Environmental Arctic change research project receives grant

Yuri Bult-Ito

University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Hajo Eicken has received a $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support environmental Arctic change research.

The grant will help implement a science support structure for the interagency Study of Environmental Arctic Change, which will serve the needs of science communities and a wide range of stakeholders, including Arctic residents, the private sector, agencies and decisionmakers.

With the funding, the project aims to improve coordination of science as well as exchange of knowledge and tools between science communities and agencies over the next five years.

The project has four main goals. It will try to improve understanding, advance prediction and explore the consequences of changing Arctic sea ice. It will aim to document and understand how degradation of near-surface permafrost will affect Arctic and global systems. It plans to improve predictions of future land-ice loss and impacts on sea level, and also to analyze societal and policy implications of Arctic environmental change.

Thawing permafrost causes the landscape to degrade. Photo by National Park Service
Photo by National Park Service
Thawing permafrost causes the landscape to degrade.

Today, the Arctic is experiencing rapid changes, which have local, regional and global effects. This work will help connect scientists, communities and agencies to answer questions around Arctic change.

Eicken, a professor of geophysics with joint appointments to the International Arctic Research Center, the Geophysical Institute and the Department of Geosciences at UAF, serves as the principal investigator. Helen Wiggins of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. is co-investigator of this collaborative research project. Other partners include the University of Colorado, Northern Arizona University, Rutgers University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Hajo Eicken, 907-474-7280, heicken@alaska.edu