Navigating the New Arctic Projects

Displaying 1 - 25 of 69

Networking Indigenous Arctic and U.S. Southwest Communities on Knowledge Co-Production in Data Sciences

Location: 
Chickaloon, AK; Sacaton, AZ; Sells, AZ
Dates: 
1 September 2017 to 31 August 2021

Project Abstract

This project has been renamed the Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network (IFKN). This award supports a Research Coordinating Network (RCN) that brings together scientists and Indigenous communities, Alaska Native communities and Tribal communities in the U.S. Southwest, to advance understanding of the challenges rapid socioecological change pose to food security and resilience in these communities. Indigenous knowledge and perspectives will be combined with scientific knowledge across the biological, geological, geographic, anthropological, and information sciences to enable a comprehensive overview of how different investigators and scholars, from different perspectives and different environments, approach the issues of food security and...

Understanding Future Systems of Transportation in Arctic Regions, a Workshop Proposal

Location: 
Pittsburgh, PA
Dates: 
1 October 2017 to 30 September 2019

Project Abstract

The workshop will consider future innovations in transportation technology and policies in the Arctic that could address challenges associated with rapid climate change. One transportation challenge, for example, is the limited network of roads which are now being undermined by permafrost thaw and flooding; while another challenge is the subsistence based rural economies which may face food shortages. The workshop will bring together a number of natural and social scientists and engineers with relevant expertise to consider how autonomous and robotic transportation might address transportation challenges of the new Arctic in the context of social, cultural, economic...

The Role of New England in Navigating the New Arctic

Location: 
North Atlantic; New England
Dates: 
1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018

Project Abstract

The rapid warming of the Arctic and melting of Arctic sea and land ice has ramifications around the globe. Shipping routes through an ice-free Arctic in combination with modifications to ocean circulation and regional climate patterns linked to Arctic ice melt affect trade, transportation, coastal ecology and hydrology, human-built infrastructure, demographics and cultural identities, fish and wildlife, energy resources, and air and water quality – not only in the Arctic but also in mid-latitude coastal regions such as New England. With profound changes on the horizon, now is a critical time to prepare for uncertain yet inevitable...

Project Abstract:

The investigators will conduct a series of workshops that will employ a complex systems framework to gain insight into system dynamics and overall resilience in the Arctic region. Resilience represents the capacity of a community to buffer and adapt to stress and shocks, and thus navigate and even shape change. The workshops will integrate resilience theory and research methods with Indigenous community observations and practice. This integration is needed to address the societal concerns associated with the rapid pace of environmental change in the 'New Arctic.' Diverse expertise will be represented, and the workshop participants will include...

Project Abstract

The Permafrost Coastal Erosion-RCN (PCE-RCN) will bring together leaders in fields of natural and social science and engineering to address the challenges faced by coastal communities in the Arctic due to rapid coastal erosion. Rapid coastal erosion can force communities to consider moving inland and limit access to resources. One goal of the proposed PCE-RCN will be to better understand the challenges associated with coastal erosion, which is driven by permafrost thaw and changing sea ice conditions. Another goal is to identify potential solutions and their socio-ecological impacts. These goals will be addressed through a series of...

Closing the Water Vapor Exchange Budget Between the Ice Sheets and Free Atmosphere

Location: 
Greenland
Dates: 
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021

Project Abstract

As the Arctic warms faster than the rest of the planet, understanding the Greenland ice sheet response to changing climate and the associated effect on sea level rise - is important for policy and mitigation strategies. A variety of satellite and surface tools currently exist to help understand snow accumulation and the loss of ice from outlet glaciers or melting, but the magnitude of water vapor exchange between the interior ice sheet and the atmosphere remains essentially unknown. This vapor flux could potentially be a very large factor in calculating the mass gain or loss of the...

Facilitating Increased Engagement Between the Research Communities of Greenland and the U.S

Location: 
Nuuk, Greenland
Dates: 
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020

Project Abstract

Greenland is an important research site for scientists from around the world. Because of its unique physical environment and geographic location between North America and Europe, the United States has a significant research presence in Greenland. This presence provides opportunities to strengthen bilateral cooperation with the research community of Greenland. At the ''Facilitating Engagement'' workshop leading Arctic researchers from the U.S. and Greenland will discuss and develop guidelines and frameworks for cooperative work, including knowledge co-production, community engagement, Indigenous perspectives, and student training and education. This workshop has the potential to build the national capacity of the...

Project Abstract

The future trajectory of Earth's atmosphere depends on the response of land and ocean to a changing environment, especially the potential for substantial sustained carbon release in high latitude regions like the Arctic. A key question in understanding how the Earth system will respond is whether there are tipping points - global carbon cycle surprises - that will make the effects of environmental change such as sea-level rise, extreme weather, droughts, and impacts on agriculture occur faster than currently projected by models. Permafrost carbon, the remnants of plants, microbes, and animals accumulated in perennially frozen Arctic soil...

Arctic Network for Coastal Community Hazards, Observations, and Integrated Research (ANCHOR)

Location: 
Hooper Bay, AK; Coastal Alaska
Dates: 
31 July 2018 to 30 June 2022

Project Abstract

This Research Coordination Network (ANCHOR) will integrate social science, natural science and engineering to address the imminent challenges that coastal communities in the Alaskan Arctic face due to rapid permafrost thaw and coastal erosion. These processes are causing buildings, roads and areas of cultural significance to be undermined as coastlines subside and collapse into the sea. These communities are considering a range of options, which include abandoning their homelands for higher ground or building seawalls to limit erosion. At the same time, opportunities are now being realized for communities to participate in monitoring of the environmental processes...

The Integrated Characterization of Clouds, Energy, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit, Aerosol-Cloud Experiment (ICECAPS-ACE)

Location: 
Summit Station, Greenland; Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Dates: 
1 August 2018 to 31 July 2021

Project Abstract

The Greenland Ice Sheet is a unique location in the Arctic. It rises from sea level to over 10,000 feet in elevation and is, by far, the largest topographic feature north of the Arctic Circle. Scientists have determined that the ice sheet is sensitive to climatic fluctuations. In spite of its uniqueness and importance, it is relatively under-studied compared to other locations on Earth. The Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit (ICECAPS) project has been measuring properties of the surface and atmosphere over Greenland since 2010. This long-term field campaign has allowed...

Integrating Language Documentation and Computational Tools for Yupik, an Alaska Native Language

Location: 
St. Lawrence Island, AK; Bering Strait
Dates: 
1 August 2018 to 31 January 2022

Project Abstract

One locus of crosslinguistic variation in how languages build words is whether meaning is encoded in free morphemes ('units of meaning') that stand alone as words, or whether those morphemes must combine with other morphemes to become words. While English has many free morphemes, the Alaska Native language St. Lawrence Island/Siberian Yupik uses the second strategy with very complex words, often sentence-sized. These properties are known as agglutination and polysynthesis. Researchers will document critical structures in the language, digitize existing Yupik materials, and build computational tools to help the community and other researchers. The data from Yupik...

Peat Expansion in Arctic Tundra - Pattern, Process, and the Implication for the Carbon Cycle (TundraPEAT)

Location: 
Imnavait Creek, AK; Toolik, AK; Baffin Island, Canada; Cambridge Bay, Canada
Dates: 
1 August 2018 to 31 July 2023

Project Abstract

Amplified Arctic warming in recent decades has caused a multitude of changes in terrestrial ecosystems that have potential for strong feedbacks to the global system. Arctic vegetation greening may not necessarily result in increases in carbon sequestration in Arctic tundra due to complex and uncertain soil processes. Arctic tundra tends to have a thicker organic soil horizon (peat) than most other zonal biomes; research shows that peatlands comprise a sustained carbon sink. If shallow peatlands are widespread throughout the Arctic, the overall net carbon storage capacity of tundra might be underestimated globally. However, the factors controlling the...

Project Abstract

Understanding the temperature structure of the upper ocean in the Arctic is very important for properly simulating the formation and melt of sea ice in climate and weather models. The presence (or absence) is important for a variety of activities, including shipping, energy exploration and hunting by native populations. Therefore, forecasting the presence of ice at shorter timescales is critically needed. Sea ice additionally has a controlling influence on climate by acting as a bright surface capable of reflecting sunlight back to space, thereby highlighting a need to accurately forecast it on decadal time scales. A significant...

