About IARC

uaf's west ridge

Aerial photo of UAF's West Ridge, with the Akasofu Building at upper right. (UAF photo by Todd Paris)

IARC leverages state funding 8:1

How do we use our funding? For every dollar invested in IARC by the State of Alaska, we earn eight dollars through competitive research grants, partnerships, and other contracts. (July 2019 figures)

IARC has multiple talents

Who works here? More than 100 scientists, analysts, students, and professional staff with interests that span physical, biological and social sciences. And these people share their talents throughout the community, support local businesses, and much more.

IARC is everywhere in the Arctic

IARC scientists work on 150 research projects that investigate all elements of the Arctic system, including ocean, ice, atmosphere, land, and society. What happens in the Arctic affects everyone on Earth.

Land Acknowledgement

Everywhere we live and work is Native land. We recognize, appreciate, and honor Indigenous peoples and their past, present, and future land stewardship. We are committed to building long-term reciprocal relationships with Indigenous organizations and knowledge holders to create relevant and actionable information in support of their sovereignty and self-determination.

IARC’s Land Acknowledgement is a living document and evolving as we grow and learn together on this journey.

Statement on Diversity and Inclusivity

At IARC, we value a culture of inclusion that leverages the research, educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engages all individuals to help each thrive. Our strength and success as a research institute and university are built on the foundation of a wide range of perspectives and experiences.

IARC's purpose is to understand the Arctic to make a difference.

Our core values

Useful, actionable science
Our research responds to society’s needs in a changing Arctic and world.

Deeper understanding
Our emphasis on fundamental research sets the groundwork for understanding and responding to Arctic change.

Grounded in place
Living and working in Alaska, gives us an holistic knowledge and understanding of the Arctic. We value what the North and its people teach us.

Inclusion and diversity
We actively cultivate an environment where all individuals and groups feel welcomed and heard. Our different experiences, expertise, and ways of knowing are our strength, creating diverse thoughts and ideas.

Innovation and expertise
Drawing on our expertise, we value a culture of creativity that fosters innovation.

We solve problems through local to international collaboration with different disciplines, knowledge systems, and by engaging with government agencies.

Our history


By the 1990s, climate change had become an important subject that urgently needed international study.

IARC was founded in 1999 at UAF through an agreement between Japan and the United States “to demonstrate our ability to solve, jointly, problems that are beyond what any one nation can address” as outlined in the agreement signed by President Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto in 1997.


IARC Directors, left to right: Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Larry Hinzman, and Hajo Eicken.

Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Founding Director, 1999-2007. Dr. Akasofu was instrumental in creating the Frontier Program as well as cooperative agreements with Japanese agencies and the US National Science Foundation.

Larry Hinzman, Director 2007-2015. Dr. Hinzman deepened collaborations with international partners and broadened the base of competitive funding in the US.

Hajo Eicken, Director 2015–present. A renowned sea ice specialist, Dr. Eicken has been hailed for his work in disseminating knowledge to researchers and the public. Using western science and Native observations, he has advanced the understanding of sea ice dynamics, demonstrating the value of traditional knowledge in environmental science.