U.S. Antarctic Program, 1998-1999
In Antarctica, the U.S. Antarctic Program will support 142 research projects during the 1998-1999 austral summer and the 1999 austral winter at the three U.S. stations (McMurdo, Amundsen-Scott South Pole, and Palmer), aboard its two research ships (Laurence M. Gould and Nathaniel B. Palmer) in the Ross Sea and in the Antarctic Peninsula region, at remote field camps, and in cooperation with the national antarctic programs of the other Antarctic Treaty nations. Many of the projects that make up the program, which is funded and managed by the National Science Foundation (NSF), are part of the international effort to understand the Antarctic and its role in global processes. NSF also supports research that can be best or only performed in Antarctica. The scientists who will conduct the projects described in this book come primarily from U. S. universities and have won NSF support in response to Antarctic Research Program Announcement and Proposal Guide. Operational resources in Antarctica are also used to support scientists from other Federal agencies. Highlights of this year's austral summer program include:
Science teams will also make use of a continent-wide network of automatic weather stations, a network of six automated geophysical observatories, ultraviolet-radiation monitors at the three U.S. stations, and a high-altitude, long-duration balloon that will circumnavigate the continent and carry instruments for two projects--a study of cosmic microwave background radiation and an optical investigation of the genesis of solar activity.
Logistics resources to support these research projects include heavy-lift, ski-equipped C-130 airplanes operated by the U.S. Navy and the New York Air National Guard, ski-equipped Twin Otter airplanes chartered from a Canadian firm, and C-141 and C-5 airplanes provided by the U.S. Air Force between New Zealand and McMurdo Station. Contract helicopters are headquartered at McMurdo Station to provide operational and close science support. Ground vehicles are operated and maintained by an NSF contractor (Antarctic Support Associates), which also provides specialized science support and other services. Annually, a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker opens a channel to McMurdo Station and provides additional science support. A tanker and a cargo ship, operated by the Military Sealift Command, bring fuel, cargo, and equipment each January.
This book, which is intended to keep scientists and others informed about the U.S. antarctic research program, is arranged in scientific discipline order, except for one section focused on multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary long-term ecological research projects and a short list of technical projects. The order reflects the organization of the Antarctic Sciences Section of NSF's Office of Polar Programs, which funds projects in biology, medical research, ocean sciences, climate studies, geology and geophysics, glaciology, aeronomy, astronomy, and astrophysics.
Related information products that are produced or funded by NSF include: