B2: The Structure of Science-Policy Revolution: Lessons from the Arctic

The increasingly rapid and pronounced environmental changes in the Arctic challenge traditional modes of informing policy with scientific knowledge. Using the case of environmental change in the Arctic—a region warming 2–3 times faster than the planet as a whole—this panel will explore promising approaches to more quickly and effectively informing policy making with scientific understanding. The panel, comprising an Arctic resident and educator, an engineer, and research scientists, will explore what it means to do environmental
research in a rapidly changing Arctic. Is the tradition pace of scientific discovery adequate for responding to accelerating changes? Do imminent threats to human well-being affect when and where new science is communicated? Do researchers have responsibilities beyond publishing their results? How should we scale studies to meet the needs of local communities impacted by changes taking place at a global scale? The panelists will focus on rapid changes threatening the community of Shishmaref, Alaska, and similar challenges where science and policy struggle to respond adequately to rapid changes with huge consequences for people. Is a revolution needed at the interface of science and policy?


  • Joel Niemeyer, Former Federal Co-Chair, Denali Commission (retired)

  • Brendan Kelly, Executive Director, Study of Environmental Arctic Change, University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Elizabeth Marino, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sustainability, Oregon State University-Cascades

  • Twila A. Moon, Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES, University of Colorado Boulder

  • Darlene Tocktoo Turner, Migrant Educational Aide, The Shishmaref School