Begich Welcomes Reappointments of Scientists to the Arctic Research Commission
Noting their years of service to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), U.S. Sen. Mark Begich welcomed Tuesday’s reappointments of Doctors Charles J. Vörösmarty and Warren Zapol, to new four-year terms as commissioners. The reappointments of the engineering professor and medical doctor to seats designated for researchers or academics were announced by President Obama.
“With the dramatic changes we see in the Arctic today, the work of the Arctic Research Commission is all the more important to understand the impacts on human health, ecosystems and critical subsistence species, and address issues raised by increasing development in that region,” Begich said. “Dr.Vörösmarty and Dr. Zapol have served the commission with distinction and I welcome their continued involvement in guiding national policy regarding Arctic research.”
Dr. Vörösmarty is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the City College of New York, a position he has held since 2008. Dr. Vörösmarty previously worked at the University of New Hampshire for over 30 years, including serving as a Research Full Professor from 2001 to 2008. He earned a B.S. from Cornell University in Biological Sciences, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. He has served on the Arctic Research Commission since 2006 and was reappointed in 2008.
Dr. Zapol, M.D., is director of the Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research at Massachusetts General Hospital where he previously served as Anesthetist-in-Chief. He is also a Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Zapol has been a member of the Arctic Research Commission since 2008 and earlier served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board. He has taken part in nine expeditions to Antarctica and earned a B.S. from MIT and an M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Since taking office, Begich has supported the ARC through the appointment of
qualified individuals as commissioners, including many Alaskans. Appointments in recent years include Mary Pete of the University of Alaska’s Kuskokwim campus in Bethel; former Lieutenant Governor and UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer; and, most recently, Juneau-based fishery expert David Benton. Two vacancies on the commission remain.
The USARC was formed in 1984 to establish a national policy, priorities, and goals necessary for a federal program of basic and applied scientific research with respect to the Arctic, including natural resources and materials; physical, biological and health sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. The Commission works with Arctic residents, local governments and institutions, and international research programs to fully understand Arctic research needs, recommends Arctic research policy to the President and Congress.