• Arctic Futures 2050 Conference
  • 4-6 September 2019
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Tentative Program (last updated 5 September 2019)
  • Note: All plenary conference sessions will be live streamed and recorded.

Time Event
Pre-registration TUESDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER
1:00 pm - 6:00pm

Pre-registration: badge and program pick-up, poster drop-off (Lobby)

7:30 am

Registration (Lobby) and Light Breakfast (Great Hall)

SETTING THE STAGE (All plenary sessions will be held in the Auditorium)
8:30 am

Welcome and Introductory Remarks

  • Brendan P. Kelly, SEARCH
  • The Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator, Alaska (Video Remarks)
8:55 am

Past and Future Environments of the Arctic

  • Kirk Johnson, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History
9:15 am

Indigenous Peoples and Arctic Environmental Change

  • Dalee Sambo Dorough, Inuit Circumpolar Council
9:35 am

What Will Policy Makers Need to Know in 2050?

  • Heather Zichal, Blue Prosperity Coalition
9:55 am

Questions and Answers - All Keynote Speakers

10:15 am Break (Great Hall)
10:45 am

Urgency of Collaborating to Inform Arctic Policy

  • Moderator: Brendan P. Kelly, SEARCH
  • Panel: Melanie Bahnke, Kawerak, Inc
  • Merritt Turetsky, University of Guelph and University of Colorado Boulder
  • Gifford Wong, IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute

  • A Native leader from Alaska, an Arctic ecologist, and a policy maker will discuss key challenges to knowledge holders informing policy and to policy makers informing research.
11:30 am

Implications of Changing Terrestrial Ecosystems

  • Moderator: George Kling, University of Michigan
  • Panel: Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake, First Alaskans Institute
  • Colleen Iversen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Gunn-Britt Retter, Saami Council

  • A terrestrial ecologist, a member of the Saami Council, and a policy expert with the First Alaskans Institute (formerly with the State of Alaska Governor’s office) describe changes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, policy implications, and information needs.
12:15 pm

Guidance to posters and lunch (Francis Wiese)

12:30 pm Lunch and Posters (Boxed lunches available in the Great Hall; Posters displayed in the West Court, East Court, and Lecture Room)
2:00 pm

Barents Sea Fisheries: Informing Management Under Rapid Change

  • Moderator: Ambassador David Balton, Wilson Center
  • Panel: Anne Christine Brusendorff, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
  • Alf Håkon Hoel, UiT-The Arctic University of Norway
  • Marit Reigstad, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway

  • A case history illustrating how scientists and policy makers work together to ensure that fisheries in the Barents Sea are sustainable. The panelists will discuss how environmental changes are likely to demand greater research and management efforts to continue the sustainable harvests.
2:45 pm Break (Great Hall)
3:15 pm

How Predictions and Models Inform the Future


  • Marika Holland, National Center for Atmospheric Research

  • How do we use mathematical models to predict future states of the environment? A description in plain English of how climate and sea ice models work, their power, and their limitations.
4:00 pm

Modeling Risks in the Arctic System


  • Moderators: Julie Loisel, Texas A&M University & Zenon Medina Cetina, Texas A&M University
  • Panel: Darcy Peter, University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • The Arctic Bayesian Network is a model that integrates Indigenous knowledge, scientific data, engineering assessments, and the expert opinion of governance bodies. The model is intended to illuminate the interconnectedness of the Arctic System and assess risk of natural and anthropogenic systems.
4:45 pm - 7:00 pm Reception (Hosted bar and light appetizers in the Great Hall) and Posters (Posters displayed in the West Court, East Court, and Lecture Room)

Time Event
7:30 am

Registration (Lobby) and Light Breakfast (Great Hall)

8:30 am

Melting Ice and Thawing Permafrost: Local, Regional, and Global Implications


  • Moderator: Gifford Wong, IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute
  • Panel: David Behar, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Matthew Druckenmiller, National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • Maija Katak Lukin, United States National Park Service
  • Twila Moon, National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • Ted Schuur, Northern Arizona University

  • SEARCH scientists, an Arctic resident, and a public utilities program director from outside the Arctic will describe how and why sea ice, permafrost, and land ice are changing across the Arctic, as well as the consequences of these changes on local communities to global society.
10:00 am Break (Great Hall)
10:30 am

Indigenous Knowledge Approaches to Informing Policy


  • Moderators: Raychelle Aluaq Daniel, The Pew Charitable Trusts &
  • Malinda Chase, Alaska Climate Science Center; Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association
  • Panel: Austin Ahmasuk, Kawerak, Inc.
  • Deenaalee Hodgdon, Brown University
  • George Noongwook, Savoonga Whaling Captains Association

  • This panel will describe the interconnected and holistic nature of Indigenous knowledge that includes people as part of the ecosystem. Embedded within these knowledge systems are frameworks for evaluating evidence.
11:15 am

Implications of Changing Marine Ecosystems


  • Moderator: Francis Wiese, Stantec
  • Panel: Lene Kielsen Holm, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
  • Ann Robertson, Office of U.S. Senator Murkowski (Alaska)
  • Paul Wassmann, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway

  • A resource manager, a policy staff member, and a marine ecologist describe the socioecological implications of a rapidly changing Arctic marine ecosystem. They will discuss information needs at different scales, lessons learned concerning informing policy with scientific and Indigenous knowledge, as well as shaping a conceptual model for the one Arctic Ocean ecosystem.
12:00 pm Lunch and Posters (Boxed lunches available in the Great Hall; Posters displayed in the West Court, East Court, and Lecture Room)
1:30 pm

