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Office of Polar Programs Budget

The polar regions, key elements and possible drivers of the global climate system, are natural laboratories for various fundamental phenomena that cannot be studied elsewhere. They offer important opportunities for environmental research. The extreme sensitivity of polar ecosystems to changes in climate enables the study of the links between the physical and living components of coupled earth systems. A key goal of these studies is to predict climate change and its impacts on a regional scale. Polar research also offers opportunities for fundamental advances in each of the disciplinary sciences, ranging from the behavior of the Earth’s inner core to the formation of galaxies, from the biology of life in the cold and dark to how Arctic residents are affected by environmental change.

OPP provides primary U.S. support for fundamental research in polar regions and broadens basic observations of Arctic and Antarctic systems — including land, ice, atmosphere, ocean, social/human systems, and the natural records of those systems. These observations will enable us to better understand the components, interrelationships, and overall functioning of these systems. Increased observations, analysis, and polar systems research are critical for understanding global climate phenomena.


OPP's FY 2013 Budget Request is influenced by four key priorities:

  1. maintaining strong disciplinary programs that provide a base for our investments in cross-disciplinary system science programs;
  2. strengthening U.S. research community activities in polar system science;
  3. supporting critical facilities that enable research in the Earth's polar regions; and
  4. enabling scientific leadership in research in polar regions that is aligned with the NSF-wide investments in Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) and Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21).

These priorities reflect opportunities for fundamental scientific discovery uniquely available in polar regions, as well as studies to investigate the causes and future trajectory of changes now being observed at the poles that could impact global systems. This work will implement the Foundation's leadagency role in facilitating the Nation's investment in polar science, where environmental change in parts of the Arctic and Antarctic is occurring faster than anywhere else in the world, and has a wide variety of regional and global impacts. Research supported by OPP will elucidate the causes and likely impacts of these changes, thus providing a sound basis for future policy decisions.

The full Fiscal Year 2013 budget request for the Office of Polar Programs and for related activities are available at the following links. Budget requests and appropriations for previous years may be obtained on the NSF budget page.

Budget Narrative Associated Tables
U.S. Polar Programs budget request Office of Polar Programs Funding
OPP Subactivity Funding (chart)
OPP Major Investments
OPP Funding for Centers Programs

OPP Funding for Facilities
OPP Funding Profile
Number of People Involved in OPP Activities
Arctic Sciences Funding
Antarctic Sciences Funding
Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics Funding
Polar Environment, Safety and Health Funding
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U.S. Arctic Research Commission U.S. Arctic Research Commission Funding
U.S. Arctic Research Commission Funding Graph
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New Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station facility and old geodesic dome station seen from the Dark Sector, 2006

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Dark Sector. The row of red objects in the lower left corner is the IceCube drill camp.To the left of the camp is the IceCube laboratory, the blue building with two silver towers. The South Pole 10-meter Telescope is in the upper left corner. The building at top center is the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory (MAPO) building. All these facilities contain telescopes examining the origins of the universe. (NSF/USAP photo by Andrew Williams.)

Office of Polar Programs SITE MAP!


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