National Institute of Polar Research

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Arctic Environment Research Center

As a bridge of Japanese and international Arctic researches

Director  Hiroyuki Enomoto

The Arctic Environment Research Center (AERC) was established in June 1990 at NIPR to promote the study of sea ice, oceanography, marine ecology, terrestrial ecology, atmospheric sciences, glaciology, and upper atmospheric sciences. Since April 2015, AERC has experienced greater involvement in international research planning and efforts. The AERC is currently gathering and providing information on Arctic observations and arranging for use of Arctic observation facilities, as well as securing and enhancing facilities for international collaborative observations with major institutes in the Arctic region. We also lead the Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) project as a core institute.

University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

Facilities for collaborative observation

The Ny-Ålesund Research Station, an office space in Norway’s University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, along with the facilities of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR), the Spasskaya Pad Scientific Forest Station in Russia and the Czech Arctic Research Infrastructure in Svalbard are open for cooperative research. We are currently planning to deploy more research and/or observation facilities in other Arctic regions, including northern Canada.

International Collaborations

AERC pursues a wide range of international joint research, such as the Antarctic-Arctic aurora conjugate observation point in Iceland, the European incoherent scatter (EISCAT) radar project, and the East Greenland Ice Core Project (EGRIP). We also assist in collaborative research using stations maintained by the Centre d'études nordiques (CEN), which is a research centre involving three academic institutions; the Université Laval, theUniversité du Québec à Rimouski and the Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique.

Japan Arctic Research Network Center (J-ARC Net)

AERC is working with the Arctic Research Center at Hokkaido University and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) as partners of the Japan Arctic Research Network Center, J-ARC Net. Established in April 2016, J-ARC Net seeks to strengthen interdisciplinary studies on the environment and human activity, as well as to find approaches for solving problems through the collaborative efforts of industry, government, and academia. AERC also provides facilities for researchers.

Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research (JCAR)

JCAR was established in May 2011 as a nationwide network for promoting Arctic environmental research. The JCAR office is located in AERC. JCAR coordinates future research plans by means of the ‘Long-term Plan for Arctic Environmental Research’ (, the development of research infrastructure, and the promotion of early career development. JCAR also gathers and distributes information on domestic and international activities and research on the changing Arctic environment.

JCAR co-organized the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in April 2015, and hosts the fifth International Symposium on Arctic Research (ISAR-5) in January 2018.

Ny-Ålesund Research Station

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