Arctic Science Ministerial


A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure to lead the U.S. delegation at the second Arctic
Science Ministerial in Berlin, Germany. The ministerial brought together science ministers and leaders from over 30 nations, as well as indigenous groups and associations to further international Arctic science collaboration. The ministerial themes addressed topics including:

  • Arctic observations, data, and infrastructure.
  • Dynamics of Arctic change.
  • And vulnerability and resilience of Arctic environments and communities.

NSF addresses these themes in a variety of ways, from our funding of observation
and data systems to our support for activities that analyze research objectives of value to Arctic communities, Arctic countries, and the world.

As Arctic research partners look to coordinate our approaches and spur innovation, “eyes on the ground” remain essential for shaping our efforts. Fortunately, the considerable experience of indigenous Arctic peoples and local residents provides invaluable knowledge. It was enlightening to hear the perspectives of those who spoke at
the ministerial’s Science Forum. Attended by over 300 Arctic science experts from around the globe, the forum highlighted the advances we are making as a global science


Joined by my colleagues…Larry Hinzman, vice chancellor for research at University of Alaska Fairbanks and president of the International Arctic Science Committee; Michael Stickman, current chief of the Athabaskan tribe in Nulato, Alaska, representing the Arctic Athabascan Council; and Fran Ulmer, chairperson of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. Photo credit: John Farrell, USARC Executive Director  

NSF plans advance collaboration by capitalizing on investments in Big Data and Arctic science, observations, and education. We’re doing this through initiatives spearheaded
by our Navigating the New Arctic Big Idea. Through Navigating the New Arctic, NSF
has approached projects with the potential to revolutionize research, such as arrangements for data sharing systems in coordination with the European Commission, our partners in Japan and others.

The challenges and opportunities of a changing Arctic demand the world’s collective
attention. I believe that the Joint Statement of Ministers demonstrates a strong step toward even further international scientific collaboration focusing on Arctic research and observations.

I’m encouraged by the global spirit and commitment to the Arctic region and I look
forward to future progress among our international partners to further advance
Arctic research.