The National Science Foundation, in partnership with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and international partners, has made the first round of awards under a program that supports interdisciplinary science important to understanding the sustainability of the Arctic. The research will examine the impacts of the changing natural environment and socio-economic conditions on the region.
BOEM will focus its funding, combined with NSF funds, on two studies related to the bureau’s offshore energy management decisions for the Alaskan Outer Continental Shelf.
The first study, Cumulative Effects of Arctic Oil Development – planning and designing for sustainability, will measure and assess long-term cumulative impacts of increases in the oil-and-gas-industry infrastructure in the Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska, with the goal of reducing the impacts of future development in the region. Donald Walker, University of Alaska Fairbanks, will be the Principal Investigator.
The second study Walrus Adaptability and Long-term Responses; Using multi-proxy data to project sustainability, will examine the vulnerability and resilience of the walrus population off Alaska’s North Slope. This will enhance the bureau’s understanding of the complex interplay between climate change; walrus population dynamics and structure; health, habits, feeding ecologies and foraging locations; and subsistence harvesting by Alaska Native hunters. Nicole Misarti, University of Alaska Fairbanks, will be the Principal Investigator.
Click here to read more about this study.