Collaborative NNA Research

Navigating Disturbance Regimes in the New Arctic

The Arctic has experienced unprecedented warmth over the past several decades. These areas have also experienced increased disturbances due to wildfires, permafrost degradation, and shrub expansion. Evidence suggests dynamic interactions and feedbacks exist among Arctic disturbance regimes. However, the interdependence of these disturbances makes quantifying their impact challenging. Overcoming this challenge is the first step in improving our capacity to predict future disturbance regimes in the face of climate change.

Advanced Technology for Persistent, Long-Range, Autonomous Under-Ice Observation

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.

The Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring Network-CALM V (2019-2024): Long-term Observations on the Climate-Active Layer-Permafrost System

The permafrost (perennially frozen ground) regions occupy nearly a quarter of the Earth's terrestrial surface. Permafrost is experiencing large changes stemming from the unprecedented degree of environmental change being observed in the Arctic. Changes in the permafrost system have profound effects on the ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, and human occupation of cold environments.

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

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.

Global changes, local impacts: Study of glacial fjords, ecosystems and communities in Greenland

Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) is one of NSF's 10 Big Ideas. NNA projects address convergence scientific challenges in the rapidly changing Arctic. The Arctic research is needed to inform the economy, security, and resilience of the Nation, the larger region, and the globe. NNA empowers new research partnerships from local to international scales, diversifies the next generation of Arctic researchers, enhances efforts in formal and informal education, and integrates the co-production of knowledge where appropriate.

Sustainable Transitions through Arctic Redevelopment (STAR)

With the launch of the Decade on Ecological Restoration by the United Nations in 2021, momentum is growing towards visioning a sustainable future for aging industrial sites worldwide. In the Arctic, these aging sites, including mining operations, have experienced immense neglect in part due to the remoteness of the region. With climate warming leading to increased ice and permafrost melt and expanded access to the region, these sites are increasingly vulnerable to further deterioration but pose an opportunity to understand how these sites can be developed for the future.

Researching apun: Students Using Local, Traditional, and Science Knowledge Bases to Investigate Arctic Snow Processes

The Arctic is warming more rapidly than elsewhere on Earth, and the community of Utqiaġvik, 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 Utqiaġvik, will support the development of a course-based research experience for undergraduates at Ilisagvik College and will also support basic research on Arctic snow.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.