Project Abstract

The Arctic is warming more rapidly than elsewhere on Earth, and the community of Utqiagvik, AK, the home of the Inupiat people, has a unique perspective from which they are observing this profound change. This collaboration between the University of Michigan (U-M) and Ilisagvik College, located in Utqiagvik, will support the development of a course-based research experience for undergraduates at Ilisagvik College and will also support basic research on Arctic snow. The project will yield three main products: 1) a significant advance in understanding how students navigate multiple ways of knowing when engaging in science research activities;...

Persistent, Long-Range, Autonomous Under-Ice Observations of Arctic Change

Location: 
Prudhoe Bay, AK; Utqiaġvik, AK; Arctic Ocean; Chuckchi Sea
Dates: 
1 August 2018 to 31 January 2022

Project Abstract

This project advances the national health, prosperity, and welfare by developing and demonstrating a new robotic technology for persistent, autonomous observation of under-ice marine environments over large (>1000 km) spatial scales. The Arctic is undergoing rapid change, with dramatic shifts in the sea ice cover and upper ocean. Monitoring and understanding these changes is critical to improving our ability to predict ongoing change and variability on seasonal to decadal timescales. Current observational capabilities are severely hampered by the logistical challenges of operating in this environment - observations are sparse, infrequent, and expensive to obtain, especially for the...

Co-Production of Shorefast Ice Knowledge in Uummannaq Bay, Greenland

Location: 
Uummannaq Region of West Greenland
Dates: 
15 August 2018 to 31 July 2021

Project Abstract

Shorefast ice (also known as landfast ice) is sea-ice that is attached to the coastline. Since it does not drift with the winds and currents, shorefast ice forms an important habitat for wildlife and a platform for human subsistence food production and transport in the Arctic. As the climate warms, residents local to the Arctic report that it is breaking up earlier in the year and is thinner than it was a few decades ago. These environmental changes threaten the sustainability of wildlife and traditional human activities that depend on shorefast ice. Despite its significance, a comprehensive...

Project Abstract

Ice accretion over cold surfaces is a topic of great concern for numerous engineering applications, including airplanes, wind turbines, and marine vessels sailing near polar seas. However, a strategy of de-icing (detaching ice from cold surfaces) with minimal power input is not well-established yet due to the lack of answers to many fundamental questions, such as how does the ice shed from a metallic surface and what controls the conversion of fracture type from adhesive (fracture at an ice-metal interface) to cohesive (fracture within ice itself) cracking? This research project will advance the science of interfacial mechanics...

Origin and Fate of Harmful Algal Blooms in the Warming Chukchi Sea

Location: 
Nome, AK; Chukchi Sea; Arctic Ocean
Dates: 
1 September 2018 to 31 August 2021

Project Abstract

The Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean is warming, in particular the shallow Chukchi Sea. As a result, many organisms may spread into Arctic waters, and some present significant threats to human and ecosystem health, such as harmful algal bloom (HAB) species (commonly called red tides). The investigators present evidence that HABs occur in the Chukchi Sea and we know that the potent neurotoxins they produce can affect marine mammals, seabirds, and other resources critical to subsistence harvesters. At the same time, little is known about the present and future risk from toxic algae to humans in...

Modeling Risk from Black Carbon in a Coupled Natural-Human System at the Arctic Ice Edge

Location: 
Oslo, Norway; Svalbard, Norway; Bodø, Norway
Dates: 
1 September 2018 to 31 August 2021

Project Abstract

Warming in the Arctic has occurred at more than twice the global average, with negative impacts on ecosystems, wildfires, infrastructure and Indigenous livelihoods. At the same time, this "Arctic amplification" may yield potentially positive impacts on some Arctic industries, such as shipping. Estimates of sea ice extent project an ice-free Arctic over the next century, but more near-term projections are uncertain, notably increasing the risk (and required return) of investments in shipping infrastructure. Despite this uncertainty and the attendant risks, early investments and policy planning are underway for a not-so-distant future in which a transpolar shipping route...

Project Abstract

Changes in Arctic sea ice have wide-ranging societal and ecological impacts. The opening of northern shipping routes, reliability of ice roads for access to coastal communities, and extraction of undersea resources have economic implications for countries around the world. Indigenous peoples depend on local marine mammal populations as a source of cultural and nutritional value, however Arctic marine mammals are particularly vulnerable to reductions in sea ice cover as have been occurring for more than 30 years. The presence and extent of Arctic sea ice can also influence the transfer of heat between the ocean and atmosphere,...

