The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the launch of a portal Web site to provide easy access to classroom resources, news releases, 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 http://www.us-ipy.gov, includes information on the International Polar Year 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 U.S. 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.
Source: National Science Foundation, http://www.nsf.gov