An overview is given of the First ISCCP Regional Experiment Arctic Clouds Experiment that was conducted during April-July 1998. The principal goal of the field experiment was to gather the data needed to examine the impact of arctic clouds on the radiation exchange between the surface, atmosphere, and space, and to study how the surface influences the evolution of boundary layer clouds. The observations will be used to evaluate and improve climate model parameterizations of cloud and radiation processes, satellite remote sensing of cloud and surface characteristics, and understanding of cloud-radiation feedbacks in the Arctic. The experiment utilized four research aircraft that flew over surface-based observational sites in the Arctic Ocean and at Barrow, Alaska. This paper describes the programmatic and scientific objectives of the project, the experimental design (including research platforms and instrumentation), the conditions that were encountered during the field experiment, and some highlights of preliminary observations, modeling, and satellite remote sensing studies.