studies are currently under the CDC, using procedures developed by
development. Research to date suggests differ- NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End
ences in epidemiology among different racial Results (SEER) Program. Subsequently, the
and ethnic groups; therefore, efforts to include Alaska Native Medical Center became a part-
a diverse participant population are critical. The ner in the program through the Indian Health
University of Washington is the major referral Service, with technical assistance provided
clinic for liver disease for Alaska, Washington, by the University of New Mexico. Accurate
Montana, and Idaho. A large proportion of the information on the unique cancer patterns
patients are Asian or from the Pacific Islands, His- occurring in this population is useful for pro-
panic, or Native American. The university also vider education and training, program plan-
serves the entire Alaska Native population, mak- ning, studies of cancer etiology, evaluation of
ing the institution uniquely positioned to enroll screening programs, and the development of
NASH patients of Alaska Native ancestry as well. interventions to improve patient care and pro-
National Institute of General Medical Sciences. grams for cancer prevention and risk reduc-
The NIGMS, through a partnership with the Indian tion. The registry is participating in several
Health Service, is supporting two projects carried research projects, including a study examin-
out by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium ing the relationship between breast cancer
regarding nutrition: and exposure to environmental organo-
• The Alaska Native diet and assessment of the chlorines among Alaska Native women and
nutrition of subsistence foods; and the Nicotine Research and Tobacco Control
• Maternal nutrition during pregnancy among Program.
Alaska Natives. • Network for Cancer Control Research among
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial American Indian and Alaska Native Popula-

33
tions: This network of researchers, estab- research collaborations between the Alaska
lished through NCI’s Surveillance Research Native Medical Center and institutions with
Program in 1990, developed a National Strate- established programs in stroke research.
gic Plan for Cancer Prevention and Control National Institute of Child Health and Human
Research in 1992. The NCI shares support for Development. The mission of the NICHD is to
network meetings with the Mayo Comprehen- ensure that every person is born healthy and
sive Cancer Center. The web address is http:// wanted; that women suffer no harmful effects from
mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/ reproductive processes; that all children have the
cancercenter/nativenetwork.cfm. chance to achieve their full potential for healthy
• Tobacco and Health Disparities Research Net- and productive lives, free from disease or disability;
work: Tobacco is the leading cause of pre- and to ensure the health, productivity, indepen-
ventable illness and death in the U.S. Unfor- dence, and well-being of all people through opti-
tunately, certain groups, including racial/ mal rehabilitation.
ethnic minorities, women, youth, blue-collar • SIDS and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Since
and service workers, and those of low socio- 2003, the NICHD, in partnership with the
economic status, remain at high risk for National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alco-
tobacco use and exposure and suffer dispro- holism, has funded a network of community-
portionately from tobacco-related illnesses linked studies to investigate the role of prena-
and death. To answer remaining questions tal alcohol exposure in the risk for sudden
about the causal mechanisms underlying infant death syndrome (SIDS) and adverse
disparities, NCI’s Tobacco Control Research pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth and
Branch is developing and implementing the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The long-term
Tobacco and Health Disparities Research Net- goal of the network is to decrease fetal and
work. The network is a unique endeavor that infant mortality and improve child health in
aims to advance the science in understanding these communities. The clinical sites will be
the etiology, prevention, and treatment of working with Northern Plains Indian commu-
tobacco use and nicotine addiction among nities and populations in the Western Cape
underserved populations in the U.S. (includ- of South Africa. Although these sites do not
ing Alaska Natives) and to translate that involve Alaska Native communities and popu-
knowledge into practice and inform public lations in the Arctic, study findings may have
policy. potential relevance to these groups.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders • Other relevant research priorities: Aside from
and Stroke. The NINDS anticipates funding a SIDS, aspects and outcomes of other signifi-
cooperative agreement that will support the devel- cant ongoing research activities of the
opment of a state-wide, population-based Alaska NICHD may have relevance for Arctic health
Native Stroke Registry at the Alaska Native Medi- research, even if these activities currently do
cal Center. It will create a model registry to con- not target populations in the Arctic. These
duct research on the epidemiology and manage- include the impact of environmental factors
ment of stroke among Alaska Natives, support on fetal and newborn health and develop-
research strategies to reduce the burden of stroke ment; interaction between nutrition/food and
in the population, and strengthen the research environmental exposures; fetal exposure and
capabilities of the faculty at the Alaska Native origins of obesity and diabetes; and all mat-
Medical Center. The primary goals of the Alaska ters related to nutrition and health and devel-
Native Stroke Registry are to: opment. In addition, there may be opportuni-
• Define the natural history and clinical course ties to undertake vaccine-related research
of stroke among Alaska Natives, including with indigenous populations of the Arctic
incidence and prevalence, risk factors, clinical region.
