The original name of Barrow is “Ukpeaġvik,” which means a place to hunt snowy owls. Scientific research has been conducted in the Barrow area since as early as 1826, when British Explorer Fredrick William Beechy’s expedition arrived. Captain Beechy named the settlement Barrow for an Arctic exploration supporter, Sir John Barrow, a statesman and geographer for the Royal Admiralty.
NSF funded field support for the North Slope, the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and sea ice often begins in Utqiaġvik. This year-round Battelle ARO hub provides access to the Barrow Arctic Research Center (BARC), a state-of-the-art laboratory space, and the Charles Itok Edwardsen Barrow Environmental Observatory, a 7,466-acre parcel of land reserved and designated specifically for scientific research and protected from development by the North Slope Borough. From Utqiaġvik researchers can connect to areas across the North Slope such as the villages of Atqasuk, Wainwright, Kaktovik, Nuiqsut, and Anaktuvuk, and others. Battelle ARO also maintains a research house and services in Atqasuk, including a 10-bed house with full kitchen, bath, and laundry; a truck and five ATVs for field and local transportation; as well as cold storage for temperature-insensitive equipment and gear.
Utqiaġvik is also an important transfer point for research cruises on U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers and other research vessels, but Utqiaġvik lacks a deep-water port. Battelle-ARO can coordinate ship-to-shore transfers, crew exchanges and resupply.
Planning for Battelle ARO supported field work by NSF-funded projects in Utqiaġvik is done by Battelle ARO partner, Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) Science. UIC Science staff provide project permitting and on-the-ground logistics support. Support available out of Utqiaġvik consists of.
- Helicopter contracting and operations coordination
- Coordination of hangar space for subcontracted aircraft
- Arrangement of cold/heated space for personal, science cargo and gear staging/storage
- Collaboration with the North Slope Borough Search and Rescue
- Local hire or subcontracting of labor such as heavy equipment operation, boat captains, and bear guards.
- Subcontracting of small boats and landing crafts
- Lodging for groups of up to 50+ people
- Transportation (trucks and vans) for groups of 50+ people
- Walk-in refrigerator, -20°C and -40°C freezers for sensitive scientific samples
- Freight-handling assistance.
- Outreach and education guidance and assistance
- Lodging & internet access at the inland community of Atqasuk 60 miles to the southwest of Utqiaġvik
General information for researchers planning to submit a proposal for work in Utqiagvik:
- Planning for Battelle ARO supported field work by NSF-funded projects in Utqiaġvik is done by Battelle ARO partner, Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) Science. UIC Science staff provide project permitting and on-the-ground logistics support. Researchers new to Utqiaġvik are encouraged to visit UIC Science Support.
- All projects are subject to permitting. Battelle ARO assists with applications and fees for UIC and North Slope Borough (NSB) permitting. Battelle ARO also conducts environmental impact consultations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
- Additional permitting may be required for researchers accessing sites on BLM-administered lands or waters in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, which includes Elson Lagoon. Please contact Donna Wixon for further information. Researchers should include costs for all BLM permitting direct-to-grant; the estimated BLM land use permit fee is $1000 per year.
- Researchers should include costs for commercial air tickets and consumable items such as meals direct-to-grant.
- Battelle ARO can assist with outreach related to your research project. Go to Indigenous and Local Engagement for more information.
- Please consider and include direct-to-grant funds for both the cost of shipping project supplies and equipment to Utqiaġvik, as well as costs related to the retrograde of equipment, unused chemicals, and waste at the project's end.
For more information on Utqiaġvik contact your Battelle ARO PM and/or reference the UIC Science homepage.