NSF invites media to join an Arctic research cruise

May 21, 2004

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting written requests from professional journalists to join a research cruise in Alaskan waters as part of the Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions (SBI) project, which looks at possible indicators of climate change in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas and report on the ongoing research being conducted as part of SBI.

Application Deadline: Applications must be received no later than June 1, 2004

SBI is a part of the NSF's Arctic System Science program (ARCSS). The Office of Naval Research jointly sponsors the research.

SBI's goal is to improve scientists' abilities to assess the impacts of global change on the physical and biogeochemical connections among the Western Arctic Ocean's shelves, slopes and basins. An accumulated body of research indicates that climate change will significantly affect the physical and biological links between the relatively shallow Arctic shelves and adjacent ocean basins. For more information about SBI, see http://sbi.utk.edu.

Currently, the ocean basins act as carbon-dioxide reservoirs, or sinks, locking up some of the gas and preventing it from escaping into the atmosphere. Any change in the current carbon-dioxide balance could effect air temperatures and the amount of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean. For example, they might cause some species to flourish that currently cannot and sufficiently change the habitat of others to make it impossible for them to survive in their present ecological niche.

During the cruise, scientists will deploy water- and sediment-sampling devices and will gather and study samples of microscopic life as well as larger organisms.

The journalists selected will go to sea for about one week aboard a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaking research vessel during the third week of July.

U.S. media receive preference in selection.

Application: Applicants must submit no more than two typed pages detailing why they wish to cover this cruise. A selection committee of Arctic program science and logistics personnel and media officers from NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA) will review all proposals and select the finalists. The committee looks for proposals that indicate an understanding of the nature and challenges of NSF's scientific enterprise in the Arctic and the desire to communicate that understanding to the public.

Proposals from print, television, and radio journalists, as well as from on-line news operations, are welcome. U.S. mass media that serve primarily language-minority audiences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Costs: Reporters or their employers pay for round-trip transportation to--and accommodations in-- Barrow, Alaska. NSF furnishes cold-weather clothing solely for use in the field, as well as housing, transportation and food while on the cruise, at no cost to the reporters.

How To Apply: Contact NSF (by phone or by e-mail) as soon as possible to express interest and to obtain background materials. Freelancers must supply evidence of a firm commitment to publish or air their work on their prospective employer's letterhead.

Send the letter and any supporting materials (such as a limited number of clips or videotaped segments) to:

National Science Foundation,
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1245
Arlington, VA 22230
Attn: Peter West
-end-


National Science Foundation

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