UNH Scientist Appointed To US Arctic Research Commission By President Bush
Contact:  David Sims
(603) 862-5369
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
August 17, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- Professor Charles Vörösmarty of the University of New Hampshire has been appointed to the United States Arctic Research Commission by President George W. Bush. The Commission, which is composed of seven presidential appointees, is charged with establishing the national policy, priorities, and goals necessary for federal programs in basic and applied scientific research concerning the Arctic.

Vörösmarty directs the Water Systems Analysis Group and the Complex Systems Research Center at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at UNH. His research interests are focused on the interaction between hydrology, water resources, and biogeochemistry. Among other research, the Water Systems Analysis Group coordinates the National Science Foundation’s $30-million Freshwater Integration study, which consists of 22 projects that investigate the role of water in the Arctic and larger Earth systems (http://arcticchamp.sr.unh.edu/).

New Hampshire’s Congressional delegates, U.S. Senators John Sununu and Judd Gregg and U.S. Congressman Jeb Bradley, all endorsed and supported Vörösmarty’s nomination as an academic community representative to the Commission.

Senator Sununu took personal interest in discussions with the White House. This week he issued the statement, “Congratulations to Dr. Vörösmarty for his appointment to this important research commission and its role in the research agenda for the Arctic. Dr. Vörösmarty is immensely talented and will be an asset to the Commission and its important work.”

“I am extremely grateful for the support of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation,” Vörösmarty said. He added, “I am honored to be selected as a Commissioner and to represent the U.S. Arctic research enterprise. Working with the other Commission members, I hope to promote an exciting and innovative national research agenda on the Arctic, and one that will help to sustain our already strong links with the international research community. Major scientific challenges face us as we decipher the extent and meaning of rapid, broad-scale changes to the Arctic environment and as we formulate a science agenda that will be of lasting value to policymakers.”

The United States Arctic Research Commission was established by the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 and works with the National Science Foundation as the lead agency responsible for implementing Arctic research policy. Four members are from academic or research institutions, two from private industry undertaking commercial activities in the Arctic, and one from among the indigenous residents of the U.S. Arctic. The director of the National Science Foundation serves as an ex officio member.

Among the Freshwater Integration projects is the Arctic-RIMS (Regional, Integrated Hydrological Monitoring System) effort for which Vörösmarty serves as lead scientist. Arctic-RIMS, a web-based data archive and analysis tool developed at UNH, contains the most extensive digitized network of pan-Arctic river gauge discharge data currently in place. It is made widely available to researchers and members of the public free of charge. For more information visit http://www.wsag.unh.edu.