The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $749,875 to the University of Northern Iowa for support of the project entitled “Arctic-FROST: Arctic FRontiers Of SusTainability: Resources, Societies, Environments and Development in the Changing North” under the direction of Dr. Andrey Petrov, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography. Arctic-FROST will be based at the Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Research (ARCSES) Laboratory housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Effectively, UNI will serve as the national focal center of sustainability science research in the Arctic for the next five years. Arctic-FROST builds international interdisciplinary collaborative network that teams together environmental and social scientists, local educators and community members from all circumpolar countries to enable and mobilize research on sustainable Arctic development, specifically aimed at improving health, human development and well-being of Arctic communities while conserving ecosystem structures, functions and resources under changing climate conditions. It is first U.S.-based circumpolar initiative of this kind and magnitude after the International Polar Year (2007-08). The purpose of the project is to contribute to conceptual, applied and educational aspects of sustainability science about the Arctic and beyond.

        UNI has a history of Arctic research attracting NSF, NASA and other research funds to study Arctic environments and societies. Dr. Petrov, his colleagues and students made contributions to understanding social and climate change in the Arctic by conducting field work in the region, presenting and publishing research at international and national levels. UNI researchers are involved in to such important circumpolar initiatives as the International Polar Year, Arctic Human Development Report (Arctic Council), International caribou research network (CARMA), Arctic Social Indicators (Arctic Council), Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Creative Arctic and others. A large effort at UNI is devoted to studying implications of climate change for wildfires in Arctic tundra and caribou migration. New funding will expand the opportunities for UNI faculty and students to interact and engage in research with the community of Arctic scholars, and will raise the profile of UNI as a center of Arctic sustainability science in the United States.

UNI will work closely with collaborators from University of Alaska, Fairbanks, University of Maryland, and Colgate University to fulfill project’s objectives.

For more information contact Andrey N. Petrov, Assistant Professor of Geography and Director, ARCSES Laboratory (andrey.petrov@arctic-frost.uni.edu)

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