Update on Funding for NSF’s Office of Polar Programs and Arctic Sciences Division
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.
On 18 November 2011 the President signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012. Division B of the Act provides funding for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2012, which began 1 October 2011. Although final agency budget reports are not yet available, the estimated National Science Foundation (NSF) funding level is $7 billion, which is an increase of $173 million (2.5%) from the FY 2011 enacted level. The estimated FY 2012 budget for the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) is $435.87 million. The estimated allocation for the Arctic Science Division (ARC) is $102.76 million, which is $3.1 million less than the actual FY 2011 level.
The Obama Administration’s FY 2013 budget request, released 13 February 2012, calls for a $13.7 million (3.2%) increase to OPP and a $5.75 million (5.6%) increase to the ARC budgets over the FY 2012 estimated levels of funding. The request would provide an increase of $5.61million (9.7%) to ARC funded research.
ARC funds a broad range of activities to provide an integrated understanding of environmental change in the Arctic, including the study of significant, system-scale environmental change and its human dimension. In general, 40% of the Arctic Science Division’s portfolio is available for new research grants, with 20% for continuing grants made in previous years and 40% for research support and logistics.
For additional information about the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, please see: Bill Summary & Status of H.R. 2112.
For more information about NSF’s 2013 Budget Request to Congress, please see: http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2013/toc.jsp. For further details, please download the Office of Polar Program budget request: http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2013/pdf/13-OPP_fy2013.pdf.