The rapid warming of the Arctic and melting of Arctic sea and land ice will have ramifications around the globe. Shipping routes through an ice-free Northwest Passage in combination with modifications to ocean circulation and regional climate patterns linked to Arctic ice melt will affect trade, fisheries, tourism, coastal ecology, air and water quality, animal migration, and demographics not only in the Arctic but also in lower latitude coastal regions such as New England. With profound changes on the horizon, this is a critical opportunity for New England to prepare for uncertain yet inevitable economic and environmental impacts of Arctic change.
The New England Arctic Network (NEAN) will uniquely address links between Arctic change and the natural, social, and built systems throughout the Arctic and the North Atlantic Arctic region. NEAN combines the wealth of academic expertise in Arctic research across New England with researchers, stakeholders, and external partners concerned with environmental, economic, and social impacts, providing an ideal community for anticipating and responding to Arctic change and its impacts on the eastern coast of North America. By expanding research, scholarship, and training opportunities beyond individual institutions, NEAN strives to attract diverse and innovative leadership to promote the sustainable develop and resilience of communities both within the Arctic and globally. This regional approach has an ideal structure to provide leadership in supporting science and informed decision-making in the Arctic. Engagement among representatives involved with science, practical knowledge, decision making, policy, and governance will fosters convergent research, collaborative learning, and policy development. This network will also share efforts to build and sustain long-term relationships with local communities and organizations in the Arctic as well as international research partnerships.