Collaborative Research: Science Coordination Office for Summit Station/ISI Observatory and the Greenland Traverse

PI Institute/Department Email
Hawley, Robert
Dartmouth College, Department of Earth Sciences
Dibb, Jack
U of New Hampshire, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
Burkhart, John
U of California, Merced, School of Engineering
Funding Agency
Program Manager Funding Agency Email
Ambrose, Dr. William
Data Management
Education and Outreach
Legacy Projects
Meteorology and Climate
Science Summary

The Office of Polar Programs has been funding substantial scientific activities at Summit Station, Greenland for over twenty years. Summit Station hosts the Greenland Environmental Observatory (GEOSummit), a cooperation between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration with permission from the Danish Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland to provide long-term environmental measurements. Summit is the only high-elevation, free-tropospheric, inland environmental observatory in the Arctic which is manned throughout the year. Summit therefore fills a unique niche in the international scientific community’s global measurement capability. The Science Coordination Office (SCO) for Summit Station and the Greenland Ice Sheet serves in an advisory capacity to NSF’s Arctic Research Support and Logistics Program. SCO’s primary role is to present the needs and desires of the science community working on the Greenland Ice Sheet in discussions and decision making processes involving NSF, its primary logistics support contractor, and other stakeholders. The SCO also works with NSF, NSF’s contractor, and science teams to work out equitable and efficient use of resources, and strives to ensure that the wide range of science and support activities impact the pristine character of Summit as lightly as possible. SCO shares in the long-range goal of redeveloping Summit infrastructure in ways that will reduce long-term operation and maintenance costs, and reduce the emissions of pollutants by facilities on the station and the aircraft and traverse vehicles that visit. The SCO also helps coordinate visits to Summit for educational groups at all levels, from high school to post-graduate. The SCO will work closely with NSF and all relevant stakeholders in the design of a revitalized Summit Station where reducing operational and maintenance effort (and costs) will preserve the site for future science by reducing emissions. Additional scientific communities, including astronomy and astrophysics, have recently expressed interest in using Summit Station as an Arctic base for new observations. SCO will actively participate in discussions with all interested parties to develop a site plan to accommodate an influx of additional research activities while maintaining long-standing focus on climate-relevant research which requires clean air and snow conditions. SCO’s website is a keystone of communication to the science community, with several new features added over the past few years, including; a Google Earth based GIS recording activity in the region over the past 9 years, a virtual tour using Streetview images, a new ‘Working at Summit’ section that targets new investigators, a comprehensive bibliography of published work near Summit, and a quarterly newsletter. SCO will conduct a comprehensive overhaul of the web site to improve navigation, and will continue to add new features.

Logistics Summary

This collaboration between Hawley (Dartmouth, 1637003, LEAD), Dibb (UNH, 1637006), and Burkhart (UC Merced, 1637209)—will continue support for the Summit Science Coordination Office (SCO) begun under NSF grants, 1042410 and 0455623. The SCO was established to coordinate measurements between investigators; to optimize the sharing of facilities and personnel on-site; to provide scientific requirements to NSF, its support contractor and European partners as the facility is developed; and to stimulate sharing of data among science projects. For two years of field work (2017 and 2018), SCO members will make regular trips to Summit, often combined with already-planned fieldwork in support of other grants. CPS will work closely with the SCO to develop and implement plans for Summit and the Greenland Traverse (GrIT) that meet the evolving needs of the science community. In 2017, Co-PI Zoe Courville will make a site visit to Summit to review construction projects, station status, and existing science projects’ status. Final StrainNet survey measurements were performed in June in concert with Bob Hawley’s arrival to Summit as part of the Osterberg Traverse. CPS will work closely with the SCO to develop and implement plans for Summit and the Greenland Traverse (GrIT) that meet the evolving needs of the science community. Courville will conduct GPR survey of new Big House and last year’s Green House Outfalls, along with a survey of buried Ultidor and/or other infrastructure as needed.

CPS will provide Air National Guard coordination for passengers/cargo/samples, Summit Station user days, KISS user days, access to infrastructure at Summit Station, truck rental/gate key arrangements, and facilitate biweekly phone calls between CPS and the SCO on Summit Station operations, science, and facility upgrade status. The PIs will arrange and pay for all other expenses through the grant.

Season Field Site Date In Date Out #People
Greenland - Summit
Greenland - Summit