This document has been archived.

Skip To Content Skip To Left Navigation
NSF Logo Search GraphicGuide To Programs GraphicImage Library GraphicSite Map GraphicHelp GraphicPrivacy Policy Graphic
OLPA Header Graphic

Media Advisory


NSF PA/M 03-31 (NSB 03-77) - May 28, 2003

National Science Board Approves Several Large Awards and Projects

The National Science Board (NSB), the 24-member policy body for the National Science Foundation (NSF), approved several large awards on May 22 that will allow NSF to fund new projects and to continue existing projects and major partnership agreements. NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education programs in all areas of science and engineering.

NSB actions on major NSF funding priorities included:

  • EarthScope - NSB approved an award, not to exceed $218.6 million over five years, for this integrated observational facility that will address fundamental questions about the evolution of continents and the causes and processes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Listed as one of NSF's highest priority projects, EarthScope received funding in the current fiscal 2003 budget. The NSB action allows NSF to establish five-year cooperative agreements for acquisition, construction and facilities management, with separate agreements for operations and maintenance.

  • Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR) - NSB approved funding for four years, up to a total of $44 million, for this mobile atmospheric observatory. AMISR provides opportunities for scientists and students from all parts of the globe to undertake research and education projects in atmospheric sciences, and react to new research priorities as they surface. Board action allows NSF to fund final design and construction of the system over four years through a cooperative agreement with SRI International, which has been working on design, development, prototyping and testing.

  • IceCube - NSB approved up to $24.54 million for the University of Wisconsin and U.S. Antarctic Program logistics and support contractors to complete the first phase of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. IceCube will expand the ability for scientists to understand how nature accelerates cosmic rays to the high energies that are observed, opening a new window on the inner workings of supermassive black holes, gammaray bursts and other cosmological phenomena. IceCube received an initial $15 million in fiscal 2002. The total funding for this phase of the project will reach more than $39.5 million over two years.

  • University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) - NSB extended support to UCAR in Boulder, Colo. to manage and operate the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) over a five-year period starting in fiscal 2004. NSF will provide up to $498 million. Another $50 million is expected from interagency and other agreements that will bring NCAR's total support to $548 million from fiscal 2004-2008. NCAR is currently the primary source of research in the atmospheric sciences, with a staff that includes 130 Ph.D. scientists who study the vast range of atmosphere and climate dynamics, plus a range of educational and public outreach programs.

  • PACI - The science board also extended NSF's cooperative agreements under the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI). The extension allows time for NSF to consider recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure and to formulate a future proposal to the NSB on "a coordinated set of activities that will serve the NSF community's needs for cyberinfrastructure for the coming decades." Starting in 2004, NSF will integrate several ongoing terascale and computational research activities under an NSF-wide cyberinfrastructure priority area.

For other details of the NSB meeting, see:

For more information:

Media contact:

 Bill Noxon

 (703) 292-7750


The U.S. Congress established the National Science Board (NSB) in 1950 to serve both as an independent national science policy body and to oversee and guide the activities of the National Science Foundation. See:



National Science Foundation
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: 703-292-8070
FIRS: 800-877-8339 | TDD: 703-292-5090

NSF Logo Graphic