The committee carefully considered multiple forms of community input (see also Appendix B). One of them was an informal online questionnaire1 distributed to a wide audience via newsletters and e-mail distribution lists. The questionnaire was distributed to various NRC boards and committees (including the Polar Research Board, Ocean Studies Board, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Space Studies Board, Board on Environmental Change and Society, and Marine Board); e-mail distribution lists such as ArcticInfo, Arctic Monitor, IASSA, CLIMLIST, CRYOLIST, Paleoclimate List, APECS, and USARC Arctic Update; the U.S. IASC Delegation; and other groups, blogs, and online networks. The input collected was not used in a statistical or quantitative analysis. Rather, the comments provided insights into whether the committee had overlooked some aspects of emerging research. Multiple sources of information were considered in the drafting of this report.
Each respondent was asked to answer a few background questions about career stage, scientific discipline, and sector. Respondents were then asked to address the following questions about the future of Arctic research:
- Within your own discipline, please list up to three emerging scientific questions that will enhance our understanding of the Arctic over the next 20 years.
- Please list up to three ideas or needed improvements for technology, infrastructure, or innovative logistics that you believe will play a major role in Arctic Research over the next 20 years.
- Please share any additional comments or information you wish the committee to consider.
A total of 330 complete responses were received from a wide range of disciplines, expertise, and geographical locations (Figures C.1 through C.4). The following figures show that there was a range of response types, but this should not be viewed as a systematic survey of the community.
The questionnaire asked respondents to identify, within their own discipline, up to three emerging research questions that will enhance understanding of the Arctic
FIGURE C.1 Respondents were asked to briefly describe their discipline. They were sorted into eight categories: atmosphere/climate, biology/ecology, cryosphere, oceans, people/social science, terrestrial/geo, paleo, and other/interdisciplinary. A variety of disciplines and expertise was represented.
FIGURE C.2 The largest percentage of respondents considered themselves to be late career (25+ years post terminal degree), but almost as many were mid-career and a large number of responses were received from graduate students and early-career scientists.
FIGURE C.3 When asked to describe their primary sector, the majority of questionnaire respondents indicated that they are in academia and research. Smaller percentages of respondents represented local and federal government, industry, NGOs, and others.
FIGURE C.4 By far, most questionnaire respondents were from the United States, although a number of other countries are also represented. Canada has the second largest representation in this questionnaire.
over the next 20 years. Responses to this question were grouped into the following categories:
- Biological systems
- Physical systems
- Human-environmental systems
- Arctic system/feedbacks/cascading effects
- Rapid change/thresholds
- Other (including technology ideas)
Respondents were then asked to list up to three ideas or needed improvements for technology, infrastructure, or innovative logistics that they believe will play a major role in Arctic research over the next 20 years. They were also asked to select the category or categories that best describe their response:
- Existing but not yet deployed
- New technology with a high potential for deployment in the next 20 years
- Emerging technology that requires further development but is critical even if its likelihood of deployment in 20 years is uncertain
Finally, respondents were asked to share any additional comments. These could include, for example, emerging questions in crosscutting realms such as integrated systems science, sustainability science, and applying knowledge for decision support. Some themes emerged from this open-ended question:
- Interconnections (e.g., international, interagency, intergovernmental, and interdisciplinary connections)
- Human and ecosystem connections and community involvement (including indigenous knowledge and citizen science)
- Infrastructure needs
- Arctic system and linkages with the Earth system (including climate change and Arctic impacts as well as feedbacks)
- Data coordination and management (particularly open access)
- Communication (with the public, media, local communities, and other scientists, for example)
The committee found that it was useful to have some insight into the research questions, science ideas, and general concerns of the Arctic community (across a broad range of disciplines and expertise), but this was not a systematic survey. The committee did not consider the responses to be a complete or official statement for the scien-
tific community, and generalizing based on the responses received should be avoided. The individual responses are available in the Public Access File for this study. The committee considered them in their deliberations and used their expert judgment, as well as other community input, into the development of the questions presented in Chapter 3.