Arctic temperatures are warming faster than nearly everywhere else on Earth, with some models predicting that continued warming could produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by mid-century. The rapid and wide-scale changes occurring in response to this warming portend new opportunities and unprecedented risks to natural systems; social and cultural systems; economic, political and legal systems; and built environments of the Arctic and across the globe. Gaps in scientific observations and the prevalence of interdependent social, natural, and built systems in the Arctic make it challenging to predict the region’s future. Understanding and adapting to a changing Arctic will require creative new directions for Arctic-related research, education, workforce development, and leveraging of science, engineering, and technology advances from outside the Arctic.
Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas, embodies the Foundation’s forward-looking response to these profound challenges and opportunities. NNA seeks innovations in fundamental convergence research across the social, natural, environmental, and computing and information sciences, and engineering that address the interactions or connections between natural and built environments and social systems and how these connections inform our understanding of Arctic change and its local and global effects. NNA promotes initiatives that empower new research communities, diversify the next generation of Arctic researchers, integrate the co-production of knowledge, and engage partnerships, particularly among international stakeholders. NNA also strongly encourages projects with components that advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; public understanding of the changing Arctic to benefit both citizens and policy makers; and workforce development objectives. NSF recognizes the inherently international nature of the Arctic region, and that impacts of Arctic changes span geographic and political boundaries, and encourages proposals that include significant international components.
Deadline: February 11, 2020