Space and the Arctic: Why Space Capabilities Are Important for Sustainable Arctic Development

When: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Where: Choate Room, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, SWF hosted a discussion from 12:00pm to 2:00pm EST on why space capabilities are important for sustainable Arctic development.
The Arctic region is changing rapidly, allowing for new opportunities to learn more about this remote area, use it to expand economic development, and build off it for national security and political benefits. However, there are challenges involved in ensuring that there is assured access to the Arctic, monitoring the physical changes it is undergoing, using the Arctic in a sustainable manner, and creating a stable environment for a region that could be the site of disputed land claims.  Space plays an important role in monitoring conditions in the Arctic and in enabling the management of resources there. Given that the United States will assume the chairmanship of the intergovernmental Arctic Council in April, this panel discussion examined the implications of changing Arctic conditions and how space can help improve understanding of and mitigate the disruption from those changes.


  • Dr. Claire Parkinson, Climate Change Senior Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • CDR Ronald Piret, Arctic Affairs Officer, Task Force Climate Change (TFCC), U.S. Navy
  • Dr. Amy Sun, Military Space Narrowband Advanced Programs Lead, Lockheed Martin
  • Major Charity Weeden, Assistant Attaché Air & Space Operations, Canadian Defence Liaison Staff Washington
  • Mr. Michael J. Young, Arctic Affairs Officer, Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Event Materials

An audio recording of the event can be downloaded here

Dr. Claire Parkinson's presentation - "Satellite Observations of the Decreasing Arctic Ice Cover"

A copy of the US Navy's Arctic Road Map can be found here.

A full copy of the transcript can be found here.


Last updated on February 16, 2015