This award supports the continuation of the aerial hydrographic surveys component of the North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO) as part of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) and the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). During the annual aerial hydrographic surveys a number of tasks will be completed: (1) conductivity/salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen and nutrient profiles will be measured in the water column; (2) water samples will be retrieved and returned to the laboratory for analysis of a variety of tracers [salinity, Ba, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, delta O-18]; and (3) a variety of ice-based drifting instruments will be deployed for other AON projects, including ice mass balance buoys, ice-tethered profilers and atmospheric pressure buoys. The "Intellectual Merit" of NPEO rests on its foundation of successfully tracking change in the air-ice-ocean system since 2000, and obtaining data that will help to answer the question "have a combination of long-term trends and decadal variability driven the Arctic Ocean to the brink of a new seasonal ice regime?" The "Broader Impacts" of NPEO center on enabling the scientific efforts of other investigators, and educating the public about environmental change in the Arctic. NPEO improves the scientific infrastructure by providing scientific data, developing new observational methods, and providing operational field support to other Arctic researchers. NPEO continues to take advantage of the cachet that the North Pole provides for generating many avenues for informal education and outreach. NPEO maintains a Web site, participates in various talks and demonstrations at the annual Polar Science Weekend at Seattle's Pacific Science Center, and will sponsor a booth at the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science) conference aimed at broadening participation of under-represented groups in careers in environmental science.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Polar Programs (PLR)
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Henrietta N. Edmonds
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University of Washington
United States
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