US President Barack Obama has reappointed Fran Ulmer as Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC). In two days, Ulmer will present Secretary of State John Kerry with a new report on the goals and objectives for the US Arctic Research Program.
– In response to rapid changes in the Arctic, scientific research should be expanded and focused on six major themes according to the “Report on the Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research 2015-2016 for the US Arctic Research Program”, a report released on Friday by the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC).
The Commission is an independent federal agency that was established in 1984 by the Arctic Research and Policy Act. The report is published biennially.
Environmental change & human health
Fran Ulmer, who recently was appointed to a second 4-year term as Chair of the USARC, will present Secretary of State John Kerry with the report on May 21 at the Department of State, which is hosting a reception in celebration of the U.S Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Last year, in July, Kerry named Fran Ulmer “Special Advisor on the Arctic Science and Policy”.
According to USARC’s 2015-1016 report these six broad categories calls for greater research effort:
1. Observe, Understand, and Predict Arctic Environmental Change
2. Improve Arctic Human Health
3. Advance Knowledge of Arctic Natural Resources: A Focus on Renewable Energy
4. Advance the Arctic “Built Environment”
5. Explore Arctic Cultures and Community Resilience
6. Enhance International Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic
– We strive to be an effective link
– Dramatic changes in the Arctic environment, and the pace of resource development, combine to make it very important that public and private decision makers have access to relevant research, including timely and comprehensive information and a more thorough understanding of Arctic ecosystems, resources, and infrastructure challenges. The Commission strives to be an effective link between the people who do the research and those who need the results, Ulmer said.
– I am pleased to be reappointed to this commission, which has been contributing advice about the Arctic since it was created in 1984, Ulmer said.
In January, Ulmer participated at the Arctic Frontier conference in Tromsø, Norway. (Article in Norwegian)
As a special adviser on Arctic Science and Policy she advises on many issues, including the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Last month US took over the two-year long chairmanship in the high-level intergovernmental forum from Canada.
Shape national Arctic Research Plan
Prior to Ulmer’s association with the USARC, Ulmer served on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Hirizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. She was also chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage, and served as Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor, an Alaska state representative and Mayor.
USARC’s mission is to develop and recommend US Arctic research policy to the President and to Congress, and to build cooperative links in Arctic research both within the federal government, with Arctic residents, the State of Alaska, researchers and international partners.
The Commission’s research goals help shape the national Arctic Research Plan. The most recent version of which was released by the White House in February, 2013. The Commission’s report will also inform the work of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee.