UNI supports NSF grant to establish Arctic Sustainability Synthesis

Posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Andrey Petrov, associate professor, geography, 319-273-3507,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant was awarded to the University of Northern Iowa to develop an interdisciplinary synthesis and assess the state of knowledge about Arctic sustainability.

This project is led by a scholarly team from multiple disciplines and seven Arctic countries and will contribute to conceptual, applied and educational aspects of Arctic sustainability. The group aims to improve health, human development and the well-being of Arctic communities, while conserving ecosystem structures, functions and resources.

Andrey Petrov, associate professor in the Department of Geography UNI, serves as the United States and overall lead, working alongside six other national leads and their research teams. Emily Francis, UNI graduate assistant, serves as a student representative, working on the project as well. 

An inaugural meeting was held in August (2015) to kick off the research project. Although all seven countries are working together, each country received separate grants. The research teams will communicate via writing workshops, Skype, email and at least three in-person meetings over the course of the project.

At the end of summer 2016, the team hopes to have the first draft of their synthesis. The final product will educate local individuals on how to live a sustainable life in the Arctic and will also be a resource to researchers who continue to discover new things in the area. Results will be presented to the Arctic Council currently chaired by the United States.

Petrov has worked on numerous projects involving NSF grants in the past, but is excited about this unique opportunity working with researchers all around the world. 

For additional information, contact Petrov at 319-273-3507 or