The North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) has released a four-part film series highlighting the Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (IERP). The series features the cultural and scientific importance of studying the Arctic, the science methods and results, how coastal communities were involved in the program, and the different research vessels and science equipment used to conduct the research.
The Arctic IERP sampled the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas from 2017-2019 during spring through fall. The field sampling occurred at a time when water temperatures in the region were some of the highest ever recorded. The multi-disciplinary program documented profound changes in every aspect of the ecosystem, including changes in the nutritional quality of prey and changes in the distribution of fishes, seabirds, and marine mammals.
Arctic community members participated at every stage of the research, from informing the questions and emphasizing linkages to food security, to participating in cruises and social science research, and discussing the results and how they can be applied. The participation and perspectives of these individuals strengthened the research and ensured that it is relevant to meeting the needs of people in the region.
The Arctic IERP was supported by funding from the North Pacific Research Board, the Collaborative Alaskan Arctic Studies Program (formerly the North Slope Borough/Shell Baseline Studies Program), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Office of Naval Research Marine Mammals and Biology Program. Generous in-kind support was contributed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Science Foundation.