Hayes, Ulmer Continue Dialogue on Improving Decision-Makers' Access to Science in Arctic



04/30/2012

Contact: Adam Fetcher, (DOI) 202-208-6416

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior today hosted a meeting of top federal decision-makers, members of the federal government's science community, and outside experts from nongovernmental organizations, industry, academia, Alaska Native organizations, and state and local government to continue discussing ways to enhance collaboration between the scientific community and decision-makers in the Arctic.

Led by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and former chancellor of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, today's meeting was the third in a series of workshops to discuss how to better optimize the availability of relevant scientific information for federal decision-makers and, more generally, to promote a more interactive dialogue between scientists and decision-makers involved in the Alaska Arctic.

The meeting was organized as part of the activities of the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Permitting in Alaska established in July by President Obama to coordinate energy development in Alaska and chaired by Deputy Secretary Hayes.

“As we work toward a long-term management framework for the Arctic, we must recognize both the resource potential of the region and the irreplaceable natural and cultural resources it contains,” said Deputy Secretary Hayes. “We are exploring ways to develop a landscape-scale approach to the Arctic that cuts across agencies, jurisdictions, and boundaries and takes into account the traditional knowledge of Native communities.”

“It is essential that we make every effort to address the future of the Arctic in an integrated manner that cuts across agency and disciplinary lines,” said Ulmer. “Research and planning are important building blocks of this approach, and that’s why these workshops that bring together policy makers, land managers, community leaders, and scientific experts are necessary to discuss how best to deliver relevant scientific information to officials responsible for making decisions related to energy development in Alaska.”

Other meeting participants included high-level officials and scientists from the Departments of Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Also participating were senior representatives from state and local government, Alaska Native organizations, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, non-governmental organizations, industry, and academia.

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