management, and health outcomes such as
residual physical disability and mortality; 2.4.3 Information: Acquisition,
• Develop research programs to prevent stroke
and improve the quality of care provided to
Assembly, and Dissemination
Alaska Natives to minimize stroke sequelae; Research Goal: To develop a responsive system
and for handling health information transfer in the Arc-
• Enhance opportunities for multidisciplinary tic, ranging from telemedicine systems utilized in

34
health care delivery, to an Internet-based health the range of needs from the homeless to
information network for researchers and the gen- women at risk of having their children taken
eral populace, especially Native and other popula- away for abuse or neglect.
tions (such as the Circumpolar Health Information • Health Services: A research evaluation to
Center). examine factors associated with success in
National Library of Medicine. In the fall of disseminating the State-of-Alaska-funded
2000, the NLM committed to developing an Arctic rural human services program for serious
health web site to help organize and disseminate emotional problems or disturbances.
pertinent information regarding health issues in In addition, in partnership with the Indian
the Arctic, including the health effects related to Health Services, SAMHSA, the Canadian Insti-
the bioaccumulation of toxins in the environment. tutes of Health Research, and Health Canada,
This web site, located at http://www.arctichealth. NIMH is undertaking follow-on collaborative
org, includes health information related to the activities identified as priorities during a joint con-
indigenous populations of the U.S. Arctic, a data- ference, held in September 2005, to address the
base of information about research projects going issue of suicide prevention in indigenous popula-
on in Alaska, and health-related information rele- tions in the U.S. and its territories and Canada.
vant to very cold climates as well as much local National Cancer Institute. With support from
Alaska information. Goals for the web site include the NCI, the Network for Cancer Control Research
working with indigenous peoples of the Arctic and the Mayo Comprehensive Cancer Center
to collect and organize information on traditional established the Native CIRCLE, a clearinghouse
medicine that may otherwise not be accessible to for research-based information and resources.
non-Native scientists, collecting and organizing Many useful, culturally sensitive materials, includ-
information that may not yet be digital, and serv- ing school curricula, videos, pamphlets, and
ing as a focal point for linkages with other Arctic survey instruments, are catalogued and made
countries for information dissemination. NLM is available to researchers and communities for appli-
working with the Consortium Library and the Insti- cation in the areas of smoking prevention, cancer
tute for Circumpolar Health Sciences, both at the screening, and dietary change. The web address
University of Alaska Anchorage, to maintain and is http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/
develop this web site. cancercenter/native.cfm.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences. National Institute of Child Health and Human
The NIGMS, through a partnership with the Indian Development. The NICHD is working with Ameri-
Health Service, is supporting several projects can Indian and Alaska Native communities to
carried out by the Alaska Native Tribal Health identify and develop outreach programs that
Consortium. One applied study investigates the increase the awareness and reduce the risk of sud-
degree of concordance of diagnosis of effects of den infant death syndrome (SIDS) among Ameri-
telemedicine versus live diagnosis. This study is can Indian and Alaska Native infants. The out-
significant because of the challenges of delivering reach programs will provide a vehicle for health
health care to rural Alaska. care professionals and other outreach workers to
National Institute of Mental Health. Since interact with community leaders, including small
1986, the NIMH has supported the American group discussions with public health nurses, com-
Indian and Alaskan Mental Health Research Cen- munity health representatives, elders, and other
ter. This center conducts research and promotes caregivers of infants. Some of the issues and strat-
research training and leadership development egies to be discussed include:
appropriate for Native communities, disseminates • Developing a community-owned project;
research findings to communities and practitioners, • Incorporating the indigenous culture and tra-
and aids organizations in developing skills to con- ditions, such as encouraging the use of cradle
duct mental health research. The center has initi- boards and using talking circles;
ated activities in the following areas: • Involving elders in educating young parents;
• Treatment: Working with the Cook Inlet Tribal • Using public health nurses, community health
Council, the nonprofit arm of the Cook Inlet representatives, and home visiting programs
Region Corporation, a web-based manual is such as Healthy Start;
being developed to address the continuum of • Focusing education on women’s health, pre-
care needed for Alaskans with alcohol, drug, and post-pregnancy; and
and mental disorders. Care programs address • Focusing on alcohol and smoking issues.

