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“North to the Future” is a well-known slogan in Alaska. This slogan also expresses the spirit with which the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (ARC) has begun its work.

The commission was established as a result of Sen. Murkowski's (R-Alaska) Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984, and its members were appointed by President Reagan last February (Eos, February 26, 1985, p. 91). The ARC has been directed to develop and recommend an integrated Arctic research policy and to work with the concomitantly established Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee in the formulation of a comprehensive 5-year Arctic research plan (see Figure 1). The Arctic Research and Policy Act designates the National Science Foundation as the lead agency responsible for implementing the policy with other federal agencies; it further requires the preparation of a single, integrated multiagency budget request for Arctic research.