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Collaborative Research: Research, Synthesis, and Knowledge Transfer in a Changing Arctic: Science Support for the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)


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Type of project
Project theme
Education & Outreach
Project topic
Education & Outreach

Project details

Science / project summary

The Arctic is undergoing dramatic, accelerating environmental change, resulting in impacts on local, regional and global scales. Improved understanding of the present and probable future state of the arctic environment is important for a wide range of stakeholders, including arctic residents, the private sector, agencies and decision-makers. To develop and convey this understanding to decision makers, an interdisciplinary research program is needed that engages with stakeholders to provide science-based answers to stakeholder questions, and the Study of Arctic Environmental Change (SEARCH) is well positioned to serve this function. This project will build a support structure to enable SEARCH to serve the needs of the scientific community and agencies. The new research coordination structure will coordinate science, exchange knowledge and tools between science and stakeholders, drive scientific syntheses, and connect scientists and stakeholders to answer questions about arctic change. The new structure will ensure that its activities have societal benefit, and foster two-way communication of research findings and information needs. Proposed activities include knowledge exchange workshops that will facilitate networking between stakeholders and scientists, and stakeholders will be included in other synthesis research activities, meetings and conferences. A set of activities focused on the theme "Arctic Futures 2050" will frame scientific findings in a way that can help decision-makers plan for the future. All of these activities will lead to development of research products that address societal priorities and can help inform policy. SEARCH will facilitate research in response to scientific priorities and stakeholder questions about complex arctic change. This project will improve understanding, advance prediction, and explore the consequences of changing arctic sea ice; document and improve understanding of how degradation of near-surface permafrost will affect arctic and global systems; and improve predictions of future land-ice loss and its impacts on sea level. An additional overarching goal will be to analyze societal and policy implications of these arctic environmental changes, and a set of activities will be undertaken to integrate findings across all the thematic goals. These goals will be achieved by facilitating research across disciplines, scales and among agencies; advancing scientific synthesis of data, model output and expert projections; creating networks of people and research groups that promote efficiencies and scientific discovery; developing tools useful to stakeholders and decision-makers; and enhancing research coordination.