35
The NICHD plans to use information gleaned ing with the National Institute of Mental Health,
from previous meetings with community leaders the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
and discussion groups to develop materials, coali- Administration, and others to undertake follow-
tions, and an infrastructure that the communities on collaborative activities identified as priorities
can use when developing and conducting out- during an international symposium focusing on
reach programs. As a result of these interactions, suicide prevention in the Arctic, held in Septem-
representatives from the tribes and individual ber 2005. The discussions and recommendations
communities may tailor informative action plans are expected to provide input for the 13th Interna-
for community-driven SIDS risk reduction strate- tional Congress on Circumpolar Health, to be held
gies that meet the unique needs of their local com- in Novosibirsk, Russia, in June 2006 as a “Gate-
munity members. way to IPY.”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Diseases. The NIDDK, via its National 2.4.4 Infrastructure and Capacity
Diabetes Education Program, promotes a public Building
awareness campaign: “Move-IT! Reduce your Risk
of Diabetes.” This campaign is targeted to Native Research Goal: To build up the capacity of Arctic
youth to encourage physical activity in order to institutions and organizations for competitive par-
reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. ticipation in the research enterprise (i.e., their abil-
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial ity to obtain research grants) through training
Research. The NIDCR-supported Northwest/ and support of facilities or center-type grants.
Alaska Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparity, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
located at the University of Washington, focuses The NHLBI will continue to develop the research
on reducing socio-cultural barriers to improve oral capacity of Alaska Native organizations and indi-
health of vulnerable children in the Pacific Rim, viduals through the existing Genetics of Coronary
including the northern regions of Alaska. The Artery Disease in Alaska Natives (GOCADAN)
project seeks to better understand information study and other potential funding awards currently
regarding feeding practices and to develop cultur- under review. The goal will be to establish grant
ally appropriate communications methods that will funding for one or more Alaska Native organiza-
ultimately assist in the design of an appropriate tions. In addition, any grants funded in Alaska by
web-based tool (EthnoDent) to improve the cultural NHLBI will be strongly encouraged to recruit and
competence of dentists who serve such popula- train staff from within the study population and to
tions as Native American and Alaska Natives. utilize the NIH’s minority supplement mechanisms
National Center for Research Resources. To to support training for one or more promising
educate and inform the Alaskan public about Native students in biomedical research.
health science research so they can make healthier National Cancer Institute. The NCI continues
lifestyle choices, NCRR, through its Science Edu- to support several training programs in the area of
cation Partnership Awards (SEPA) program, sup- Arctic health:
ports the Imaginarium’s Health Outreach Caravan, • Native American Student Research Program:
which forms partnerships with the scientific, pub- Community-based Cancer Control: This
lic health, educational, and cultural communities; research and training program for American
develops mobile, hands-on, interactive, and cul- Indian and Alaska Native graduate and post-
turally appropriate health-related programs; and doctoral students is a collaboration between
develops a Health Science Teen Volunteer Corps the Indian Health Service, Oregon Health Sci-
across remote, culturally unique regions of Alaska ences University, and the tribe-operated
to facilitate linkages among biomedical scientists, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.
