Polar Research Operations

Supporting NSF Funded Research in the Arctic

Battelle’s Arctic Research Operations (ARO) is the prime logistics contractor for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Arctic Research Support Logistics Services (ARSLS) program.  We work with our partners to provide expert infrastructure and logistics support to academic researchers conducting NSF-funded polar studies.
Visit the ARSLS Page
We enable researchers to efficiently, effectively, and safely conduct research in the polar regions—areas that are critically important to the global research community. The research is intended to advance a fundamental, process and systems-level understanding of the rapidly changing natural environment and social and cultural systems in these polar areas, in addition to the region’s connectivity with lower latitudes. 

The ARO helps research teams through:

  • Research support staff who provide planning, common processes, and shared resources 
  • Efficient, effective, and safe protocols for conducting research 
  • Established laboratory facilities, equipment and sample storage, lodging, research vessels, local guides, remote communication equipment, snowmobiles, other vehicles, and more  

Our experience working in remote locations, harsh weather conditions, and difficult terrain, makes Battelle an ideal contractor for enabling polar research through cost-effective field support and risk management.

Polar Metrics


Arctic field projects supported annually


Arctic researchers


research field sites

Program Locations

Battelle ARO provides logistics planning and support, remote camp equipment, permitting, safety training, outreach and more in the following locations: 

  • Alaska
  • Greenland 
  • Arctic Ocean 
  • Canada 
  • Russia 
  • Fennoscandia (Finland, Norway, and Sweden) 
Photo: map of the artic circle battelle aro provides support to
Photo: battelle aro technician working with a rig

Risk Management

Safe polar operations are the result of careful planning and evaluation, detailed preparation, and a solid understanding and application of risk management principles. The Battelle ARO Team embodies a strong culture of risk management, exercised through the development and implementation of project-specific, custom-tailored risk management plans, coupled with well-established safety programs and innovative tools designed to support safe operations

Field Safety Training: 

Battelle ARO provides field training courses based on the needs of researchers.  Such courses range from glacier travel to wilderness first-aid training and can also be tailored and customized to meet a team’s specific needs. 

Photo: Battelle researcher working in an Arctic environment
Photo: A group of indigenous arctic people talking to one another

Indigenous and Local Engagement: 

Battelle ARO coordinates activities with local communities so as not to disrupt their culture and subsistence.  Across its programs, we emphasize engaging and educating locals about the science that Battelle is enabling in their communities and, when possible, employ locals and utilize local/regional resources. Cultural training for researchers who live and work in indigenous communities is also offered so that staff can better understand cultural differences. 


Balancing Life, Climate and Nature

Battelle is in charge of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), a revolutionary ecological research program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), that allows scientists to access continental-scale environmental data, biological, genomic, and geological samples, as well as educational tools.
learn more about neon
Photo: A girl working with her STEM teacher in the classroom

Focused on the Future of STEM

The next generation of STEM talent will be tasked with solving the world’s most pressing issues.  Battelle is steadfast in its commitment to make STEM education accessible to as many students as possible and offers polar-based STEM programs to local regions and communities. 

Polar-based STEM programs include:

  • The Foundation for Glacier and Environmental Research
  • Chugach School District (Building Environmental Literacy and the STEM Pipeline in Rural Alaska)
  • Oregon TRIO Association (Engaging Students in Virtual Field Design in the Arctic)
  • Alaska Resource Education (Advancing STEM Education Through Problem-Based Learning)
  • Waynflete School (Waynflete’s Winter Snow and Ice Program)

learn more about stem education at battelle

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