About Us

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Located in the Syun-Ichi Akasofu Building, the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) was established in 1999 as a cooperative research institute supported by both the U.S. and Japanese governments. Funding comes from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. and from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. More than 20 international groups and more than 60 scientists are collaborating with IARC, allowing the institute to meet our mission and goals through shared understanding and cooperation. Read more on our History page.

Arctic science is now at a critical juncture. We have reached the threshold of documenting and verifying that the climate is indeed changing and that ecosystems are beginning to respond to a warmer Arctic. It is now time to focus upon the more complex tasks of attributing these changes to their causes and quantifying the interdependent relationships and feedback mechanisms among the physical and biological regimes. These are not problems that any single institution or nation may solve in isolation. IARC strives to play a pivotal role in facilitating international collaboration in Arctic environmental change studies.

IARC is in a unique position, by design and by necessity. It must serve our university, state and nation by conducting multi-disciplinary and multi-national research programs, by coordinating interdisciplinary research programs among investigators and students from many countries and by facilitating synthesis activities such as the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) program and subsequent assessment activities. IARC conducts exciting outreach to Alaska communities and those in more temperate regions on all aspects of physical, biological and social sciences in the circumpolar north. We serve as a synthesis and coordination center for Arctic research programs, particularly within the UA system, but also as a leader in Arctic research among the international community. A critical role in the immediate future for IARC is to play an active role in studies related to the International Polar Year (IPY).

IARC also conducts an internationally popular summer school for young researchers and holds workshops on the integration and synthesis of research. IARC also supports several K-12 outreach projects. Read more about our educational programs on our Education/Outreach pages.

The Akasofu Building is located on the West Ridge of the UAF campus overlooking the beautiful Tanana Valley.