The following is a report on Arctic grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) during Fiscal Year 1996 (October 1, 1995 to September 30, 1996).

Presentation of this information is partially a response to the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984. The Arctic is defined by the Act as "all United States and foreign territory north of the Arctic Circle and all United States territory north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and Kuskokwin Rivers; all contiguous seas, including the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi Seas; and the Aleutian chain."

The Act designates the NSF as lead agency and chair agency for the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, and calls for integrated planning and budgetary processes.

This detailed listing shows the scope of NSF activities in the Arctic. Essentially, all NSF funds were devoted to basic science, engineering, and education and related operational, informational, and advisory support. Further information on other agencies' programs is presented in the journal, Arctic Research of the United States, and the U.S. Arctic Research Plan and its biennial revisions.

In addition to investigations in Alaska and adjacent waters, research was supported in all Arctic-bordered countries. Of the total $46.07 million obligated in Fiscal Year 1996, the Office of Polar Programs' (OPP) share is $29.12 million. The remainder was awarded from funds in other Divisions and programs throughout the Foundation. There were 326 awards to 133 institutions in 35 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Sweden, and Canada.

NSF funding of Arctic research since 1988 is shown below in thousands of dollars.

FY88 FY89 FY90 FY91 FY92 FY93 FY94 FY95 FY96
OPP 8,211 10,175 12,310 14,696 20,638 22,072 24,205 25,809 29,118 Other 14,906 13,549 11,778 12,445 14,308 13,779 16,279 19,386 16,959 Total 23,117 23,724 24,088 27,151 39,946 35,851 40,484 45,195 46,077

In some instances, awards are listed that may not fall strictly within the limits of the Arctic as defined by the Arctic Research and Policy Act, but apply to processes, properties, and phenomena of the Arctic. Examples include research on boreal forests, subarctic or temperature zone glaciers, geological and atmospheric projects south of the Arctic Circle, and laboratory and theoretical studies. Individual awards contain their own logistics budgets and no attempt is made to separate those costs; only specific awards for field support are listed separately. A complete list of institutions and organization that received funds in Fiscal Year 1996 follows.

Users of this list should keep in mind that these projects do not exhaust the range of subjects that might be supported by NSF in the future. Research that promises to add significantly to science, engineering, or education is eligible for consideration. The data reported in this award list were compiled from individual program submissions from throughout the NSF. The information includes awards for research but excludes administrative costs that are included in NSF budget source documents.


Charles E. Myers
Head, Interagency Arctic Staff
Office of Polar Programs