About the Arctic Matters Initiative

CaribouArctic Matters is an initiative by the Academies’ Polar Research Board (PRB) to highlight what science has illuminated about Arctic change and its potential impacts across the globe. The effort is timed with the United States’ two-year chairmanship (April 2015-April 2017) of the Arctic Council, which is a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses a wide array of issues faced by the eight Arctic nations and the indigenous populations in the region. The vision of the Arctic Matters is to:

  • highlight and build upon the relevant NRC body of work;
  • illustrate why the changing Arctic matters to us all;
  • reach audiences who are not normally engaged in polar science or policy issues;
  • provide an opportunity for federal agencies to spotlight their relevant accomplishments and programs; and
  • provide an opportunity for international engagement.

Arctic Matters is funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the United States Arctic Research Commission; additional sponsorship is being sought (see opportunities here). The initiative began with the release of new educational resources: a booklet, an interactive web tool, and a poster, which are strongly rooted in Academies’ studies. The capstone of the effort is the Arctic Matters Day Symposium to be held on January 14, 2016 in the Academies’ Auditorium in Washington DC.  The event is free and open to the public and is intended to improve public understanding of Arctic change its impacts around the globe. A committee of scientists and other experts who have worked extensively on Arctic issues are planning the event.

Arctic Matters Planning Committee
See Planning Committee bios

James W.C. White – (Chair)
University of Colorado Boulder

Geraldine Knatz – (Member)
University of Southern California

Brenda Ekwurzel – (Member)
Union of Concerned Scientists

Walter Meier – (Member)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory

Henry Pollack – (Member)
University of Michigan (Emeritus)

Karen Frey – (Member)
Clark University

Stephanie Pfirman – (Member)
Barnard College/Columbia University

Geoff Haines-Stiles – (Member)
Passport to Knowledge

Malte Humpert – (Member)
The Arctic Institute

Louis Mead Treadwell – (Member)
Former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska

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