Collaborative Research: Holistic Integration for Arctic Coastal-Marine Sustainability (HIACMS), subaward from Tufts

Award Period: 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 to Saturday, August 31, 2019

Award Amount: 

$235 562

Agency Name: 

Tufts University

Award Number: 


PI First Name: 


PI last name: 



Ben Halpern

MSI Person: 

Area/s of Research: 


Interests are awakening globally to take advantage of extensive energy, shipping, fishing, and tourism opportunities associated with diminishing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Responses to this environmental state-change are generating risks of political, economic, and cultural instabilities that will affect societies at local, regional, national, and international levels. Addressing the “common arctic issues” of sustainable development and environmental protection articulated by the Arctic Council, this 3-year project will develop and demonstrate a process that will enhance the practice of governance for sustainability in Arctic coastal-marine systems, balancing national interests and common interests; environmental protection, social equity and economic prosperity, and needs of present and future generations.  To achieve this project goal, we will carry out a series of tasks addressing the four ArcSEES themes (Natural and Living Environment; Built Environment; Natural Resource Development; and Governance) and including: interdisciplinary data aggregation; geospatial integration of the data to reveal plausible developmental scenarios; annual workshops to generate infrastructure and policy options, and applications of the findings to current issues of Arctic governance.  This sustainability process will be elucidated and demonstrated through case-studies focusing on current ‘hot spots’ in the Western Arctic - Bering Strait and Beaufort-Chukchi Seas (United States, Canadian and Russian interests) – and the Eastern Arctic - Barents Sea (Norwegian and Russian interests) and West Greenland (Greenlandic, Danish, and Canadian interests). We will engage policy makers in the process from bodies like the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, which has a transboundary remit in the Arctic Ocean.  To make the process cost effective, we have established links to the SEARCH (Study of Environmental Change: www.arcus.org/search) and ACCESS  (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society: www.access-eu.org) projects that are supported extensively within the United States and Europe, respectively. We will leverage the capacity, networks and expertise associated with these already-funded research activities. Our international, interdisciplinary, and inclusive project also will add value through partnerships with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (www.nceas.ucsb.edu) in the United States and institutions in France associated with the ACCESS project as well as the Ice Atmosphere Arctic Ocean Observing System project (www.iaoos-equipex.upmc.fr).  The holistic process we develop to generate and share options for Arctic coastal-marine sustainability will be memorialized through a video series involving lessons of ‘science diplomacy’ to further stimulate education by and for the benefit of all stakeholders (i.e., representatives of government agencies, academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and civil society). The sustainability process we develop and demonstrate in this project focusing on the Arctic Ocean will have implications everywhere on Earth where resources, human activities, and their impacts extend across or beyond the boundaries of sovereign states.