bridge over river in snowy forest

The US Department of Defense (DoD) maintains infrastructure needed for the strategic defense of the Arctic region. This includes buildings, roads, bridges, runways, harbors, and communications and power systems.

It is critically important to ensure that existing and future DoD infrastructure can function under a wide variety of scenarios, including changing environmental conditions.

Standards and codes used by DoD, other state and federal agencies, and industry to guide design decisions in Alaska and the broader Arctic require data that is more sophisticated and robust than currently existing information.

Current design decisions rely on data that is outdated, sparse, and does not include state-of- the-science future projections.

cover of the arctic environmental atlas of alaska, used by engineers.

Cover of the hardcopy Environmental Atlas of Alaska (last revised in 1984). The Arctic-EDS will transform the outdated Atlas into a sustainable technology where best-available data curated for engineering design needs are combined into a single online hub.

SNAP will provide a modern path forward.

The Arctic Environmental and Engineering Data and Design Support System (Arctic-EDS) will refine and link web-based technologies to provide an Arctic-focused engineering design support system. Arctic environmental data represent core information needs that guide infrastructure design specifications at high latitudes, where rapid environmental changes and the widespread presence of permafrost and floating ice represent significant challenges for engineering design.

The Arctic-EDS will replace the Environmental Atlas of Alaska (last revised in 1984) from a hardcopy Atlas to a modern web-based, dynamic platform with multiple opportunities for users to access, analyze, and export data. This modern implementation will provide up-to-date data collated by a number of different state and federal agencies. The Arctic-EDS will transform the outdated hardcopy Atlas into a sustainable technology where best-available data curated for engineering design needs are combined into one online hub.

conceptual diagram of the arctic-eds

Conceptual overview of the Arctic-EDS.

We will use online technologies that curate and dynamically update relevant Arctic environmental data for use in web-based maps, modules, and notebooks.

Government engineers and scientists working in all regions of the Arctic require easily obtainable engineering and environmental data. In particular, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the primary design and contracting entity for 90% of DoD infrastructure projects, and many other Federal agencies as well. Arctic DoD infrastructure projects often require varied engineering and science specialties that exist within USACE, but are located elsewhere in the continental U.S.; and personnel may not be familiar with the available Arctic data and their sources.

The Arctic-EDS system will provide a central repository for this fundamental data and promote constancy of data usage. The broader engineering and scientific community also will benefit from this Arctic-EDS development.

See the proposal (below) for full details.

Project funding

U.S. Department of Defense Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). Learn more about ESTCP

Project personnel

  • T. Scott Rupp. Professor, International Arctic Research Center (IARC), UAF. Ecosystem modeler with climate downscaling expertise. Overall project management. Lead and supervise web-based technology refinement and deployment, data curation, and associated frameworks.
  • Margaret Darrow. Professor of Geological Engineering, UAF. Expertise in frozen ground engineering and thermal modeling. Provide guidance on specialized module and notebook development. Integrate Arctic-EDS into classroom teaching of undergraduate and graduate engineering at UAF.
  • Sveta Stuefer. Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UAF. Expertise in cold regions hydrology and hydraulics. Provide guidance and feedback on data, modules, and notebooks. Integrate Arctic-EDS into classroom teaching of undergraduate and graduate engineering at UAF.
  • Kevin Bjella. Research Civil Engineer, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. Geotechnical Arctic Engineer specializing in design and remediation of infrastructure in frozen environments. Focus on DoD user engagement module and notebook linkages to the UFC 3-130.
  • Peter Larsen. Research Scientist/Deputy Group Leader, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Applied economist specializing in infrastructure depreciation under alternative climate/weather scenarios. Provide guidance on notebook development and incorporation of LCA.
  • Aaron Dotson. Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Water and wastewater utilities expert. Coordinate linkage between the CRUM and development of functional design tools via notebooks and modules. Act as liaison to standing military POCs through the Applied Environmental Research Center.
  • Paul Duffy. Vice President, Climate Change Program Leader, Neptune Inc.; Affiliate Faculty, UAF. Mathematical statistician with expertise in statistical methods used to downscale gridded climate data. Provide guidance and feedback on the development and implementation of statistical methods including Bayesian hierarchical modeling and simulation work.

collaborator logos

Project Details

SNAP Contact:  Nancy Fresco

SNAP Contact:  Scott Rupp

Project Status:  Ongoing

Collaborator(s):

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Neptune Inc
  • U.S. Department of Defense Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP)
  • UAF International Arctic Research Center
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • USACE Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory

Related Document(s):