The annual meeting of the Interagency Arctic Research Committee (IARPC) Principals was held Wednesday, September 13, 2023 as a hybrid event. Agencies and offices in attendance included: Denali Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of the Interior, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Marine Mammal Commission, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Smithsonian Institution.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Deputy Director for Climate and Environment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), served as co-host and provided opening remarks; Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of NSF and IARPC Chair, led the meeting.
The meeting included an overview of progress made toward the deliverables of the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 and its associated Biennial Implementation Plan 2022-2024. Several agencies shared excitement about the efforts, particularly around the Sustainable Economies and Livelihoods Priority Area and Indigenous engagement. Agencies also approved the proposed process for updating the Biennial Implementation Plan for 2024-2026.
The meeting highlighted shared priorities between the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and IARPC, enhancing the alignment across the Federal government on Arctic research priorities.
IARPC agencies heard a proposal to advance the recommendations of the 2022 Report of Congress on a sustained Arctic Observing Network (AON). IARPC agencies, with leadership from the Federal US AON Board, developed the report in response to the Committee Report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022. IARPC agencies approved the proposed next steps, with strong support voiced for sustaining and improving Arctic observations and for continuing the work of the US AON interagency effort.
Finally, Dr. Larry Hinzman, OSTP Assistant Director for Polar Science and IARPC Executive Director, provided an overview of the OMB/OSTP report called for by the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act on a budget crosscut of Federal investments in Arctic Research. This information is intended to advance efforts to ensure that federally funded Arctic research is complementary, cost-efficient, and effective across the federal agencies, and that a coordinated multi-department approach is developed to address the research goals and objectives in the Arctic.
IARPC is an interagency working group of the National Science and Technology Council that brings together leaders from across the Federal government to enhance research in the Arctic.