Inclusive Planning for Arctic Futures: Demonstrating a Scenario-Based Table-Top Exercise


  • Moderators: Sherri Goodman, Wilson Center and James Townsend, Center for a New American Security
  • Panel: Austin Ahmasuk, Kawerak, Inc.
  • Lawson Brigham, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Phil Brown, NORAD & USNORTHCOM J74
  • Mike Farrar, Air Force Weather Operations
  • Jennifer Francis, Woods Hole Research Center
  • Randy Gauntt, Sandia National Laboratories (retired)
  • Shannon Jenkins, U.S. Coast Guard
  • David Kennedy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Randy “Church” Kee, Arctic Domain Awareness Center
  • Rebecca Pincus, U.S. Naval War College
  • Mark Rosen, The CNA Corporation
  • Gail Schubert, Bering Straits Native Corporation
  • Zachary Schulman, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Phillip Thorne, U.S. Coast Guaard
  • Jon White, Consortium for Ocean Leadership

  • This session will demonstrate how a table-top exercise can be used to bring science, Indigenous, and policy communities together to develop information, ideas, and proposed actions to drive future research directions, policy initiatives, and planning for emergency response in the Arctic. Peter Davies, Sherri Goodman, and James Townsend collaboratively developed the table-top scenario for the session.
3:00 pm Break (Great Hall)
3:30 pm

Arctic Research & Education for the Future

  • Anne Husebekk, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
3:40 pm

Subsistence Whaling: Indigenous & Scientific Knowledge Informing Policy


  • Moderator: Brendan P. Kelly, SEARCH
  • Panel: The Honorable Harry Brower, Jr., Mayor of the The North Slope Borough, Alaska
  • Craig George, Alaska North Slope Borough
  • Michael Tillman, U.S. Marine Mammal Commission

  • An Inupiaq whaling captain, a marine resource manager, and a research scientist present a case history of Indigenous and scientific knowledge informing international policy.
4:25 pm - 7:00 pm Reception (Hosted bar and light appetizers in the Great Hall) and Posters (Posters displayed in the West Court, East Court, and Lecture Room)
  • Yupik drumming and singing by George Noongwook of Savoonga, Alaska

  • Time Event
    7:30 am

    Registration (Lobby) and Light Breakfast (Great Hall)

    8:30 am

    Informing Marine Conservation Areas in the Arctic


    • Moderator: Geoff Green, Students on Ice Foundation
    • Panel: Sandra Inutiq, Qikiqtani Inuit Association
    • Kevin McNamee, Parks Canada Agency

    • This case history will describe how science and Inuit Qauijimajatuqangit (traditional knowledge) informed creation of large marine protected areas in the Canadian Arctic and will inform future management and protection of Inuit harvesting rights and species at risk.
    9:15 am

    Social Implications of Arctic Change: The Example of Shishmaref, Alaska


    • Moderator: Henry Huntington, Huntington Consulting
    • Panel: Lindsay Solie Jensen, Office of U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
    • Elizabeth Marino, Oregon State University
    • Twyla Thurmond, Native Village of Shismaref

    • Arctic change is not happening in a vacuum, and policy approaches that single out climate change are unlikely to succeed or to help Arctic peoples. The case of Shishmaref, Alaska, illustrates that community well-being is interconnected with environmental integrity, social well-being, cultural vitality, supportive policies, education, health, justice, and more.
    10:00 am Break (Great Hall)
    10:30 am

    Emerging Research in the Arctic


    • Moderator: Betsy Baker, North Pacific Research Board
    • Panel: Hajo Eicken, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • Gary Geernaert, Department of Energy
    • Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, Nuiqsut

    • In this forward-looking panel, natural and social scientists ask, “what will life be like in the Arctic and how will it change between 2025 and 2050?” What Earth systems science and resilience capacity building will be required?
    11:30 am

    Considerations for Emerging Research: Capacity and Scale

    • Moderator: Priyanka Hooghan, Committee on Science, Space, & Technology
    • Justiina Dahl, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat
    • Kaare Sikuaq Erickson, Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation
    • Colleen Strawhacker, U.S. National Science Foundation

    • Following the discussions from the previous session, this panel further considers emerging research in the Arctic and asks how that research can best meet the needs of Arctic communities and policy makers.
    12:45 pm
    • Delbert Pungowiyi, Native Village of Savoonga
    1:00 pm Lunch and Posters (Boxed lunches available in the Great Hall; Posters displayed in the West Court, East Court, and Lecture Room)
    2:00 pm

    Continuing The Conversation

    • Ole Øvretveit, Arctic Frontiers, Akvaplan-niva
    2:10 pm

    Informing Arctic Policy

    • Moderator: Erica Goldman, National Council for Science and the Environment
    • Joel Clement, Harvard Kennedy School
    • Markku Ollikainen, University of Helsinki
    • Volker Rachold, Alfred Wegener Institute, German Arctic Office
    • Frances Ulmer, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

    • Three scientists with deep experience informing heads of state will discuss the common challenges and opportunities as well as those unique to their governments.
    3:10 pm

    Ways Forward


    • Moderator: Fran Ulmer, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Harvard's Belfer Center
    • Panel: Nikoosh Carlo, CNC North Consulting
    • Terry Chapin, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • Julienne Stroeve, University of Manitoba; National Snow and Ice Data Center

    • This panel will review the conference discussions in the context of other programs and initiatives and explore ways to build on conference discussions.
    4:10 pm

    Next Steps

    • Brendan P. Kelly, SEARCH
    4:30 pm Meeting Adjourns