Associated Federal and International Activities

In addition to its research program, ESS works closely with numerous associated entities domestically and internationally to coordinate and leverage its research program and research investments. The following list provides a brief description of these collaborations and links to the other entities.

Climate Change

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP): USGCRP was established by a Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to “assist the nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” USGCRP coordinates the global change research activities of 13 federal agencies representing roughly $2.5 billion in annual research investments.  See also: Our Changing Planet — Annual USGCRP Report to Congress. This annual report and supplement to the president’s budget gives an overview of USGCRP’s recent achievements, current status, future priorities, and budget information.

  • Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group (CCIWG): CCIWG within USGCRP includes representation from 12 federal agencies. CCIWG coordinates the development and execution of each member’s individual and interagency federal research program in carbon cycle research. CCIWG is the sponsoring organization for the North American Carbon Program (NACP) and Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) program. CCIWG also supported the development of the 2011 community report titled A U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan.


Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC): IARPC includes 16 federal entities and is charged with enhancing both the scientific monitoring of and research on local, regional, and global environmental issues in the Arctic. TES activities are represented through the IARPC Terrestrial Ecosystems Collaboration Team.

NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE): ABoVE is sponsored by NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology Program. ABoVE is a field campaign that will be conducted in Alaska and Western Canada (West of the Hudson Bay). ABoVE seeks to more fully understand the evolving Arctic boreal region (ABR) and provide information required to develop options for societal responses to the impacts of ABR climate change. A Concise Experiment Plan has been developed for ABoVE. The plan lays out the rationale, science questions, and top-level study design for ABoVE. NASA expects ABoVE activities to begin in FY 2015. The Department of Energy’s Climate and Environmental Sciences Division is working closely with NASA’s ABoVE team to coordinate activities between the two agencies.

Arctic Council

  • The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) is one of six Arctic council working groups. AMAP is directed by the ministers of the Arctic Council and their senior Arctic officials to support international processes that work to reduce the global threats from contaminants and climate change.
  • AMAP Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane: The Expert Group submits biennial national reports on countries’ existing and planned actions to reduce black carbon and methane, national inventories of these pollutants and, if available, projections of future emissions.
  • Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA): The Arctic Council has requested a review of the “need for an integrated assessment of multiple drivers of Arctic change as a tool for indigenous peoples, Arctic residents, governments and industry to prepare for the future, …” This led to a project titled Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) – Part C. AMAP was directed to carry out AACA – Part C. AACA’s overall objective is to enable more informed, timely, and responsive policy and decision making in a rapidly changing Arctic; the project consists of three separate activities.