Update on the Status of NSF Polar Programs

28 October 2013

18 October 2013

Dear Polar Community,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is proceeding through the
painstaking process of restarting systems and developing policies for
reversing the consequences of the shutdown, such as missed proposal
submission deadlines and review panels. Our efforts are focused on
ensuring that our decisions to sequence the restart of operations
reflect careful consideration of many issues, and that we do not proceed
with haste that might lead to unintended consequences. Hence our ability
to communicate with individual investigators is currently limited. In
the meantime, below is a synopsis of the current state of Polar Programs.

It was necessary to suspend certain science and operations activities in
Antarctica just as we had begun our active austral summer season.
Although the Continuing Resolution expires in mid-January, we are
working towards a plan to fund Antarctic operations through September
30. Unfortunately, some projects, due to their time-sensitive nature,
will need to be deferred. Discussions are underway regarding how to
restore remaining activities. You can expect to hear more about that
from your Program Director in the coming days and weeks.

In the Arctic, we were fortunate that the funding impasse ended before
any ongoing field science projects had to be cancelled. The shutdown
did, however, seriously curtail planning for the 2014 field season. We
will be working with you and the support organizations to catch up over
the next few months so that we can minimize any impacts on our upcoming

Despite the delay, Polar Programs staff is working diligently with our
research community, our interagency and international partners, and with
our supporting organizations to continue Arctic and Antarctic research
programs to the fullest possible extent.

Please watch http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=PLR for additional

Dr. Kelly K. Falkner
Division of Polar Programs

For specific information about the science field work in the U.S.
Antarctic Program and in the U.S. Arctic Research Program, please read
the following:

Antarctic - Letter to U.S. Antarctic science community from Dr. Scott
Borg, Head, Antarctic Sciences Section

Arctic - Letter to the U.S. Arctic science community from Mr. Simon
Stephenson, Head, Arctic Sciences Section

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