"For almost 50 years, the United States has been engaged with the community of nations in scientific inquiry in Antarctica, a continent set aside for peaceful exploration," said Karl Erb, the director of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Office of Polar Programs and the head of the U.S. Antarctic Program. "At the dawn of a new century, that commitment to research is stronger than ever."
The research season gets underway in October, when the New York Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force will begin bringing about 3,000 researchers and logistics personnel as well as materiel into McMurdo Station, NSF's scientific hub on the continent. The flights will continue over the course of the season, which ends in February, the onset of fall in Antarctica.
Scientists from across the United States will travel to Antarctica in the coming months to conduct new and ongoing and studies in the earth sciences, glaciology, biology, oceanography, meteorology, astrophysics and aeronomy, or studies of the upper atmosphere.
In addition to science near McMurdo Station and at the South Pole, research also is conducted year-round at Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula and on the research ships Nathaniel B. Palmer and Laurence M. Gould.
Among the significant research projects scheduled for the 2001-2002 season are:
LAKE VOSTOK: Ice that formed over the last 400,000 years and that had been extracted from the ice sheet above subglacial Lake Vostok in an earlier joint Russian, French, and U.S. project, will be retrieved and analyzed in laboratories in all three countries. Scientists expect to
Contact: Peter West
National Science Foundation