Understanding the Arctic as a System


We focus on the Arctic at a time of rapid environmental change


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

IARC was founded 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 Common Agenda 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.

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