CARMA overall objective is to assess the vulnerability of Rangifer herds across the north to global changes. This will be accomplished by conducting cross-herd comparisons among a number of herds which have active CARMA partners and a relatively rich retrospective database. To accomplish that objective CARMA has developed a few key "synthesis questions".

These are:
1. How important are seasonal ranges to caribou and reindeer?
What are the relative contributions of different seasonal ranges to fecundity, pathogens (parasites and diseases) , body condition and survival of Arctic calving Rangifer?

2. What is different about the herds?
How consistent, or variable, are these relationships among herds?

3. What causes herds to grow or decline?
Is there any common suite of input (habitat) output (demography) variables that indicate direction of herd growth?

4. How important are pathogens and predators?
In what way do pathogens and predators affect productivity, habitat use and distribution of Rangifer (top down)?

5. How important is human harvest to caribou and reindeer herd growth or decline?
Are human effects on population abundance additive or compensatory?

6. How are people responding to change now and how might they respond in the future?
What are the patterns of human community response (mitigation, adaptation, transformation) to change in caribou abundance, distribution, fecundity, health, and body condition?