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North Slope
Science Initiative
Dr. John F. Payne, Executive Director
Dr. Denny Lassuy, Acting Deputy Director
North Slope Science Initiative
Big Area
North Slope Presentation
Big Issues
North Slope Presentation
Big Challenges
(greater than any 1 agency)
• Need collaboration & forum to achieve it
• Need good science & means to access it
North Slope Science Initiative
North Slope Presentation
Energy Policy Act of 2005,
Section 348: NSSI Purpose
(first NSSI funding = FY07)
• “…shall be to implement efforts to
coordinate collection of scientific
data that will provide a better
understanding of the terrestrial,
aquatic, and marine ecosystems of
the North Slope of Alaska.”
North Slope Presentation
Energy Policy Act of 2005,
Section 348: NSSI Objectives
• Identify and prioritize information needs to address the individual
and cumulative effects of past, ongoing, and anticipated
development activities and environmental change.
• Coordinate ongoing and future inventory, monitoring, and research
activities to minimize duplication of effort, share financial resources
and expertise, and assure the collection of quality information.
• Maintain and improve access to accumulated and ongoing research
and contemporary and traditional local knowledge.
• Focus on pressing resource management needs, coordination, and
cooperation among agencies and organizations.
North Slope Presentation
Mission & Vision
Mission: Improve scientific and regulatory
understanding of terrestrial, aquatic and marine
ecosystems for consideration in the context of resource
development activities and climate change.
Vision: Identify the data and information that
management agencies and governments will need in the
future to develop management scenarios using the best
information and mitigation to conserve the environments
of the North Slope.
North Slope Presentation
Oversight Group &
Executive Director
Interagency Staff
Science Technical
Advisory Panel
North Slope Presentation
Actions to Meet NSSI Objectives
• Placed 5 additional hydrologic gauging stations in NPRA & Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge (focus on pressing shared need)
-- completed 08 --
• Implemented an agreement with UAF for NSSI/GINA (improve access)
-- ongoing, functionality Spring 09 --
• North Slope Projects Database/Browser was jump-started Fall 08
under GINA, to access data on P.I., subject, duration, contact, etc. –
NPRB format & coordinated among NSSI, AOOS, & others (access)
-- ongoing, functionality Spring 09 --
• Water quality & bathymetry remote sensing project (priority shared need)
-- ongoing, completion due Fall 09 --
• Landcover baseline and change detection mapping (priority shared need)
-- ongoing, field 09, product due 10 --
North Slope Presentation
GINA – Base Layers
Geodetic control
Governmental Units
Digital Orthoimagery
North Slope Presentation
Additional Coordination Actions:
• Workshops: Caribou, Remote Sensing/GIS, Data
Integration, U.S./Canada Oil & Gas Research, Arctic
Fish and Fisheries.
• Developing closer ties with NSF (AON) and academia to
aid managers in understanding research results & their
• (NSSI first ever) Report to Congress
North Slope Presentation
Where to from here?
Continue to:
• Identify multi-jurisdictional opportunities.
• Add value through all levels of member organizations.
• Coordinate with entities inside and outside of NSSI.
• Improve access to quality information on North Slope
ecosystems with energy development & climate change.
• Improve understanding of how to use Traditional
Ecological Knowledge to meet the mission of the NSSI.
-- Emerging Issues -Subsistence Species
North Slope Presentation
Challenges to Success
• Long-term budget – long-term initiatives need to be
forward looking and thus positioned for opportunities
beyond current budget cycles.
• Budget stability – NSSI budget is still a “floating” target,
needs to become fixed (line item) for long-term planning.
• Staff stability – NSSI staff as “term, temporary, or detail”
makes institutional knowledge base fleeting; complex
contract/agreement processes learned by experience.
North Slope Presentation
Challenges to Success
• Making the most efficient & practical use of a wholly
volunteer Science Technical Advisory Panel.
• Understanding, predicting and adapting to climate
change and the related impacts to the terrestrial,
freshwater and marine environments.
• Misperceptions
North Slope Presentation
NSSI (Mis)Perception
Misperception: NSSI was created to fund all priority research
activities on the North Slope & its offshore waters.
Reality: NSSI was established to help coordinate and
communicate science activities and serve as a partnering
forum to “bridge and supplement” those activities at the
direction of the full membership of the Oversight Group.
The focus of NSSI remains on those science functions
which offer the greatest promise to meet shared
information needs that address resource development and
climate change.
North Slope Presentation
NSSI (Mis)Perception
Misperception: NSSI will take over all of the science
programs related to inventory, monitoring and
research on the North Slope & its offshore waters.
Reality: NSSI has no legislative mandate to absorb any
entity’s function or individual mission responsibility.
NSSI is mandated to maintain and improve public and
agency access to accumulated and ongoing research
and contemporary & traditional knowledge.
North Slope Presentation
John Payne: [email protected], 271-3431
Denny Lassuy: [email protected], 271-4121
North Slope Presentation