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Media Advisory 18-003

NSF offers opportunity for media to deploy to Greenland

Deployments would occur between June, August, with selections made on a competitive basis

An iceberg in the Ilulissat fjord, Greenland.

An iceberg in the Ilulissat fjord, Greenland.

March 29, 2018

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.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 proposals from media professionals to visit research sites in Greenland and Alaska to report on science supported by NSF's Office of Polar Programs (OPP).


  • Members of the news media who are already discussing the possibility of visiting a particular project or field camp with individual NSF-funded investigators must submit an application through this process in order that the appropriate logistical support may be included in overall field deployment planning.
  • News media that wish solely to cover the operations of the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard, which support NSF science in Greenland, should contact Master Sgt. Catharine Schmidt at the 109th, through email at:, or phone at: (518) 344-2423. There is a separate deadline of Friday, April 13 for these applications. The guard has scheduled a specific week in early June during which news media will deploy to cover its operations. Access, if any, to scientists during that period would be severely limited. The guard and NSF will coordinate in reviewing these applications.

Competitive proposals must include the following:

  • A documented ability to reach the widest possible U.S. audience across a variety of platforms (broadcast, print, web and social media).
  • A solid field plan that indicates how the outlet will report on science supported by NSF.

NSF application deadline: 5 p.m. EDT April 20, 2018. Media must submit proposals electronically by email or as an email attachment to Peter West at

Selection: A panel of science and logistics staff from OPP and media officers from NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs will review all proposals and select finalists. The panel will look for proposals that indicate an understanding of the nature and challenges of NSF's scientific enterprise in the Arctic and demonstrate a desire and ability to communicate that understanding to the public.

Application: Applications that stand the best chance of selection will indicate a solid working knowledge of scientific research in Greenland and Alaska (See "Additional information" below) and of NSF's scientific goals, and will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate about NSF-funded research to a wide audience.

Peter West, OPP's media and outreach manager, can discuss with potential applicants the requirements for Arctic deployment and provide access to NSF-supported researchers scheduled to be in the field during the deployment. NSF strongly suggests that potential applicants discuss their proposed deployment prior to submitting a proposal.

Deployment period: Deployment would occur between June and August for a period of five to 10 working days. Actual dates depend on story planning and logistics discussions.

Deployment conditions: Some locations in the Arctic are remote and accessible only by small aircraft or helicopter. Other locations are at high altitude, including Greenland’s Summit Station, which sits at more than 11,000 feet. Please consider the fitness of field team members for deployments under these conditions prior to submitting the application.

Medical: Medical or dental examinations may be required, depending upon the sites that applicants choose to visit and the proposed duration of stay. Certain medical conditions detected during the physical or dental examinations, if required, may disqualify a candidate from field visits, even if initially selected as a media-visitor finalist.

Expenses: Selected media, or their employers, are responsible for all costs associated with travel to and from Stratton Air Base in New York. Transportation from Stratton Air Base to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland is provided by the New York Air National Guard aboard an LC-130 aircraft.

Participants may elect to arrange their own commercial transport to and from Greenland, as well as air transport in and around Greenland. Some air transport in and around Greenland may be provided by NSF on a case-dependent basis. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their plans with OPP's media and outreach manager to determine what costs they will be required to cover and what NSF will provide.

Participants are responsible for their own commercial transport to, from and within Alaska. Some air transport to remote sites may be provided on a case-dependent basis.

Food, lodging, ground transportation and other miscellaneous expenses are the responsibility of the participants, except at NSF-managed research stations and field camps, where food and lodging are provided. Transportation to remote field camps may be provided if the request falls within the planned scope of work for the research project. Participants may be required to pay for aircraft charters or other incremental costs associated with their participation. Applicants are encouraged to discuss plans and options with Peter West.

Travelers are required to have travel insurance that covers the cost of medical evacuation. If search and rescue is required by any of the participants, the participants will be billed to reimburse the costs.

Additional information: Applicants can use the Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP) to learn about current research in Greenland and Alaska, and the website for the primary logistics contractor for more information about visiting Greenland and Alaska.


Media Contacts
Peter West, NSF, (703) 292-7530, 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 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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