Aerial view of Accomplishment Creek and the Sagavanirktok River in the Brooks Range of Alaska.  Photo by D.L. Kane



Freshwater Integration study (FWI) Synthesis Page


Rationale for and Paths to FWI Synthesis

One of the primary foci of the NSF-ARCSS Program Solicitation for the Arctic Freshwater Cycle: Land/Upper-Ocean Linkages (hereafter referred to as the NSF-ARCSS Freshwater Integration study or FWI) is the "synthesis and integration of available data and modeling studies to reveal processes, linkages, and causes of variability in the Arctic terrestrial, atmosphere and upper-ocean hydrologic cycle" (see NSF Program Solicitation NSF-02-071).

The NSF-ARCSS Freshwater Integration study (FWI) is instituting a formal synthesis and integration effort, which adopts the approach to unite observational and modeling capabilities to study arctic hydrological change. Our working definition of synthesis is one of a coordination of thought to discover emergent system properties. Our strategy applies both induction and deduction (see Figure 1).





Figure 1. Synthesis strategy for the NSF-ARCSS Freshwater Integration study (FWI) linking observational and simulation approaches. While synthesis to a logician is followed by the deductive path alone, FWI adopted an operational definition of synthesis to be a coordination of thought to discover emergent system properties.
To view a larger version of Figure 1, click here.

Major Classes of FWI Synthesis include:

Data Integration, intercomparison, and analysis, Modeling (of various sorts), Writing, and Education


FWI Working Groups

As a direct outcome of the initial Breakout Group Discussions and subsequent Plenary at the 2004 FWI All-Hands Meeting, two Working Groups were formed to play a central role in synthesis and integration activities over the course of the next year and beyond.

To learn more about the activities of the 'Budgeteers' and 'Changes& Attributions' Working Groups, access the FWI Working Group pages.


FWI Project Themes

22 Projects are funded under the NSF-ARCSS Freshwater Integration study (FWI), and these projects address one or more of the following three original questions posed in the NSF-ARCSS Arctic Freshwater Cycle Announcement of Opportunity (AO):
  • Is the Arctic Freshwater Cycle Intensifying?
  • If So, Why?
  • What are the Implications?
To answer these questions, FWI PIs are investigating linkages among land, ocean, and atmosphere in the Arctic Hydrological Cycle. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, these projects are a contribution to the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH).

Figure 2. Conceptual model of the Arctic hydrological cycle, with key linkages among land, ocean, and atmosphere. The coupling of these components within the Arctic and to the larger earth system remains an important yet unresolved research issue. Red lines connect PIs with the various components of the Arctic hydrological cycle that they are investigating. Synthesis and integration activities are central to the effort to learn more about the connections of these important processes.
To view a larger version of Figure 2, click here.





Arctic CHAMP
Science Management Office

Contact Information
Role of the Arctic-CHAMP Science Management Office
Photo: Aerial view of Accomplishment Creek and the
     Sagavanirktok River in the Brooks Range of Alaska.  Photo by D.L. Kane