village elders, and local community and school • Education for Healthcare Providers of Alaska
programs. The program is designed to stimulate Natives: Palliative Care: Cancer is now the
Alaskan students’ interest in science, particularly leading cause of death for Alaska Natives,
those students in remote rural areas of Alaska who surpassing trauma and infectious diseases,
are traditionally under-represented in the science which were leading causes of death for many
professions. Ancillary activities in addition to the years. Given that the majority of basic primary
Teen Volunteer Corps will include teacher profes- care for Alaska Natives is provided by village-
sional development and health fair festivals. based workers and community health aides,
Fogarty International Center. The FIC is work- whose training and experience is primarily in

36
primary and acute care, health care providers NCRR continues to develop Alaska’s research
are often ill-prepared to provide palliative care capacity through funding from the two compo-
to patients nearing the end of life. This pro- nents of the Institutional Development Award
gram is designed to address educational (IDeA) program: the Centers of Biomedical
needs related to system-wide implementation Research Excellence (COBRE) award and the IDeA
of a comprehensive, integrated, and culturally Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence
sensitive palliative care program for Alaska (INBRE).
Natives. A well-trained palliative care team will The University of Alaska’s Center for Alaska
become the core trainers once the program is Native Health Research (CANHR), funded
implemented. through COBRE, has enrolled 777 participants in
National Institute on Aging. The Native Elder Yup’ik villages and will continue to enroll new par-
Research Center/Resource Center for Minority ticipants for community-based epidemiological
Aging Research, supported by the NIA, provides studies of biological and environmental variables
an administrative structure, supported by a com- in metabolic disorders and obesity. The center’s
prehensive array of unique programs, that directs cultural behavioral core will continue to dissemi-
and coordinates a culturally relevant, scientifically nate key information to participating villages, with
meritorious research career development program Yup’ik research assistants trained to give presen-
targeting American Indians and Alaska Natives. tations using the Yup’ik language and culturally
This project also is designed to augment already attuned symbols and concepts. In addition, the
active partnerships with these communities to center will exploit enhanced cyberinfrastructure
ensure continuous access to and involvement of supported by NCRR to form networks with senior
elders, their families, and local systems of care in investigators outside of the state, creating a broad
the aging research process. It is housed within the and strong foundation for future growth and pro-
Division of American Indian and Alaska Native ductivity.
Programs of the Department of Psychiatry, School The INBRE award to the University of Alaska
of Medicine, at the University of Colorado Health provides support to build a network that will
Sciences Center. broaden and strengthen capacity and performance
National Institute of Nursing Research. The in biomedical research by supporting faculty and
NINR has expanded its activity in infrastructure providing research opportunities that will expose
and capacity building in the Arctic through its undergraduate students within the state to pro-
Centers Program. Specifically, in FY 2004 the mote careers in biomedical research. The research
University of Washington’s Center for Women’s efforts focus on environmental health, with an
Health and Gender Research formalized its collab- additional focus on molecular toxicology of sub-
orative relationship with the University of Alaska sistence species and on infectious agents, includ-
Anchorage’s School of Nursing. The University of ing zoonotic diseases. The INBRE award also
Alaska is now a part of the Research Development supports an outreach program for smaller Alaska
and Partnership Core at the Center. colleges, hospitals, and health corporations to
National Institute of Neurological Diorders attract students and faculty and engage them in
and Stroke. The NINDS, along with the National INBRE research projects. The ultimate goal of the
Institute of Mental Health and the National Center INBRE program is to enhance science knowledge
for Research Resources, is collaborating in the of the Alaskan workforce and expand the under-
joint sponsorship of the Alaskan Basic Neuro- graduate student pipeline into health careers, with
science Program at the University of Alaska particular attention to Alaska Native students.
