Science Diplomacy in the Atlantic Arctic: Assessing Potential Expansion of the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) to the Baffin Bay-Davis Strait Area

Authors: Claire Eaton*, University of New Hampshire
Topics: Polar Regions, Coastal and Marine, Global Change
Keywords: polar regions, arctic, science diplomacy, global change, marine ecosystems
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Climate change is impacting marine ecosystems across the globe at an astounding rate, but nowhere is affected more severely than the Arctic. Research teams from countries across the globe are now working to gather insight into current trends and future scenarios related to physical and biological change. Despite growing interest among both the scientific community and national governments, those conducting marine research in the Arctic face a number of technical, logistical, political, and resource-related challenges. These challenges present a serious barrier to research efforts that could stymie scientific progress and related applications (e.g., climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, etc.). In response, scientists and governments are developing and expanding science diplomacy efforts, or facilitation of scientific research through international cooperation. A current example of such efforts is the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO). The DBO represents a case in which high-level, agency-to-agency cooperation surrounding Arctic research has successfully led to accumulation of critically important biological and oceanographic data that can be used to steer environmental governance, regional political and economic strategy, and ongoing scientific research efforts. The main objective of this research is to conduct a stakeholder analysis of relevant actors engaged in Arctic marine research and the DBO in order to characterize the parties involved, the key issues they find important, and their interests related to these issues in order to facilitate future expansions to new parts of the circumpolar system, such as the Baffin Bay-Davis Strait area.

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