The Transition Zone of Upper Permafrost: The Frontline for Permafrost Changes across Climate and Landscape Gradients

Location: 
Tuktoyaktuk, Canada; Beaver Creek, Canada; Dalton Highway, AK; Richardson Highway, AK; Parks Highway, AK; Teshekpuk Lake, AK; Upper Colville River, AK; Ketik Fire Scars, AK; Meade River Fire Scars, AK; Itkillik (Stinking Hills), AK
Dates: 
1 September 2018 to 31 August 2022

Project Abstract

Permanently frozen soils, or permafrost, often contain large amounts of ground ice, which make it vulnerable to climate change and human activities. These soils are protected from melting by a surface layer which thaws in summer and refreezes in winter, and a near-surface layer, termed the transition zone. This transition zone, which develops through complex interactions between the environment and permafrost, controls permafrost resilience to ground surface subsidence (thermokarst). Expectations are that as the climate warms, deeper seasonal melting will impact this transition zone, and ecosystems and infrastructure (i.e., roads, airfields, and buildings) stability. The goals of...

Soundscape Ecology to Assess Environmental and Anthropogenic Controls on Wildlife Behavior

Location: 
Prudhoe Bay, AK; ANWR, AK; Ivvavik National Park, Canada; Yukon, Canada; Northwest Territories, Canada
Dates: 
15 September 2018 to 31 August 2023

Project Abstract

Across North America, Arctic and boreal regions have been warming at a rate two to three times higher than the global average. At the same time, human development continues to encroach and intensify, primarily due to demand for natural resources, such as oil and gas. The vast and remote nature of Arctic-boreal regions typify their landscapes, environment, wildlife, and people, but their size and isolation also make it difficult to study how their ecosystems are changing. To overcome these challenges, autonomous recording networks can be used to characterize "soundscapes" – a collection of sounds that emanate from...

Emergency Response in the Arctic (ERA): Investments for Global Capacities and Local Benefits

Location: 
Nome, AK; Utqiaġvik, AK; Kotzebue, AK; Coastal AK
Dates: 
15 September 2018 to 31 August 2021

Project Abstract

The Arctic has been experiencing significantly longer ice-free, navigable maritime seasons, thereby changing the types of activities taking place in Arctic waters. Cruise ships are travelling through the Northwest Passage, oil exploration is occurring off the North Slope of Alaska, and the Northern Sea Route is seeing an increasing volume of cargo ships travelling through it. In Arctic Alaska, these tourism and industrial activities will occur far away from the infrastructure and resources of urban and industrial centers, limiting response capabilities when an emergency occurs in Arctic waters. For all of these reasons, there is a critical...

Interactions of the Microbial Iron and Methane Cycles in the Tundra Ecosystem

Location: 
Toolik, AK
Dates: 
1 October 2018 to 30 September 2021

Project Abstract

There is great concern about changing conditions in the Arctic due to environmental transformations that are impacting tundra and its underlying permafrost. At the same time there are major gaps in our understanding of tundra/permafrost microbiology and elemental cycling. Filling these knowledge gaps will enable a better overall understanding of the tundra, and can provide crucial information about how this globally important, but fragile ecosystem will respond to change. The particular knowledge gap this research will fill centers around iron and the bacteria that control its availability. Iron is an essential micro-nutrient for animals, plants, and microbes...

Dynamic Vehicle-Terrain Modeling and Control of Lightweight Ground Robots in Snow and Sand

Location: 
Hanover, NH
Dates: 
1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021

Project Abstract

This research project seeks fundamental understanding of the dynamics of wheeled vehicles moving through soft terrain such as snow and sand. The project will derive models of movement that incorporate improved descriptions of interactions between the wheels and the ground. These innovative models will allow the treatment of, for example, lightweight vehicles and easily crumbled terrain. These models will allow the robot to predict when it is in danger of getting irrevocably stuck. New model-based control techniques will then allow the robot to avoid this danger, for example, by repeated compaction of the terrain, appropriate modulation of...