About Us

Seward Peninsula Sites Google Map

The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Seward Peninsula Hydrometeorology station network was originally built in 1998-1999 by Dr. Larry Hinzman and collaborators as part of the NSF-sponsored ‘Arctic Transitions in the Land-Atmosphere System’ (ATLAS) project (Grant Number OPP-9818066). Link: http://ine.uaf.edu/werc/projects/atlas/atlas.html

The objective of this project was to improve the understanding of the role that soil moisture and surface temperature play in affecting the surface energy balance, sub-surface thermal dynamics and vegetation distribution. Numerous publications and datasets resulted from the ATLAS project that can be found by following the links. Publications: http://ine.uaf.edu/werc/publications/ and Datasets: http://www.eol.ucar.edu/projects/atlas/

Beginning in 2004, the network provided data for the NSF sponsored program “Intersections of Water, Climate, and Humans in the Arctic” (OPP-0328686) The overall objective of this research was to understand the vital role of freshwater in the lives of humans in the Arctic, how it has changed in the recent past, and how it is likely to change in the future. We built a model that allowed us to predict climate-induced changes in the hydrologic cycle and their effects on water quality and availability. We also attempted to understand how these changes will impact the life and culture of humans in the Arctic over the next century. The Seward Peninsula was an ideal locale for this study because climate-induced changes in the hydrologic cycle have already been observed. Information about this project can be found here: http://ine.uaf.edu/werc/projects/ICWHA/ICWHA.html

In 2007, Dr. Jessica Cherry assumed management of the network and routine maintenance was supported by an early career UA-EPSCoR seed grant entitled ‘Climate Change on the Seward Peninsula: physical drivers and economic adaptation.’ The intent of this pilot project was to support development of new resilience strategies by determining the drivers of physical changes and their impacts. This research is ongoing and full-blown support is being sought.

Beginning in 2008, the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) has provided partial support to Dr. Cherry for maintenance of the network for snow-related research.

It is anticipated that a diversity of research-driven proposals will support the maintenance of the network for the foreseeable future.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or any other agency. UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.