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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus
  • Murray A Stein
  • (907) 474-7301
Award Date:01/14/2010
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 22,054,387
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 22,054,387
  • FY 2010=$22,054,387
Start Date:01/15/2010
End Date:03/31/2016
Transaction Type: Cooperative Agreements
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040551 NSF MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT
Award Title or Description:Construction of the Alaska Region Research Vessel Program Solicitation NSF 07-515: Phase 3 Management Proposal
Federal Award ID Number:1012153
DUNS ID:615245164
Parent DUNS ID:048679567
Program Officer:
  • Bauke Houtman
  • (703) 292-7704

Awardee Location

Street:West Ridge Research Bldg 008
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus
Street:West Ridge Research Bldg 008
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

This is a Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) project for the construction of a 254 foot research platform; the Alaska Region Research Vessel (ARRV). This multipurpose research ship will dramatically improve access to Arctic waters and is specifically designed to operate in seasonal sea ice and open ocean waters near Alaska, including the Chukchi, Beaufort, and Bering Seas, the Gulf of Alaska and southeastern coastal waters. Understanding changes in Arctic sea ice is vitally important to developing a better understanding of global climate change. Satellite observations have shown that the perennial ice in the Arctic is thinning at a rate greater than current models predicted, and recent research suggests the thinning is beginning to have major regional and global consequences. The ARRV will provide a much needed, technologically advanced, oceanographic platform to enable multidisciplinary teams to conduct field research at the ice edge and in seasonal ice in order to address a variety of critical regional and global ecosystem issues including climate change and ocean circulation. This will be the first NSF new-build toward renewal of the U.S. academic research vessel fleet since the 1980s. The original University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF) proposal was in response to the National Science Foundation Program Solicitation NSF 07-515 for the management, acquisition and operation of an Alaska Region Research Vessel (ARRV). The original proposal was reviewed by 10 mail reviewers and 10 panelists. A major recommendation from the panel was a phased acquisition and construction strategy to mitigate risk and provide oversight. A four phase approach was implemented by NSF with given milestones to be completed prior to funding of the next phase. The design was completed in December 2004 and was refreshed during Phase I of the project following award of the Phase I CSA (0723426). A successful Final Design Review (FDR) was held in October 2008 which utilized an external panel of experts to verify the project baseline (cost, scope, and schedule) as well as UAF?s Project Execution Plan (PEP). Following the National Science Board (NSB) approval to proceed in March 2009, UAF began the shipyard selection phase (Phase II). All Phase II milestones were completed successfully and NSF consent to award the shipyard contract was granted in early December 2009. The project baseline was also updated from FDR following receipt of bids and reviewed internally by NSF for accuracy and sufficiency as part of the consent to award process. This revised project baseline is the basis for this award and does not significantly differ from FDR or what was approved by the NSB. NSF remains confident that the project can be successfully completed with a total project cost of $199.5M. Oversight of the project is maintained through weekly teleconferences with UAF, planned quarterly site visits, and annual external reviews. An independent oversight committee (AOC) provides advice and recommendations to both UAF and NSF on the technical and scientific priorities for the vessel throughout the planning and commissioning period. NSF has also retained a consult with experience managing the construction and design of a similar research vessel in the UK. UAF then awarded the construction contract to Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wisconsin on December 18, 2009. The shipyard project kick-off meeting will be held in January 2010 with the first quarterly project review meeting in March to monitor design verification and transfer. The AOC will hold their first sea trials and science operations planning meeting in February 2010. The next external panel review will be held in May at NSF headquarters where progress during the initial stages of Phase III will be assessed by a panel of experts similar to FDR. Actual construction will begin in September 2010. Ship delivery and sea trials are planned for January 2013 with science operations beginning in January 2014.

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

This funding supported the costs of the project management for the construction of the Alaska Region Research Vessel (later named R/V Sikuliaq).  Those costs included the project management team in the shipyard as well as key personnel at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) that monitored project schedule, costs and conformation to the approved construction design that were specified in the project execution plan.


The project team in the shipyard consisted of a Project Manager, several inspectors, a technical consultant and an office manager.  The inspectors were selected to provide oversight to adherence to the approved vessel design as specified in the shipyard contract.


The project was monitored and reviewed by the Sikuliaq Oversight committee that consisted of several scientists who were not supported by project funds but were instrumental in providing outside review of the project schedule and design recommendations.


A Sikuliaq Ship Committee was established at UAF to monitor and recommend science instrumentation and equipment as well as establish outreach to the public and the national science community.


Reporting of construction progress to NSF was given to the National Science Foundation with weekly and monthly project accomplishments, monthly budget and project schedule analysis using required project management formats.  Additional reporting of project progress was given to the UNOLS community and the general science community at their annual meeting.  Presentations with slides and posters were also given to the national oceanographic community during the fall American Geophysical Meetings.



Last Modified: 08/08/2016
Modified by: Terry E Whitledge

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