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Arctic System Science Program

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Supports research on the interaction between the Arctic and Earth systems, with a focus on the relationships among physical, chemical, biological and human processes.


The Arctic System Science Program (ARCSS) funds proposals or groups of proposals that advance our understanding of the Arctic as a coupled system, and how the Arctic system interacts with the Earth System. ARCSS projects are often interdisciplinary and focus on the relationships among physical, chemical, biological, and human processes with emphasis on the interactions among system components. The cycles of carbon, water, and energy are important to consider in investigating the functioning of the Arctic system. Research that seeks to understand how humans drive or respond to environmental change are also encouraged.

As discussed within ANS, where ARCSS participates in cross-Agency competitions, proposals that are suitable for review within these competitions must be submitted directly to these competitions rather than to ARCSS.

Most successful ARCSS projects do one or more of the following:

  • Investigate important relationships among the various components of the Arctic system
  • Identify key processes, feedbacks, or non-linear responses of the Arctic system to physical or biogeochemical drivers
  • Advance understanding of the Arctic system and its behavior through synthesis or modeling, including the development of predictive tools
  • Explore the consequences of environmental change on the Arctic system on society and ecosystems through approaches such as impact assessment scenarios or vulnerability assessments
  • Address linkages between the Arctic and the Earth system

ARCSS proposals must identify explicitly how the results of the research will contribute to improvements in system-level understanding. PIs should ask themselves if their work addresses interactions among several components of the Arctic system, explores emergent behavior in linked subsystems, or otherwise provides essential knowledge, and they should apply that knowledge to system-level understanding.

ARCSS also accepts proposals that address research on the socioecological systems of the Arctic, including projects on Arctic resilience, vulnerability, and human ecodynamics. Projects of similar foci have been funded under the Coupled-Natural Human Systems Program, the Navigating the New Arctic Big Idea, and the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Program (SEES).

ARCSS enthusiastically seeks proposals, or groups of proposals, that directly advance system level understanding. ARCSS program directors are always keen to speak with prospective PIs about their research ideas.

Program contacts

Gregory J. Anderson
Program Director, Arctic System Science
greander@nsf.gov (703) 292-4693 OD/OIA
Colleen Strawhacker
Program Director, Arctic System Science
colstraw@nsf.gov (703) 292-7432 GEO/OPP

Awards made through this program

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