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Media Advisory 06-001

NSF Launches New Web Portal for International Polar Year

Science agencies around the world will observed International Polar Year 2007-2008.

Science agencies around the world will observe International Polar Year 2007-2008.

January 17, 2006

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today launched a portal Web site to provide the general public and members of the news media with easy access to news releases, classroom resources, listings of museum and gallery exhibits, and catalogs of video and still images and other materials produced or supported by the federal government as part of the U.S. contribution to the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008.

The site, at , includes information on the IPY for a general audience as well as basic information for scientists interested in obtaining IPY funding from the U.S. government. New content will be continually added to the comprehensive site.

The IPY will take place exactly 50 years after the International Geophysical Year (IGY), a similar global scientific research endeavor during which scientists first spent the long Antarctic winter at the South Pole, among other accomplishments. The polar "year" will include two calendar years to permit a full 12 months of observations in regions where six months of extreme cold and darkness can hamper fieldwork.

In the spring of 2007, scientists from more than 100 countries will embark on an intensive, coordinated campaign of multi-disciplinary scientific observations, research and analysis as part of the IPY. The research is expected to dramatically expand our understanding of the Arctic and Antarctic regions--including their relationship to the global ecosystem--and to provide unprecedented insight into how societies in high northern latitudes are coping with environmental change.

In the United States and in other countries, planning already is underway for extended IPY scientific field campaigns as well as for education and outreach programs for the general public.

The White House has designated NSF, which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program and chairs the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), to be the lead federal agency for the IPY. Numerous other agencies, their scientists and grantees will also be involved in supporting IPY research, fielding research teams and producing curricula and other materials for the general public about the IPY.


Media Contacts
Peter West, NSF, (703) 292-7761, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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