Networking Regional and National Arctic Science Programs into a Joint Program of Scientific Research and Monitoring for the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO)

Dr Betsy Baker1

1North Pacific Research Board, Anchorage, United States

Networking Arctic marine research initiatives can efficiently provide much of the science needed to launch the Joint Program of Scientific Research and Monitoring required under the 2018 Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean, Article 4. ArCS research on marine ecosystems intersects productively with other national and regional marine research programs and institutions active in the Arctic, including CAFF, DBO, PAG. Properly networked, these and other research entities and programs have the potential to provide a model for the Joint Program and to leverage financial and in-kind resources for a sum that is greater than its parts. A strong and flexible Arctic fisheries and ecosystem science network could evolve into a more formal science body should one be desired.  This paper builds upon the work of groups like the FisCAO (Scientific experts on Fish Stocks in the CAO) and ICES/PICES PAME Working Group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the CAO that are already focused on how to build a science program for the region. It contributes the author’s additional perspective as director of a regional marine science funding organization that supports collaborative research on pressing fishery management and ecosystem information needs.


Prior to joining the North Pacific Research Board as Executive Director in 2016, Dr. Baker was professor of international, ocean, and environmental law at Vermont Law School.  In her decade at VLS, she served as Visiting Scholar, U.S. State Department, inter-agency Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, and  Fellow at the Dartmouth College Arctic Studies Institute. Her research has included projects for the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Alaska, Ocean Conservancy, Arctic Council PAME working group, and Statoil/DNV. She currently serves on the Polar Research Board, US National Academy of Sciences.

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