The Arctic is changing before our eyes. In 2017, a ship traversed the Arctic Northern Sea Route without assistance from ice-breaking vessels for the first time ever, signaling a brand new scientific challenge. To understand how the wide-scale changes occurring in the Arctic will bring changes to natural, social, cultural and economic systems, a vast array of data and technology need to be generated to explore this unknown area. A vital piece to helping us navigate the new reality means working with the Arctic’s Indigenous people who have detailed, irreplaceable knowledge of the region and how it has changed over time. The wealth of data generated by this multi-pronged research endeavor can be mined by researchers around the world, creating a global think tank for possible world-changing solutions to a complicated issue.
France Córdova, the Director of the National Science Foundation, will describe the next generation of research happening in the new Arctic, from learning more about shipping routes in iceless summers to autonomous robot sensors that will dive deep under the surface to provide constant environmental monitoring.
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