Fourth Presidental History Symposium


Cold history: assessing NOAA's role in the Arctic

Ronald E. Doel, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; and K. C. Harper, S. Kromann, N. Merati, and T. C. Vance

The Arctic has long held a special place in the American mind. Dangerous, enticing, and mysterious, the Arctic region first attracted explorers, whalers, ethnographers and anthropologists to its periphery. In recent decades the Arctic region has become an important natural laboratory for studying a wide range of environmental processes, including natural and human-induced climatic variation. It is thus one of the most significant regions where NOAA has worked and currently operates, one rich with heritage resources. NOAA and its predecessor agencies - the United States Coast and Geodetic, the Weather Bureau, and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries - conducted a variety of research projects in the Arctic. Projects included field parties mapping the Arctic coast of Alaska, studies of the fur seal fishery of the Pribilof Islands, weather stations maintained in a variety of locations and hydrographic mapping off of the northern coast of Alaska. This paper describes an effort to create a comprehensive history of NOAA's more recent research efforts in this region by (1) conducting oral history interviews with a wide range of individuals with intimate and unique knowledge of Arctic scientific missions and results; (2) preserving historically valuable materials discovered through these interviews while disseminating relevant resources through NOAA websites and related venues; and (3) discovering and preserving unique historical sources that will extend current baselines for studying ecological and environmental changes in the Arctic region over time. wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 2, Meteorology: From Ben Franklin to Climate Change: Part II
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 2:00 PM-5:00 PM, A310

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