UAF researchers garner $6.5 million in NSF grants

Fairbanks, Alaska -- Four researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks recently were awarded more than $6.5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation for projects studying diverse aspects of the Arctic circumpolar region.

Three of the four projects are part of UAFs collaborative International Polar Year research efforts. Following are the grants awarded and the lead scientists at UAF:

  • "IPY: Pan-arctic Studies of the Coupled Tropospheric, Stratospheric and Mesospheric Circulation"
    Richard Collins UAF Geophysical Institute
    Grant amount: $803,668

    This project will create an international network of four Rayleigh lidars, laser radars, located in Andoya, Norway; Chatanika, Alaska; Eureka, Nunavut and Kangarlussuaq, Greenland. The network will provide a chain of high-resolution temperature measurements from the eastern to western Arctic. The lidar system use echoes from the sky to measure temperatures at different heights, similar to what a weather balloon does, but at much greater elevations. The lidar beams reach 25 to 50 miles high.

    The studys goal is to better understand the structure of the stratospheric vortex, understand possible connections between weather in the stratosphere and at the ground and establish a benchmark of measurements for assessing long-term changes.

  • "The Dynamics of Change in Alaskas Boreal Forests: Resilience and Vulnerability in Response to Climate Warming"
    Terry Chapin UAF Institute of Arctic Biology
    Grant amount: $3.28 million

    The boreal forest is the second most extensive terrestrial biome on Earth, occupying 10 percent of the planets ice-free terrestrial surface, and is the coldest forested biome. Boreal organisms, which have adapted to extremely low temperatures, are particularly vulnerable to warming and other global changes.

    Alaskas boreal forest is warming as rapidly as any p

Contact: Marmian Grimes
University of Alaska Fairbanks

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