Arctic System Sciences

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


The Arctic System Science (ARCSS) program supports projects that study systems of the Arctic operating at multiple temporal and spatial scales, systems that can inform our understanding of Arctic processes, and the relationship of Arctic systems to other global and regional systems. For ARCSS, the “Arctic system” is defined very broadly to encourage creative proposals. 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 projects are often but not always interdisciplinary and can focus on the relationships among physical, chemical, biological, geological, ecological, social, cultural, and/or economic processes. ARCSS welcomes proposals focusing on the cycles of carbon, water, and energy in the functioning of Arctic systems, as well as the relationship of these cycles to human and social processes occurring in the Arctic. ARCSS also accepts proposals that contribute to better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between humans and the environment. Theoretical and methodological approaches can include (but are not limited to) political ecology, historical ecology, human ecodynamics, food security, resilience theory, Indigenous and local knowledge, socioecological systems, coupled natural human systems, risk and vulnerability studies, ecosystem services, and sustainability studies. ARCSS also encourages projects aimed at creating new knowledge through synthesis of published science, reports and previously collected data to better understand the Arctic system at multiple scales.

If there is doubt as to the appropriate home for a proposal, prospective PIs are encouraged to contact the ARCSS program officer(s) prior to proposal submission

Program contacts

Gregory J. Anderson (703) 292-4693 GEO/OPP
Colleen Strawhacker (703) 292-7432 GEO/OPP
Kelly M. Brunt (703) 292-8457 GEO/OPP

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program