NAO 216-120: OPERATION OF NOAA ARCTIC PROGRAM

Issued 12/28/2016; Effective 12/28/2016; Last Reviewed: 12/28/2016

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SECTION 1.  PURPOSE.

.01  This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Order (NAO) establishes NOAA’s policy for the management of its work in the Arctic. 

SECTION 2.  SCOPE.

.01  This NAO describes the Arctic Program management and decision-making structure and outlines the operations, roles, and responsibilities of its components.

SECTION 3.  DEFINITIONS.

.01  The Arctic: for purposes of this NAO, the Arctic means all United States and foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all United States territory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwim Rivers; all contiguous seas, including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi Seas; and the Aleutian chain.

SECTION 4.  POLICY.

.01  NOAA is actively engaged in the Arctic, providing critical science, services, and stewardship to this rapidly changing region, its inhabitants, and the Nation.  In February 2011, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere approved NOAA’s “Arctic Vision and Strategy.”  This NAO provides a formal structure for implementing the “Arctic Vision and Strategy” and NOAA’s 2014 “Arctic Action Plan,” and for otherwise coordinating NOAA’s work in the Arctic.  Through its broad range of activities, NOAA is well prepared to make significant contributions to implement the six strategic goals outlined in NOAA’s “Arctic Vision and Strategy” and NOAA’s “Arctic Action Plan.”  

NOAA is deeply engaged in many Arctic interagency efforts and international partnerships, and actively collaborates with regional partners and stakeholders, including the State of Alaska, foreign and local governments, Alaska Native communities, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  

As the federal lead on environmental intelligence and stewardship, NOAA also provides the foundational information on which other agencies and decision makers rely to carry out their missions in the Arctic.

.02  The NOAA Arctic Program coordinates the agency’s cross-Line and Staff Office Arctic activities, budgeting, and policy making.  The Arctic Program is responsible for the coordination of NOAA’s Arctic research and monitoring portfolios, and for assuring that NOAA-wide strategies and initiatives related to the Arctic are developed collaboratively and implemented consistently.

.03  The Arctic Program is administratively housed within NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS).  The Arctic Program is led by a Senior Adviser who reports to the NOS Assistant Administrator.  The Senior Adviser is supported by and receives recommendations from the Arctic Executive Committee, which is composed of senior executives representing NOAA’s Line and Staff Offices.  The Arctic Action Team, composed of staff representing NOAA’s Line and Staff Offices, provides support to the Arctic Executive Committee.  The NOS Assistant Administrator, in consultation with the Senior Adviser, other Assistant Administrators and Staff Office Directors, will determine appropriate staff support needs.

SECTION 5.  RESPONSIBILITIES.

.01  ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE

The Assistant Administrator for the National Ocean Service will provide guidance to and appropriate support for the Senior Adviser and the Arctic Program.  Such guidance and support includes:

  1. Supervising the Senior Adviser for the Arctic.
  2. Advocating for the Arctic Program in cross-cutting NOAA research, monitoring, budget and policy activities, and planning.
  3. Consulting with the Senior Adviser, other Assistant Administrators, and Staff Office Directors to determine the appropriate staff support needs. 

 

.02  NOAA SENIOR ADVISER FOR THE ARCTIC PROGRAM

The Senior Adviser for the Arctic Program is responsible for coordinating, as appropriate, NOAA’s Arctic research, monitoring, budget and policy activities, and advancing the strategic goals outlined in NOAA’s “Arctic Vision and Strategy” and NOAA’s “Arctic Action Plan.” In this capacity, the Senior Advisor will:

  1. Direct and coordinate NOAA’s Arctic Program across Line Offices.
  2. Chair NOAA’s Arctic Executive Committee.
  3. Routinely interact with and advise the Under Secretary or her/his designee on Arctic policy issues.
  4. Advise the NOS Assistant Administrator of high level issues, challenges, and opportunities.
  5. Meet regularly with Line Office Assistant Administrators and Staff Office Directors to discuss ongoing Arctic matters.
  6. Provide advice to NOAA leadership on funding mechanisms to support the Program, including implementation of Arctic Council initiatives, in consultation with the appropriate line office, staff office, or both.
  7. Elevate program issues to the Assistant Administrators, the NOAA strategic councils, or the Office of the Under Secretary, as needed.
  8. Foster international, interagency, state, industry, academic, and NGO partnerships. 
  9. Ensure communication, collaboration, and tribal consultation, as appropriate, with Alaska Native Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, and Alaska Native Organizations.
  10. Represent NOAA on interagency committees, as appropriate (e.g., as NOAA’s principal to the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee), and delegate the function as appropriate.
  11. Develop a cross-NOAA Arctic budget proposal that reflects NOAA Arctic priorities; work with NOS Management and Budget Office to ensure the budget proposal and any changes to it are considered and addressed in the budget evaluation process.