Fairbanks. This program is intended to establish, Fogarty International Center. The FIC is solic-
expand, and enhance competitive research pro- iting grant applications for its new International
grams in basic neuroscience at minority institu- Collaborative Trauma and Injury Research Train-
tions. It is expected also to facilitate the develop- ing Program. This program, co-funded by seven
ment of collaborative research and to stimulate NIH partners, the CDC’s National Center for Injury
the active participation of Alaska Native students. Prevention and Control, the Pan American Health
The research projects will examine themes of inter- Organization, and the World Health Organization
est to Alaskan peoples, including circadian (WHO), aims to raise awareness of the human and
rhythms, hibernation mechanisms, and neural economic costs caused by trauma and injury,
development and repair. which are leading causes of death and disability
National Center for Research Resources. The globally, particularly in the Arctic. Training will

37
build skills and knowledge on how to address ment of a state action plan for integrating
most effectively this challenge across the range of mental health and substance abuse services,
basic to applied science, the epidemiology of risk this effort will be accomplished through a
factors, acute care and survival, rehabilitation, and five-year COSIG grant (awarded in 2003) to
long-term mental health consequences. Alaska to support infrastructure develop-
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services ment, focusing on staffing competency, cre-
Administration. The mission of SAMHSA is to dentialing, and licensure; financial planning
build resilience and facilitate recovery for people and reimbursement; and information sharing
with or at risk for substance abuse and mental ill- and data collection.
ness. SAMHSA works in collaboration with the • Targeted Capacity Expansion (TCE) Program:
states, national and local community-based and This grant program expands treatment oppor-
faith-based organizations, and public and private tunities and capacity in local communities
sector providers. Although SAMHSA does not experiencing serious, emerging drug problems
conduct research per se, it supports numerous and in communities that propose innovative
activities relevant to capacity development in solutions to substance abuse treatment needs
Alaska: not previously met. Specialized initiatives
• Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for emphasize strengthened services for youth,
Excellence: This center coordinates activities adolescents, and minority communities, par-
to ensure that advances in both science and ticularly in rural areas, and support services
practice are synthesized and efficiently dis- for persons in recovery (e.g., from metham-
seminated to the field. The center’s mandates phetamine and other emerging drugs), in
include the study of innovative clinical inter- particular those addressing the twin issues
ventions, identification of communities with of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. Alaskan
exemplary comprehensive systems of care, grant recipients have included the Yukon
provision of technical assistance and training Kuskokwim Health Corp., the Copper River
to individuals in service systems, and devel- Native Association, the Fairbanks Native
opment of innovative techniques to prevent Association, and the Cook Inlet Tribal
alcohol use by women in childbearing years. Council.
• Circles of Care Program: This SAMHSA pro- • Access to Recovery Program (ATR):
gram provides grants for tribes and urban SAMHSA’s signature treatment services
Indian communities to plan, design, and program is a state-run voucher program for
assess culturally specific mental health ser- substance abuse clinical treatment and/or
vice system models for American Indian and recovery support services. ATR is designed
Alaska Native children and their families. to expand capacity by increasing the number
• Child Mental Health Initiative: This coopera- and types of providers, including faith-based
tive agreement provides grants to states, providers; allow recovery to be pursued
political subdivisions, and tribes or tribal through many different and personal path-
organizations to develop community-based ways; and require grantees to manage perfor-
systems of care for children (and their fami- mance, based on outcomes that demonstrate
lies) with serious emotional disturbances. patient successes. While Alaska is not a cur-
• Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and rent ATR grantee, it will be eligible to apply
Treatment (SBIRT): This five-year discretion- again in FY 06 when the program is proposed
ary grant program is designed to assist states, for expansion to allow seven additional
territories, and tribes in expanding the contin- awards to be made.
uum of care available for treatment of sub- Health Resources and Services Administra-
stance use disorders. The Cook Inlet Tribal tion. The HRSA works to expand access to high-
Council, Inc., of Anchorage is one of seven quality, culturally competent health care and to
SBIRT grantees. improve health outcomes among Alaska’s minority
• Co-Occurring State Incentive Grants (COSIG): communities through the National Health Service
Alaska has committed to improving the identi- Corps and support of community health centers.
fication and treatment of individuals with The agency also enhances direct medical care in
co-occurring disorders through a diverse ser- Alaska through the use of telehealth technology
vice delivery system of improved screening, and promotion of the Health Disparities Collabora-
assessment, treatment, and training. In fulfill- tive approach to disease management through

38
HRSA-funded community health centers. projects focusing on indigenous peoples of the
In addition, an HRSA grant to the Alaska Psy- North through the CDC, the NIH, the Indian
chiatric Institute (API), Alaska’s state psychiatric Health Service, and several health organizations
hospital, provides funds for API to work with the in Canada.
Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network to National Cancer Institute. The NCI is engaged
extend the clinical infrastructure of API to rural/ in a binational collaboration with Canada on the
remote areas of Alaska and integrate behavioral cancer burden in Native populations. In the U.S.,
health services with primary care and Native cancer is the second leading cause of death for
health clinics through the use of telemedicine. American Indians and the leading cause of death
As part of a quality improvement effort associ- for Alaska Natives. In Canada, cancer is the third
ated with its community health centers in Alaska, leading cause of death, following injuries/poison-
the HRSA supports health disparity collaborative ings and cardiovascular disease. The First Nations
activities, which focus on specific topic areas. and Inuit population of Canada experience health
Examples include the following centers: disparities similar to those of American Indians
• Anchorage Neighborhood Health, Anchor- and Alaska Natives in the U.S. (i.e., a gap of 6.4
age: Diabetes and Depression years and 4.7 years in life expectancy, respectively,
• Eastern Aleutian Tribes, Anchorage: Depres- compared to the general population). The purpose
sion and Cardiovascular Health of the project is to assemble and analyze cancer
• Edgar Nollner Health Center, Galena: Diabetes surveillance data on the Native populations in the
and Cardiovascular Health U.S. and Canada—culturally and genetically related
• Illiuk Family and Health Services, Unalaska: but exposed to different health care and social
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Health environments—into a profile of North American
• Interior Community Health Center, Talkeetna: cancer surveillance and cancer burden that could
Diabetes and Depression. lead to improved understanding of risk factors
and effective preventive interventions. The Alaska
2.4.5 International Circumpolar Native Tumor Registry described in Section 2.4.2
will play an important role in this collaborative
Collaborations project.
Research Goal: To promote the collaborative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
efforts of scientists across the eight circumpolar Arctic Investigations Program. The Anchorage-
nations to facilitate comparison of environmental based AIP coordinates the International Circum-
monitoring results, disease rates, development of polar Surveillance (ICS) system, which links exist-
new approaches, and dissemination of best prac- ing public health laboratories and facilities in
tices and care. This will lead to a more comprehen- Arctic countries to address emerging infectious
sive understanding of the effects of environmental diseases. This initiative follows the CDC’s Global
pollution, climate change, and cultural impacts on Disease Strategy: “Protecting the Nation’s Health
Arctic populations. in an Era of Globalization,” which defines CDC’s
In September 2004, the National Institutes global health priorities in six areas:
of Health (NIH) and the Canadian Institutes of • International outbreak assistance;
Health Research (CIHR) signed a letter of intent to • A global approach to disease surveillance;
strengthen research cooperation on health issues • Applied research on diseases of global impor-
of priority to American Indians, Alaska Natives, tance;
Canadian First Nations, Métis, and Inuits of the • Application of proven public health tools;
U.S. and Canada. The agreement builds on an ear- • Global initiatives for disease control; and
lier one, signed in May 2002, between the U.S. • Public health training and capacity building.
Department of Health and Human Services and For the 2006–2010 planning period, AIP will
Health Canada (equivalent to the Ministry of continue to develop public health partnerships for
Health), which recognized common objectives of the international circumpolar surveillance of inva-
improving the health status of First Nation and sive bacterial diseases (those caused by Strepto-
Inuit peoples in Canada and American Indians and coccus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae,
Alaska Natives in the U.S. and sharing knowledge Neisseria meningitidis, and Group A and B strep-
to improve approaches to Native peoples’ health tococcus) in the U.S. Arctic (Alaska), northern
issues. Together, these agreements represent sig- Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, and
nificant institutional support for collaborative Sweden. This network of networks provides data

39
for tracking the emergence of antimicrobial resis- characterized, homogenous, longitudinal popula-
tance and the impact of programs for prevention tion sample from the Icelandic Reykjavik Study.
