White Papers

November 2012

Oil Spills in Arctic Waters: An Introduction and Inventory of Research Activities and USARC Recommendations

This “white paper” is a compilation of research on oil spills in ice-covered Arctic waters and recommendations for future work. We identify research entities in governmental, nongovernmental, industrial, and private organizations, and provide an inventory of research projects. Given that much work is currently in progress, we provide only a snapshot in time, and an introduction to the topic.

White Paper | 827 KB pdf | 4.92 MB pdf

Table A: An Inventory of Research Projects on Oil Spills in Arctic Waters | 307 KB pdf

Table B: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Spill Prevention and Response, Research and Development Projects (2000–2010) | 165 KB pdf

July 2010

US Arctic Research Commission Recommends Steps to Expanded US Funding for Arctic/Subarctic Oil Spill Research

In 2010, USARC recommended to the federal government an invigorated oil spill research effort in the Arctic and a funding strategy that did not require new fiscal appropriation. Considering the potential for increased energy exploration and production in deeper, offshore waters, as well as an anticipated escalation in shipping in a rapidly evolving marine environment, the risks of oil spills remain a real and growing challenge. In developing these recommendations, USARC worked closely with the federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR), stakeholders, and the public.

Available Format: 190 KB pdf

December 2007

Use of a Submarine in Ice-Covered Arctic Waters to Help Delimit the US Extended Continental Shelf

In 2007, USARC recommended a feasibility study of using U.S. nuclear submarines to collect geophysical data (bathymetric and seismic) in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean to help the national effort to delimit the U.S. extended continental shelf as defined in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Available Format: 9.2 MB pdf

August 2005

Assessment of US Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Roles and Future Needs

Icebreakers play a vital role in the nation’s strategic presence in the polar regions. This 2005 white paper discusses the national importance of U.S. Coast Guard polar icebreakers.

Available Format: 390 KB pdf

January 1983

United States Arctic Science Policy

By D.M. Hickok, G. Weller, T.N. Davis, V. Alexander, and R. Elsner
Alaska Council of Science and Technology

This paper first reviews past US efforts to establish Arctic science policies designed to promote fulfillment of national needs. Second, it discusses within an Arctic context the relationships of science to natural resource development, environmental protection, national defense, understanding climatic change, enhancement of human life and occupancy, and the Arctic as a scientific research laboratory. Finally, this paper offers the case for legislative action as the essential policy foundation for the development of coherent and comprehensive program to achieve national objectives in the arctic region.

Available Format: 3 MB pdf