IAB Research Project Description

IPY: Collaborative Research on Carbon, Water and Energy Balance of the Arctic Landscape at Flagship Observatories in a PanArctic Network

Scientist carries supplies to a research plot at the Institute of Arctic Biology Toolik Field Station, North Slope, Alaska. Credit: Todd Paris/UAF Marketing and Communications

Any and all uses of these images must include photographer credit.

The best hope for observing arctic change in the terrestrial system and its impacts is through intensive observations at a network of long-term, flagship observatories.

Key aspects of this proposed IPY research include data collection as integrated, multivariable time series, with the aim of using the temporal correlations among variables to sort out controls on short- versus long-term rates of change of individual variables and of the whole system.

A second key aspect of this proposal is the creation of a network of observatories, in the U.S. and other arctic countries, in which carbon, water and surface energy budgets are monitored at the landscape scale.

One long-term aim of this network is to develop PanArctic models of terrestrial responses and feedbacks to climate change. Because each of the sites in this network are also the site of extensive long-term, fine-scale research on biogeochemical processes and on the individuals, populations and communities of plants and animals that mediate those processes, we will establish a platform for scaling up this fine-scale knowledge to prediction of the functioning and changes of whole arctic landscapes. A major product of this research will be the creation of a database for use in modeling the larger Arctic System, including terrestrial, atmospheric and oceanic components and their interactions. Finally, the proposed research includes an education component that will provide undergraduate and graduate students with unique opportunities in the classroom, in the field and in modeling and analysis.

Project Funding

National Science Foundation
31 Dec 2006 – 30 Nov 2010
IAB Proposal #06-116RV
UAF Grant #G3900
IAB Project #68

Media Contact

Marie Thoms
Communications/Web Manager
Institute of Arctic Biology
302A Irving I
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
email: methoms@alaska.edu
phone: 907.474.7412