of invasive bacterial diseases. During this plan- This allows the use of mid-life data in conjunction
ning period, opportunities will be explored to ini- with old-age measurements to determine pheno-
tiate surveillance of tuberculosis, hepatitis B, types of interest for genotyping—a tremendous
and HIV and to extend the surveillance system to advantage, since diseases of old age are known to
include northern regions and oblasts of the Rus- change risk factors and biomarkers. AGES focuses
sian Federation. In addition, ICS will expand its on traits from four biologic systems reflecting the
scope to include integrated surveillance of non- multi-system effects of aging:
infectious diseases and injuries in the Arctic • Neurocognitive: cognition, dementia, depres-
region. sion, neurosensory (vision, hearing, balance);
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious • Cardiovascular: atherosclerosis, arterial dis-
Diseases. The NIAID has established the Popula- tensibility, ventricular and valvular disease;
tion Genetic Analysis Program: Immunity to Vacci- • Musculoskeletal: spine and hip osteoporosis,
nation/Infection. An Icelandic company, deCode hip osteoarthritis, strength and function; and
Genetics, a component of this program, was • Metabolism and body composition: obesity,
awarded a contract to conduct research on genetic sarcopenia, and hyperglycemia/diabetes.
polymorphisms in candidate immune response The AGES Study has enrolled about 5,100 sub-
genes, including those for transcription factors, jects (including 1,000 people ages 80 or older) as
cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion and co- of July 2005. The enrollees include persons with
stimulatory molecules, in an Icelandic population. diverse physical and cognitive function, a large
Approximately 500–1,000 cases and an equal num- proportion of whom meet suggested criteria for
ber of controls will be enrolled in Iceland under frailty.
that country’s human subject protection rules. U.S. Civilian Research and Development
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alco- Foundation. The NIH, together with NSF and the
holism. Working with local communities and in U.S. Department of State, will continue to support
collaboration with other Federal agencies, the collaborative research projects, some of which are
NIAAA is supporting a study of maternal drinking relevant to the Arctic, between U.S. scientists and
and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), their counterparts in the former Soviet Union
which will advance understanding of the roles through the U.S. Civilian Research and Develop-
of environment, culture, and general intellectual ment Foundation (CRDF) and its Cooperative
functioning in the phenotype of FASD by compar- Grants Program. During the period 2006–2010, one
ing neuropsychological tests and brain imaging project in particular is relevant to Arctic health:
studies of children in the U.S., Helsinki, and Mos- • “Spectrum of Mitochondrial DNA Mutations
cow. The project also will develop a core team of in Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy in
expert diagnosticians at all consortium sites. Russia/Siberia”: This project, carried out by
National Institute on Aging. The NIA supports collaborators at the Institute of Cytology and
research in international Arctic health through its Genetics in Novosibirsk and University of
Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Study California Irvine, focuses on the study of the
(AGES), an intramural project carried out in collab- genetics of migrating populations from north-
oration with the Icelandic Heart Association’s ern Russia and the lower Arctic. The study
Reykjavik Study. The collaboration is a study of will provide additional and precise informa-
genetic susceptibility and gene/environment inter- tion relevant to genetic epidemiology of mito-
action as these contribute to traits and pheno- chondrial disease and natural DNA variation,
types common to old age. The study uses a well- in an evolutionary context, in this part of the
world.

40
2.5 Research on Resource Evaluation
In its 2003 Report on Goals and Objectives for The Arctic Research Commission requests that the
Arctic Research, the Arctic Research Commission Department of the Interior resume its resource evalu-
provided the following statement and recommen- ation activities and cooperate with the other Federal
dation: Agencies, the State of Alaska and institutional part-
ners to provide widely available and comprehensive
“The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation coverage of all federal lands in Alaska.”
