Interagency Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)

In July 2008, NSF released a solicitation for the Arctic Observing Network (AON). Proposals were due 30 September 2008, and the agency anticipated making 15-20 awards totaling $18-24 million over 3-5 years. NSF received 57 proposals requesting $69 million for 36 projects. In June 2009, NSF announced funding totaling $35 million for 20 AON projects. Nine awards fund five projects that have not previously received AON Program funds, and 23 awards support the continuation of 15 existing AON projects. The current Arctic Research Opportunities solicitation invites AON proposals (

Arctic System Science Program

Awards were announced in July and August 2009 for the Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program's most recent solicitation, Changing Seasonality in the Arctic System (CSAS). NSF received 71 individual proposals in response to the solicitation, representing approximately $30 million in requested funding—40 awards totaling $14.3 million were made. More than 85% of the funding for the 17 projects was provided through funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Information on these projects is listed below .

Polar Research Board

Aerial Sea Ice Image
In July 2009, the Polar Research Board (PRB) issued a report, Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products , recommending the release of a suite of arctic sea ice images collected by U.S. government intelligence sources. The PRB report committee determined that the images could help scientists examine the effects of climate change and the impacts of diminishing sea ice and lead to significant improvements in the development of climate models. Shortly after the report was released, the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Civil Applications Program launched a website to disseminate a...


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). Starting in early 2009 the issues have been published online 3-4 times per year depending on newsworthy events. Over 12,500 subscribers receive notifications, brief descriptions of content, and direct links to the articles online.



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.


If you have a question or an idea for a Witness article, contact Betsy Turner-Bogren at betsy [at]

Subscribe to the Witness the Arctic RSS Feed RSS Feed