BOEM joins National Science Foundation and international partners to study impacts of development in the Arctic
NSF ArcSEES collaboration to focus research on Arctic sustainability
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management (BOEM) and international partners, has made the first round of
awards under a program that supports interdisciplinary science important to
understanding the sustainability of the Arctic. The research will examine the
impacts of the changing natural environment and socio-economic conditions on
projects have been funded as part of the NSF Arctic Science, Engineering, and
Education for Sustainability (ArcSEES) program. They are located at 12
institutions and include collaborative investigators from the U.S., France,
Canada, Russia, Finland, Germany, and the UK. ArcSEES grants support academic,
management, indigenous, and industry scientists.
welcomes the opportunity to partner with NSF and other world-class scientific
organizations looking at Arctic sustainability," said Tommy P. Beaudreau,
years ago, the Arctic Council emphasized the need to
engage science for sustainability in the high north,” said Erica Key, ArcSEES
program manager in the Division
of Polar Programs in NSF’s Geosciences Directorate. “In that time, the Arctic environment and population has changed
considerably. ArcSEES is a timely approach to understanding and mitigating the
impacts of environmental change on Arctic people.”
NSF Division of Polar Programs, the Geosciences Directorate, and the Social,
Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) contributed funding to the
first round of awards as did BOEM and the Centre
National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), an organization within the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Submissions to the NSF’s ArcSEES solicitation program drew
the interest of more than 250 scientific collaborators from 10 countries as
well as management entities from the local to the multi-national level.
will focus its funding, combined with NSF funds, on two ArcSEES studies related
to the bureau’s offshore energy management decisions for the Alaskan Outer
first study, Cumulative Effects of Arctic Oil Development - planning and designing for sustainability, will measure and
assess long-term cumulative impacts of increases
in the oil-and-gas-industry infrastructure in the Prudhoe Bay area of
Alaska, with the goal of reducing the impacts of future development in the
region. Donald Walker, University of Alaska Fairbanks, will be the Principal
second, Walrus Adaptability and Long-term Responses; Using multi-proxy data to project sustainability, will examine the
vulnerability and resilience of the walrus population off Alaska's North Slope.
This will enhance the bureau’s understanding of the complex interplay
between climate change; walrus population dynamics and structure;
health, habits, feeding ecologies and foraging locations; and
subsistence harvesting by Alaska Native hunters. Nicole Misarti,
University of Alaska Fairbanks, will be the Principal Investigator.
"This partnership leverages federal
resources to advance our knowledge on Arctic sustainability and deliver high
quality science for decision making on offshore energy," said Guillermo
Auad, who led BOEM’s coordination efforts with the NSF.
"The participation of CNRS through this new partnership with the NSF and
other U.S. institutions saw the selection of a project that includes French
teams, and I am happy with this result," says Jean-François Stephan,
director of the National Institute of Earth Sciences and Astronomy at CNRS.
coordinates the new French Arctic Initiative in which international cooperation
occupies a privileged place, he added.
supports multi-year, interdisciplinary research that focuses on four thematic
areas: the natural and living environment, the built environment, natural
resource development, and governance. The program recognizes that there are
gaps in the scientific understanding of the rapidly changing environmental,
social, economic, built and managed systems in the Arctic as well as their
complex interactions and, as result, deficiencies in the science that guides
additional information about the six research grants, please visit the NSF news release site and the original solicitation.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy resources.