Transition in Barrow Science Support

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7 December 2010
 
The Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC) has provided logistical services to scientific research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for work in the Barrow, Alaska area since 2009. On-site support has been administered through a subcontract to the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC). As an Alaska Native Corporation, which contracts with the federal government, UIC is especially cognizant that its operations and those of its subcontractors must conform to requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs). To ensure compliance going forward, UIC and its professional services subsidiary UMIAQ (formerly known as BTSPS) will self-perform science support activities that are funded through the NSF in Barrow beginning on 1 January 2011.
 
UMIAQ will continue to work closely with CH2M Hill Polar Services (CPS) throughout the transition and implementation of this new business structure. Our team will strive to deliver a consistent level of service to our customers – the researchers – by providing accepted elements of science support including logistics, housing, materials, equipment, laboratory and field staging space, and Information Technology (IT) services. We will continue to integrate local resources and equipment to the greatest extent possible. UMIAQ will invest in building program capacity by engaging community expertise and experience as well as recruiting staff from the Barrow community to provide access to the substantial pool of local knowledge, skills, and cultural understanding of the arctic environment. In addition, UMIAQ and CPS science managers will maintain a presence to coordinate science support elements and ensure continuity.
 
This season, science groups can expect some changes upon arrival in Barrow. For example, while most existing buildings, offices, and laboratories will continue to be available, UMIAQ will focus management activities in the new Barrow Arctic Research Center (BARC) building. This will consolidate lines of communication, leading to more efficient operations and greater responsiveness to science group requests.
 
Over the next few months, CPS staff will contact researchers to develop detailed support plans and resource allocations for the 2011 season, as we have during the past two years. Science groups should continue to work with their current points-of-contact for planning, technical assistance, and other science support issues.
We will continue to communicate with the science community regarding future
changes in the program.  Please contact Marin Kuizenga (marin@polarfield.com) if you have any immediate questions or comments.
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