U.S. Arctic Research Commission 103rd Meeting

March 4-5 – Washington, DC
The U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) met in DC for its 103rd session to present staff reports and to continue drafting USARC goals and recommendations.
Participants at the meeting included:

  • Commissioner Fran Ulmer, Chair – Anchorage, AK
  • Commissioner David Benton, Fisheries Consultant – Juneau, AK
  • Commissioner Mary Pete, Director of Kuskokwim Campus, UAF – Bethel, AK
  • Commissioner James McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University – Cambridge, MA (on the phone for first hour)
  • Commissioner Dr. Charles Vorosmarty, Director, City University of New York Environmental Cross-Roads Initiative – New York, NY
  • Commissioner Dr. Warren Zapol, Director of Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research, Massachusetts General Hospital – Boston, MA
  • Executive Director Dr. John Farrell – Arlington, VA
  • Deputy Director Dr. Cheryl Rosa – Anchorage, AK
  • Communications Specialist Kathy Farrow – Arlington, VA


  • Arctic Marine Science Symposium
    • NOAA budget includes $8 million for entire symposium, $1 million held back for North Pacific Research Board; need $50 million total.
    • NOAA asks how the organization can do new work with this little money. Perhaps, apply toward the next five years?
    • High cost of operating in the Arctic doesn’t seem to be clear with OMB.
  • North Slope Science Initiative:
    • Next planning session set for May.
  • Water & Sanitation Workshop:
    • Successful workshop on wastewater in January.
  • Arctic Sea Ice Impact Symposium in July.
  • Ongoing concerns about the role of the USARC at State Department. More clarification needed about how USARC will work with the Arctic Council.
  • USARC will begin planning a to-be-determined workshop in Nome, either in September or October.
  • Commissioners agreed to add an advisor for Arctic transportation and shipping; advisor to be determined.
  • National Science Foundation proposal will be drafted about the need for data sharing in the private sector to supplement research.
  • Alaska Mental Health Trust will present a study to USARC about Alaskans’ behavioral health, using a 16-month research period.


About The Author

Andrea Wagner