Act of 1980 (ANILCA §1010) directs the Secretary
of the Interior to “assess the oil, gas, and other min- The Department of the Interior has continued to
eral potential on all public lands in the State of assess the energy and minerals of Alaska, and its
Alaska in order to expand the data base with respect bureaus have published numerous reports on this
to the mineral potential of such lands.” The Depart- subject. However, with the renewed interest in
ment of the Interior conducted and published several information on the oil, gas, and other mineral poten-
of these assessments. However, for the last several tial on public lands in the State of Alaska, the
years the program has not added to the information Department of the Interior will initiate discussions
on the resources on Alaska public lands. The envi-
with Interior bureaus and other departments to
ronmentally sound and sustainable use of the
determine the feasibility of resuming publication of
resources on the vast area of federal lands in Alaska
(about 66% of the State’s area) is essential for both an annual report on these topics. IARPC expects
the state and the nation. Resource exploitation pro- to work with the Department of the Interior to
vides the nation with needed materials and energy develop this initiative in the context of funding that
while providing expanded economic opportunities is made available during the period of this revision
for the population of the State. to the U.S. Arctic Research Plan (2006–2010).

41
2.6 Research on Civil Infrastructure
In its 2003 Report on Goals and Objectives for states has been available for years. Full coverage of
Arctic Research, the Arctic Research Commission the U.S. Arctic region at high precision (1m × 1m ×
provided the following statement and recommen- 1m) does not exist and is critically needed.
dations:
The Commission recommends that the Department
“Understanding climate change in the Arctic is an of the Interior take steps to acquire and make avail-
important goal, as the SEARCH Program has recog- able precise geospatial data for maps of the U.S.
nized. It is at least equally important, however, to Arctic.”
begin the task of finding ways to cope with the The USGS has initiated the National Map
effects of climate change, particularly on Arctic infra- Program in Alaska through the Alaska Geographic
structure. The effects of infrastructure problems on
Data Committee’s (AGDC) Alaska Digital Ortho-
human life in the Arctic are particularly noted above
Imagery Initiative. The AGDC comprises over 45
in the section on Arctic Health. These difficulties are
compounded by climate change. The destabilization Federal, state, local government, university, and
of structures by changes in permafrost, changes in nongovernmental institutions, including private
coastal communities caused by changing in sea level industry. The AGDC developed a set of technical
and in the frequency and strength of storm induced requirements and a strategic plan with required
wave action, changes in weather patterns requiring funding and timelines that would provide high-
changes in aircraft operation and many others require resolution ortho-imagery and high-resolution
a strong commitment to engineering research in the DEMS for the entire state. Work on the AGDC
Arctic. The Commission is encouraged by arrange- initiative was formally begun in FY 02 with the
ments between the U.S. Army’s Cold Regions acquisition of interferometric synthetic aperture
Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and
radar (IFSAR) imagery (for DEM production) and
the University of Alaska to bring the nation’s most
high-resolution color aerial photography for the
able engineering talent to bear on these problems.
CRREL is recognized around the world as an inter- Northeast Study Area of the National Petroleum
national treasure of expertise in Arctic engineering. Reserve of Alaska. DOI invested approximately $1
million in FY 02 for this pilot study through USGS
The Commission recommends continuing support contracts with private industry, supplemented
for the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engi- with funding from the BLM.
neering Laboratory and encourages their participation In FY 03 the USGS and BLM expanded the
in infrastructure research in Alaska. coverage over NPR–A. The strategy is to focus
the work on areas of the state where high-resolu-
Accurate and precise geospatial (map) data are essen- tion data are required to support priority DOI and
tial for many purposes including air navigation, AGDC members’ planning and management needs.
wilderness travel, and mineral and energy exploita- IARPC and the Department of the Interior will
tion. Similarly, they are fundamental requirements
work to develop this program in the context of
for the effective construction of civil infrastructure
funding that is made available during the period
projects. The Department of the Interior through
its USGS Geospatial Data Clearinghouse provides of this revision to the U.S. Arctic Research Plan
geospatial data and, in particular, digital elevation (2006–2010). IARPC also will encourage continu-
models based on a variety of measurement tech- ing support for the U.S. Army Cold Regions
niques, primarily observations from aircraft and Research and Engineering Laboratory’s participa-
spacecraft. Complete coverage of the 48 contiguous tion in infrastructure research in Alaska.

42