 

.03  ARCTIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  1. Purpose.  To provide representation of the NOAA Line Offices and Staff Offices in decision making on Arctic issues, ensure Line and Staff Office priorities are considered and reflected in the work of the Arctic Program, ensure coordination among Arctic activities, and provide the Arctic Senior Adviser strategic guidance to advance NOAA’s “Arctic Vision and Strategy” and NOAA’s Arctic work.
  2. Membership.  Committee members include the Chair (Senior Advisor for the Arctic Program) and senior level officials (Senior Executive Service or GS-15) appointed by the Line Office Assistant Administrator or Staff Office Director for the following offices: 
    1. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
      National Marine Fisheries Service
      National Ocean Service
      National Weather Service
      National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
      Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
      Office of General Counsel
      Office of International Affairs
  3. Roles and Responsibilities.
    1. Ensure Line and Staff Office priorities are raised with and considered by the Senior Adviser and the Executive Committee.
    2. Identify and oversee the implementation of NOAA’s strategic priorities for the Arctic.
    3. Enhance cross-Line and Staff Office coordination of NOAA’s Arctic activities.
    4. Support NOAA Arctic goals and activities through Line Office resource commitments.
    5. Support the Senior Adviser for the Arctic Program in the coordination of NOAA Arctic budget proposals.
    6. Coordinate closely with the Arctic Regional Collaboration Team.
    7. Support and coordinate NOAA’s positions for interagency processes and before interagency committees, such as the Arctic Executive Steering Committee and the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee.
    8. Review and approve, on behalf of individual Line or Staff Offices, documents for submission to NOAA leadership, other agencies, and other audiences as necessary and appropriate.
  4. Operations.
    1. Frequency of Meetings.  The Executive Committee meetings will be held monthly. Support staff will schedule meetings, distribute the agenda and meeting minutes, and track action and decision items.
    2. Decision-Making Process.  Members will offer opinions and recommendations that represent the views of their Line and Staff Offices.  The Senior Adviser will strive for consensus in decision making and issue resolution.  If a consensus is not achieved, the Senior Adviser will resolve the issue through discussion with the affected Assistant Administrators and/or Staff Office Directors, or on her/his own if appropriate.  Nothing in this Order abrogates the standard NOAA elevation process.

.04  ARCTIC ACTION TEAM

  1. Purpose.  To provide support to the Arctic Executive Committee.
  2. Membership.  Action Team members are Line and Staff Office employees who perform Action Team duties as part of their regular duties.  Each Line Office may appoint up to three members; each Staff Office may appoint up to one member.  The Action Team Chair is nominated by the Action Team and approved by the Executive Committee, and is a two-year position to be filled by a senior-level Action Team representative.  This position will rotate, as guided by the Executive Committee, at the culmination of each term.  As needed, the Action Team may establish working groups that include additional staff.  The Action Team consists of representatives of the following Line and Staff Offices:
    1. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
      National Marine Fisheries Service
      National Ocean Service
      National Weather Service
      National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
      Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
      Office of International Affairs
      Office of General Counsel

      Note:  the Arctic Executive Committee may add additional representatives if deemed appropriate.

  3. Arctic Action Team Roles and Responsibilities.
    1. Respond to tasks assigned by the Arctic Executive Committee.
    2. Identify and recommend emerging Arctic needs and issues to the Arctic Executive Committee.
    3. Provide summaries of Line and Staff Office activities in the Arctic to the Executive Committee.
    4. Update NOAA’s “Arctic Action Plan.”
    5. Maintain NOAA’s Arctic website and communication materials in coordination with the NOAA Communications Office.
    6.   Promote communication and information sharing relevant to the NOAA Arctic Program, both within NOAA’s Line and Staff Offices and to organizations and entities outside of NOAA.
  4. Arctic Action Team Chair Roles and Responsibilities.
    1. Serve as single point of contact to the Arctic Executive Committee.
    2. Prioritize and assign tasks identified by the Arctic Executive Committee.
    3. Ensure that the Arctic Action Team adheres to deadlines.
    4. Schedule Arctic Action Team meetings.
  5. Arctic Action Team Operations.
    1. Frequency of Meetings: The Action Team meetings will be held monthly.  The Action Team’s designated support staff, under the guidance of the Action Team Chair, will distribute the agenda and meeting minutes and track actions to ensure that Action Team members carry out assignments and meet deadlines. 

 
SECTION 6.  AUTHORITIES.

.01  Department Organization Order 10-15, “Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” (December 12, 2011).

.02  Department Organization Order 25-5, “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” (May 4, 2015).

SECTION 7.  REFERENCES.

.01  NOAA’s Arctic Vision and Strategy (February 2011),
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/docs/NOAAArctic_V_S_2011.pdf

.02  NOAA’s Arctic Action Plan (April 2014),
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/NOAAarcticactionplan2014.pdf

.03  President’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region (May 2013),
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/nat_arctic_strategy.pdf

.04  Executive Order 13689, Enhancing Coordination of National Efforts in the Arctic (January 2015),
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/21/executive-order-enhancing-coordination-national-efforts-arctic

SECTION  8.  EFFECT ON OTHER ISSUANCES.

.01  This Order does not affect existing NAOs.

.02  The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere signs because there is no delegation of authority for this NAO.

An electronic copy of this Order will be posted on the NOAA Office of the Chief Administrative Officer website under the NOAA Administrative Issuances Section. http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/~ocao/index.html

                                 

 

 

                                                                       ________________________
Under Secretary of Commerce
for Oceans and Atmosphere                                                                                             

 

                                                                  
Offices of Primary Interest:

National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service (NESDIS) 
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
National Ocean Service (NOS)
National Weather Service (NWS)
Office of Marine & Aviation Operations (OMAO)
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
Office of General Counsel (OGC)
Office of International Affairs (OIA)
Office of Legislative & Intergovernmental Affairs (OLIA)