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Media Advisory 06-019

NSF Invites Media to Apply for July Visit to Arctic Field Science Sites in Alaska

July 5, 2006

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting written requests from professional journalists to report on field science being conducted in and around Barrow, Alaska, and at its Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, under the auspices of NSF's Office of Polar Programs.

Journalists would deploy between July 24 and 28, 2006. The trip will include a half-day orientation at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks on the scope of basic research NSF supports in the Alaskan Arctic.

In March of 2007, scientists around the globe will begin a widespread, coordinated range of research projects in the Polar Regions as part of the 2007-2008 International Polar Year (IPY). Barrow was a research site for the original IPY in 1881-1883, and meteorological measurements that began in that period continue there today.

IPY also will stress the full involvement of native communities in the science conducted in the Arctic. Journalists visiting Barrow will be able to observe the synergies, interactions and cooperation between the native community and researchers in both science and science education.

The Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC) supports science studies from sea ice and the frozen tundra to research on whales and the invertebrates that thrive in tundra ponds. Atmospheric research ranges from radar studies of disintegrating meteor trails as an indicator of stratospheric wind speed to the use of optical radar for tracking clouds.

Toolik is one of a global network of sites in the LTER system. There are 24 sites in the northern hemisphere. The Arctic LTER's field site is based at UAF's Toolik Field Station in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range. The Arctic LTER's goal is to predict the future ecological characteristics of the site based upon knowledge of the controls of ecosystem structure and function by physical and geologic factors, climatic factors, biological factors, and the changes in fluxes of water and materials from land to water.

NSF will select a small group of journalists to visit sites in and around Barrow and to visit Toolik--as weather permits--which represent the range of science ongoing on Alaska's North Slope. Due to the interagency nature of IPY, journalists may also visit facilities run by NSF's sister agencies in Barrow, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

How to apply: Applicants must submit the equivalent of two printed pages detailing specifically what they intend to cover while in the field. NSF public affairs officers can help applicants to craft a proposed reporting plan that has the best chance of meeting minimum criteria.

A selection committee of Arctic Sciences Section program personnel and media officers from NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs will review all proposals and select finalists. The committee will look for proposals that indicate an understanding of the nature and challenges of NSF's scientific enterprise in the Arctic and the desire and ability to communicate that understanding to the public.

Application Deadline: July 12, 2006. U.S. media receive preference in selection.

Application: Focused applications with thorough reporting plans that indicate solid working knowledge of NSF's science goals in the Arctic and an intent to highlight for the public the scientific discoveries taking place there stand the best chance of selection.

Expenses: Reporters or their employers pay for round-trip transportation to--and accommodation in--Fairbanks, Alaska. NSF furnishes at no cost cold-weather clothing solely for use in the field, as well as housing, transportation and food while in the field.

How To Apply: Contact NSF (by phone or by e-mail) as soon as possible to express interest and to discuss areas of professional interest. Freelancers must supply evidence of a firm commitment from prospective employer to publish or air their work.

Send the letter and any supporting materials (a limited number of clips or videotaped segments) to:
National Science Foundation
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1245
Arlington, VA 22230
Attn: Peter West, (703) 292-7761 /


Media Contacts
Peter West, NSF, (703) 292-7761, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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