Update on ARCSS Program Activities
Witness the Arctic provides information on current arctic research efforts and findings, significant research initiatives, national policy affecting arctic research, international activities, and profiles of institutions with major arctic research efforts. Witness serves an audience of arctic scientists, educators, agency personnel, and policy makers. Witness was published biannually in hardcopy from 1995-2008 (archives are available below) and is currently published online 3-4 times annually, depending on newsworthy events.
With the Spring 2009 issue, ARCUS changed the format of Witness the Arctic. To provide more frequent updates and reduce printing and mailing costs and associated environmental impacts, the newsletter is now distributed online in three or four shorter issues per year, depending on newsworthy events.
The latest Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program solicitation, Changing Seasonality in the Arctic System (CSAS), was released in June 2008. The proposal deadline was in October 2008. In response to the solicitation, NSF received 71 proposals representing approximately $30 million in requested funding. NSF anticipates making between 10 and 20 awards totaling $5 to $10 million. Awards are expected to be announced by July 2009.
The ARCSS Committee, which is appointed by ARCUS and offers a mechanism through which NSF can stay informed of community interests, is currently focusing on two main activities: discussions with the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) Science Steering Committee regarding much closer coordination of the two efforts, and input into the 2010 State of the Arctic Conference.
In personnel news, Dr. Erica Key joined the Office of Polar Programs staff as Associate Program Director for the ARCSS Program. She is at NSF through the Visiting Scientists, Engineers, and Educators (VSEE) Program.
Key is an atmospheric physicist and oceanographer; she earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) at the University of Miami in 2004. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at RSMAS, she served as a Researcher First-Class in air-sea interaction at the Centre d'Etudes des Environnements Terrestre et Planetaires (now the Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales [LATMOS]) near Paris. She returned to the U.S. to work on marine biophysics at the Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory before joining the ARCSS Program in May 2009. She has extensive field experience, having worked in all five oceans collecting data for both oceanographic and atmospheric research. She uses these observations to further advancements in remote sensing retrievals, modeling, and forecast analyses.
Key can be contacted at ekey [at] nsf [dot] gov. For more information on the ARCSS Program, go to: www.arcus.org/arcss/index.html, or contact Neil Swanberg (nswanber [at] nsf [dot] gov), Josh Schimel (Schimel [at] lifesci [dot] ucsb [dot] edu), or Helen Wiggins (helen [at] arcus [dot] org).