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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Interests are awakening globally to take advantage of extensive energy, shipping, fishing, and tourism opportunities associated with diminishing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. This 3-year research project will develop and demonstrate an international, interdisciplinary and inclusive process to enhance the practice of governance for sustainability in Arctic coastal-marine systems, balancing: (a) national interests and common interests; (b) environmental protection, social equity and economic prosperity; and (c) needs of present and future generations. To achieve this holistic project goal, we will carry out tasks addressing the four ArcSEES themes (Natural and Living Environment; Built Environment; Natural Resource Development; and Governance) and including: interdisciplinary data aggregation; geospatial integration of the data to reveal plausible developmental scenarios; annual workshops to generate infrastructure and policy options; and applications of the findings to current issues of Arctic governance. The sustainability process will be elucidated through case-studies focusing on current ‘hot spots’ in the Western Arctic - Bering Strait and Beaufort-Chukchi Seas (United States, Canadian and Russian interests) – and the Eastern Arctic - Barents Sea (Norwegian and Russian interests) and West Greenland (Greenlandic, Danish, and Canadian interests). We will engage policy makers in the process from bodies like the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, which has a transboundary remit in the Arctic Ocean. To enhance its cost-effectiveness, this project has established links to the SEARCH (Study of Environmental Change: and ACCESS (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society: projects that are supported extensively within the United States and Europe, respectively. This project – which is jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique – also will add value through partnerships with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis ( in the United States and institutions in France associated with the ACCESS project as well as the Ice Atmosphere Arctic Ocean Observing System project ( The holistic process we develop to generate and share options for Arctic coastal-marine sustainability will be memorialized by publications and through a video series involving lessons of ‘science diplomacy’ to further stimulate education by and for the benefit of all stakeholders (i.e., representatives of government agencies, academia, industry, non-governmental organizations and civil society). The sustainability process we develop and demonstrate in this project focusing on the Arctic Ocean will have implications everywhere on Earth where resources, human activities, and their impacts extend across or beyond the boundaries of sovereign states. This project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation Arctic Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (ArcSEES) Program to NCEAS and UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.
Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Paul A. Berkman, Frank W. Davis, Jean Claude Gascard, Christine Provost, Oran R. Young

Project Dates

Start: September 1, 2013



Jenifer Austin
Google Inc
Paul A. Berkman
University of California, Santa Barbara
Lawson W. Brigham
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Frank W. Davis
University of California, Santa Barbara
Sara Denka
University of California, Santa Barbara
Hajo Eicken
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
LeeAnne French
University of California, Santa Barbara
Jon L. Fuglestad
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
Jean Claude Gascard
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Benjamin S. Halpern
University of California, Santa Barbara
Art Ivanoff
Bering Sea Alliance
Brendan Kelly
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Igor Krupnik
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Olivia Lee
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Dino Lorenzini
SpaceQuest, Ltd.
Ed Lorenzini
Analyze Corp.
Russell Luttman
Crowley Marine Services, Inc.
Denise Michels
City of Nome, Alaska
Jamie Montgomery
University of California, Santa Barbara
Elena Norkina
University Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Greg Pavellas
Crowley Marine Services, Inc.
Karen P. Pletnikoff
Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA)
Christine Provost
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Julie Raymond-Yakoubian
Kawerak, Inc.
Lars-Otto Reiersen
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
Martin Robards
Wildlife Conservation Society
Nathalie Sennechael
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Jimmy Stotts
Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska
Dennis Thurston
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Fran Ulmer
University of Alaska, Anchorage
Charlotte Vick
Sylvia Earle Alliance (SEA)
Alexander Vylegzhanin
MGIMO University
David Wright
Planet Earth Pictures
Dan Yocum
University of California, Santa Barbara
Oran R. Young
University of California, Santa Barbara


  1. Presentations / 2014

    The Emperor's New Clothes: Unstructured Data Does Not Exist in the Realm of Big Data

  2. Journal Article / 2014

    'Unstructured data' practices in polar institutions and networks: A case study with the Arctic options project

  3. Report or White Paper / 2015

    Arctic Options Year 2 Annual Report

  4. Journal Article / 2015

    Institutional dimensions of sustaining Arctic observing networks (SAON)

  5. Journal Article / 2015

    Future perspective: The maritime Arctic in 2050

  6. Journal Article / 2015

    Spatial and temporal changes in cumulative human impacts on the world's ocean

  7. Book / 2014

    The Arctic in World Affairs: A North Pacific Dialogue on International Cooperation in a Changing Arctic

  8. Book Chapter / 2014

    Navigating the Arctic/non-Arctic Interface: Avenues of Engagement

  9. Book Chapter / 2015

    Adaptive Governance for a Changing Arctic

  10. Presentations / 2015

    Governing the Antipodes: International Cooperation in Antarctica and the Arctic

  11. Presentations / 2015

    The Arctic Council at twenty: How to maintain effectiveness in a rapidly changing environment

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