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Presidential Commission on Arctic Research to Hold Session at UNH
DURHAM, N.H. - Members of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) will hold a session at the University of New Hampshire's (UNH) Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) October 5 - 6 to learn about a host of Arctic-related research projects scientists at the university are involved in.

The commission, created by the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 and composed of seven members appointed by the President of the United States, is charged with establishing the national policy, priorities, and goals for basic and applied scientific research with respect to the Arctic, including natural resources and materials, physical, biological and health sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. UNH faculty from EOS, the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (C-COM)/Joint Hydrographic Center (JHC), and the Department of Sociology will make presentations to the commissioners. Scientists from several other research institutions will also attend the session.

Throughout the year the Commission holds business meetings and conducts public hearings in Alaska and elsewhere to receive input. Commissioners also make site visits and field trips to research facilities and projects throughout the Arctic and, as in this case, around the country.

Among its Arctic-related research projects, UNH/EOS is home to the Arctic-CHAMP (pan-Arctic Community-wide Hydrological Analysis and Monitoring Program) Science Management Office, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The primary aim of Arctic-CHAMP is to catalyze and execute the necessary interdisciplinary research in order to construct a holistic understanding of arctic hydrology.

The UNH Arctic-CHAMP office currently coordinates 22 projects that total over $30 million, bringing together atmospheric, terrestrial, and marine researchers to study key components of the arctic freshwater cycle.

Among the 22 is the Arctic-RIMS (Regional, Integrated Hydrologial Monitoring System) project for which Charles Vorosmarty of the Water Systems Analysis Group at EOS is the principle investigator. Arctic-RIMS, a web-based data archive and analysis tool developed at UNH, contains the most extensive digitized network of pan-Arctic river gauge discharge data. Says Jonathan Pundsack, executive director of the Arctic-CHAMP science management office, "Arctic-RIMS is a unique research project, and very impressive in terms of the type of information that it makes available to the research community and general public."

Richard Lammers of the Water Systems Analysis Group has been instrumental in the development of the tool and will detail Arctic-RIMS for the seven USARC commissioners.

In addition to Arctic-CHAMP and Arctic-RIMS presentations, Mark Fahnestock of the EOS Complex Systems Research Center, Cameron Wake of the EOS Climate Change Research Center, Lawrence Hamilton of the UNH Sociology Department, and Colin Ware and Jim Gardner of C-COM/JHC will present overviews of their Arctic-related research. Topics to be covered include rapid change in Greenland, Arctic information and assessment, human dimensions of Arctic change, and coastal and ocean mapping. Igor Shiklomanov, Director of the State Hydrological Institute in St. Petersburg will also participate in the meetings and provide a Russian perspective on pressing research issues related to water resources of the Arctic.

For more information, visit the following websites:

US Arctic Research Commission: http://www.arctic.gov
Arctic-CHAMP: http://ArcticCHAMP.sr.unh.edu.
Arctic-RIMS: http://rims.unh.edu/background.shtml
Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping: http://www.ccom-jhc.unh.edu

By David Sims
Science Writer
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
(603) 862-5369