These Guidelines for Improved Cooperation between Arctic Researchers and Northern Communities have been drafted by the Arctic Sciences Section of the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation and the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium with the input of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management and the Alaska Native Science Commission. The purpose is to provide information and suggestions to improve the way researchers work with communities in the Arctic in the planning and conduct of field research campaigns. Fieldwork can interrupt subsistence hunting or disturb species protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act or Endangered Species Act. Maps in figures 1 and 2 illustrate the location and time of year some of the primary subsistence species are present. These Guidelines help researchers attain the objectives of the Principles for Conduct of Research in the Arctic (Appendix 1, adopted by the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee and the Polar Research Board in 1984) and involve local communities, or wildlife managers where appropriate, in research planning to reduce impacts to subsistence harvests and protected species.
Subsistence harvests occur in numerous locations and vary by season. The Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act protect a number of species in the Arctic (Appendix 2). Maps and information provided in these guidelines are designed to help researchers determine the potential of their fieldwork to impact subsistence harvests and protected species and contact the appropriate federal agency if consultation is necessary.
The National Science Foundation encourages researchers working in the Arctic to use the information and maps provided in these guidelines to evaluate the potential impact of their research on arctic residents and protected species and cooperate as outlined in these guidelines to ameliorate the impact of their research. In keeping with the Principles for Conduct of Research in the Arctic, communication between researchers and communities near the planned field sites should begin during proposal development and continue through field plan preparation, fieldwork, post-field work, publication and include sharing research results with arctic communities. The National Science Foundation hopes that the research community will seize the opportunity to work with arctic residents, include them as part of their field teams, perform outreach and education, and build lasting relationships with local communities and governments that pave the way for researchers who follow.