National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
NSF Office of Polar Programs: The Office of Polar Programs manages and initiates National Science Foundation funding for basic research and its operational support in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The funds are provided as NSF grants to institutions (mainly U.S. universities), whose scientists perform the research at the institutions or in a polar region, and as cooperative agreements or contracts to support organizations including contractors and the U.S. military. OPP supports individual investigators or research teams and U.S. participation in multinational projects. Projects can involve investigators from many disciplines and institutions over several years.
Funding for this project was part of the $7.6 billion allocated for research as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The ARRA is an economic stimulus package was enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the recession.