Dr. Cheryl Rosa, Deputy Director, United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC)
A primary duty of the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC) is to interact with Arctic residents, international Arctic research programs and organizations, and local institutions including regional governments, in order to obtain the broadest possible view of Arctic research needs. To facilitate this, the USARC coordinates working groups to examine and develop research needs for specific topics—generally based on feedback from stakeholders. USARC’s Anchorage-based office currently coordinates three working groups: the Alaska Rural Water and Sanitation Working Group (ARWSWG), the Arctic Renewable Energy Working Group (AREWG) and the Arctic Mental Health Working Group (AMMHWG).
The Alaska Rural Water and Sanitation Working Group’s mission is to maximize the health benefits of in-home running water and sanitation services in rural Alaska. There are a variety of entities in Alaska working towards improving health outcomes in rural Alaska by providing and improving water services in villages. The US Arctic Research Commission (USARC) is coordinating these groups so that this work is maximally efficient and ideas can be shared across federal, state, Alaska Native, and academic groups. Our work is directly applicable to the USARC’s priority goal of Arctic Human Health.
The Arctic Renewable Energy Working Group (AREWG) aims to promote research on renewable and efficient energy systems in remote Arctic communities. Integration of renewable resources and supporting technologies into a community’s current power generation capacity has the potential to generate local employment, decrease air pollution and carbon footprint, and ideally reduce consumer costs. Energy efficiency and conservation are critical components of this effort.
Finally, the Arctic Mental Health Working Group (AMHWG) aims to work collaboratively with tribes, healthcare providers and other stakeholders to promote research on, and raise awareness of, the significant mental and behavioral health disparities that exist between Arctic and non-Arctic populations. As an initial focus, AMHWG has chosen to address suicide prevention in Arctic communities with a specific emphasis on early intervention approaches for children and youth.
It is the USARC’s hope that these working groups will provide pragmatic approaches to improving life in rural Alaska via the use of scientific research, as well as inform the research agenda for each of these topics.
This webinar will present an overview of the mission and objectives of the three US Arctic Research Commission working groups, as well as ways to connect with their activities.
US Arctic Research Commission website with many useful reports HERE
Report mentioned during talk: Residential Heating in Remote Arctic Villages