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Arctic Observing Network Report Published

AON report cover

Arctic Observing Network interagency report


April 25, 2008

Arctic Observing Network (AON): Toward a U.S. Contribution to Pan-Arctic Observing (NSF 08-42)


The U.S. Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) consists of fifteen-plus agencies, departments, and offices across the Federal government. Established by Congress through the Arctic Research and Policy Act, IARPC is chaired by the National Science Foundation.

Recently, the IARPC compiled member agency information about the Arctic environment in the Committee's latest report, Arctic Observing Network (AON): Toward a US Contribution to Pan-Arctic Observing. The report pinpoints where and how the different Federal agencies are collecting environmental data as part of the implementation of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). SEARCH aims to understand the rapidly changing Arctic, improve predictive capability, and identify appropriate adaptive responses to change. The agencies will continue to coordinate their efforts, make the data readily available in usable form, and work together to serve Arctic residents, involving them in the observing and research efforts as full partners.

The development and deployment of the Arctic Observing Network, or AON, is a major contribution to the International Polar Year, a time of intense, coordinated scientific activity at both Poles. The new report sets forth a plan to continue the observations in cooperation with local, State of Alaska, and international groups.

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 2020 budget of $8.3 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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