Office of Naval Research :: Call for Planning Letters :: "Emerging Dynamics of the Marginal Ice Zone"

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Office of Naval Research :: Call for Planning Letters :: "Emerging Dynamics of the Marginal Ice Zone"

Jeffries, Martin CIV ONR 322
Office of Naval Research :: Call for Planning Letters :: "Emerging Dynamics of the Marginal Ice Zone"

Submission deadline: Friday, 1 April 2011.

Office of Naval Research Contact:
Martin Jeffries, PhD
Program Officer and Arctic Science Advisor
Phone: 703-696-7825
Email: [hidden email]

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The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announces a Department Research Initiative (DRI) - "Emerging Dynamics of the Marginal Ice Zone" - and call for planning letters. Planning letters are due no later than Friday, 1 April 2011.

DRI Description

In response to the observed trend of reduced arctic sea ice volume during the boreal summer, the U.S. Navy has a renewed interest in understanding and predicting the environment in this region, including a desire to forecast the presence or absence of sea ice at a variety of lead times. However, there remain fundamental gaps in our knowledge of the physical processes, interactions, and feedbacks that are critical to understanding the seasonal evolution of sea ice. To address this issue, the ONR will support a 5-year Department Research Initiative (DRI) to better understand the emerging dynamics of the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ).

The goal of the DRI is to improve the knowledge and understanding of the physics of the retreating summer ice edge and MIZ in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The approach will be to integrate data from in situ sensing platforms, remotely-sensed observations, and integrated process models to develop a comprehensive, quantitative picture of open-ocean, ice edge and MIZ processes, interactions, and feedbacks as the ice retreats. The observational data set that is generated will also be used to evaluate the skill of numerical models run by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and academic researchers in conjunction with this DRI.

The following scientific questions will drive the research program:

1. Does the increasing area of open water in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas amplify the seasonality of the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover?
2. What role do waves and swell play in the retreat of the ice cover?
3. What role do solar radiation and surface fluxes of sensible and latent heat play in the retreat of the ice cover?
4. How does the ice volume evolve as the ice retreats?
5. As the ice cover retreats, do vertical mixing and upwelling of warm water in the water column occur and amplify ice loss?
6. What is the magnitude of vertical mixing and is it due to wind-induced upwelling, inertial waves, and shear; or is it due to the generation of internal waves at the halocline?
7. What are the relative magnitudes of each of the various processes, both local and non-local, which are driving the ice retreat?
8. Which of the processes are likely to have significant positive feedbacks, and which are likely to strengthen in the future?
9. How do current coupled models represent the relevant processes at different space and time scales, and what resolution is required to adequately simulate the key processes?

This DRI is expected to run for five years, from FY12 to FY16. Years 1 and 2 will focus on science and experiment planning, science team building, developing inter-agency and international collaboration, and equipment development and testing. The major field effort will occur in Year 3 (FY14), followed by two years of data analysis, synthesis of results, and evaluation of predictive skill of integrated models. The overall effort will require integration of theory, in situ and remote sensing observations, and modeling to accelerate discovery and understanding. Each individual or team of investigators need not propose all components. Successful investigators will be expected to work productively and constructively in an inter-disciplinary team environment; team building will occur after selection. This DRI is an ONR contribution to the federal inter-agency Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH; http://www.arcus.org/search/index.php).

Planning Letter Content

The letter should include:

- Contact information for the principal and co-investigators, including full mailing address, email address and phone number for each.
- A maximum three-page synopsis of the proposed research, including a rationale, questions and/or hypotheses to be addressed, the methods to be used, and anticipated results. Think of this as the Executive Summary of a full proposal. A description of the role of each investigator should also be included in the three pages.
- Investigators should focus on what is new, groundbreaking, or potentially transformative about the proposed research and not worry about justifying the relevance to the Navy.
- No more than one page describing the estimated budget, with approximate cost per year up to a maximum of five years. Any major equipment procurements or unusual costs (e.g., ship, aircraft, computer) should be identified.
- Up to one page of relevant references to the literature.
- A one-page biographical sketch for each investigator, with a focus on research activities and publications relevant to the proposed research.

Purpose of Planning Letters

The purpose of the planning letter is to allow investigators to submit their ideas for ONR to evaluate, provide technical feedback, and indicate whether investigators will be encouraged to submit full proposals. ONR will respond to planning letters by 29 April 2011 to allow nine weeks for full proposal preparation and submission no later than 1 July 2011. It is anticipated that awards will be made with funds available in October 2011.

Submission of Planning Letters

All planning letters should be submitted via email to Martin Jeffries
([hidden email]) no later than Friday, 1 April 2011.

For further information, please contact:
Martin Jeffries, PhD
Program Officer and Arctic Science Advisor
Phone: 703-696-7825
Email: [hidden email]



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