Victoria Herrmann is the President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute. In addition to managing the Institute and Board of Directors, her research and writing focus on climate change, community adaptation, human development, and resource economies, with a particular focus on Arctic oil and gas. Photo: The Arctic Institute

By Victoria Herrmann
28 March 2017

(The Guardian) – As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of U.S. Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. In truth, some of the maps we use today haven’t been updated since the second world war. Navigating uncharted waters can prove difficult, but it comes with the territory of working in such a remote part of the world.

Over the past two months though, I’ve been navigating a different type of uncharted territory: the deleting of what little data we have by the Trump administration.

At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January 2017. The U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies.

I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun.

Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge. [more]

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

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