Arctic Strategic Transportation and Resource (ASTAR) Methods

The Arctic Strategic Transportation and Resources (ASTAR) project worked with North Slope communities and regional stakeholders to identify infrastructure development projects that offered the most benefit to stakeholders by prioritizing community and cultural connectivity, regional support, reduced cost of living and increased safety. The project was a collaborative effort initiated by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the North Slope Borough. The planning area includes the entire North Slope region, including State lands, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

A document providing an overview of the project and methodology can be downloaded using the ASTAR Methodology button below. Prior to analysis, a review of prioritization tools and decision processes was conducted. This review is also available for download below using the Project Prioritization Tools button.

TRAINING VIDEO: This video demonstrates how to use the ASTAR Project Prioritization Tool. This tool is described in ASTAR documentation as Cumulative Benefits Analysis; however, it was renamed the Project Prioritization Tool to more accurately reflect its use. The tool was created from an open source tool called SplendidCRM that was modified to meet the needs of these analyses. There are four primary modules: Accounts, Projects, Surveys, and Analysis. The tool combines pairwise comparison (PWC), analytical hierarchy (AHP), and weighted decision making (WDM) processes to rank infrastructure projects according to their benefit to regional stakeholders based on stakeholder input.

The ASTAR team conducted project scoping and data collection efforts in support of this project. Reports documenting Stakeholder Engagement, Transportation Study, Socioeconomic References and Workforce Development Plan are provided through the PLANNING link below. The ASTAR data inventory and data management plan are also available through the ASTAR PLANNING link.

The ASTAR team developed specialized geographic cost surface (CS) tools for this project to facilitate consideration of site/route selection scenarios. Documentation and access to these tools are provided through the ASTAR CS TOOL link below.

Based on project prioritization analysis, the ASTAR team selected three infrastructure projects for evaluation: Atqusuk-Utquagvik routing, Utqiagvik-Atqasuk-Wainwright routing and Colville River crossing. The data used and results for these studies are provided through the ASTAR STUDIES link below.

Raster GIS data sets were created for the North Slope region with common origin points that are intended for use with CS tools. They represent elevation (2m DEM ~400GB), slope (~400GB) and hydrodensity (~20 GB). In addition a permanent road, cost surface raster data set (~6 GB) was generated for the North Slope. These products are available for use; however, due to their large size, distribution of these products will only be available by direct request. Please contact NSSI Data Management for further information. Note: DEM data for the region are available for download online through USGS and DGGS.

Further description of the ASTAR project is available at the ASTAR DNR project website that is available through the link below.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
ISO Topics economy, elevation, environment, geoscientificInformation, health, planningCadastre, society, structure, transportation
Primary Contact Jeff Bruno (
Primary Organization North Slope Borough
Other Organizations Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Resource Data, Inc.
Organization Types Industry and Consultants, Local, State
Geo-keywords North Slope
Created August 7, 2020, 02:52 (AKDT)
Last Updated July 1, 2021, 21:58 (AKDT)