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IPY Activities
Homepage for Feb 09 activities and events
IPY Celebrations
International, national, and regional celebrations.
IPY Science Focus
Latest media releases and links from IPY projects
Feb 2: I-TASC
Feb 9: EBA
Feb 9: PPS Arctic
Feb 10: IASOA
Feb 12: NOMAD
Feb 13: Antarctic meltwater
Feb 14: Crater Lake Drilling
Feb 15: CAML & ArcOD
Feb 16: SCAR-MarBIN
Feb 17: Greening of the Arctic
Feb 18: ICECAP
Feb 18: CFL-IPY
Feb 19: IAOOS
Feb 20: GAPS
Feb 21: Students On Ice
Feb 23: APECS
Feb 23: AHHI
Feb 24: Permafrost
Feb 24: AGAP
Feb 25: State of Polar Research
Ongoing: Svalbard diversity
Resources for Media
Images, footage, factsheets and more
International Polar Days
A great way for educators and the public to get involved in IPY
IPY Projects - a chart
The chart lists all IPY projects, classified by topic and country

IPY Science Focus

The strength of IPY lies in its variety: extraordinarily diverse in disciplines as well as international representation. Some IPY projects operated on enormous budgets and required massive infrastructure, transport, and technological support. Others were relatively small in size but large in ambition. Please take some time to explore the IPY projects in the following pages:

IPY Project Pages - search by name, discipline, or country
IPY Charts by Country

Below are a some IPY projects who are gathering media-friendly material in the lead-up to IPY celebrations on February 25th. On the dates listed below, or shortly before, they will each issue a press release among other media materials, and also be available for interview. Please contact them directly to develop your story.

imageimage taken from Linda Mackey artwork.

Feb 2: I-TASC


ICEPAC IPY station has been deployed at Vesleskaervet Nunatak, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, to enable crews of up to six artists, scientists and engineers to conduct remote field research in polar environments. Research projects underway include Catabatic Cell, a blue ice field experiment to test the possibility of creating transient habitable spaces beneath the snow using solar and wind power, and The Polar Project, a series of immersive and sensory environment-based installations. The projects at ICEPAC are part of the 2nd Bienal del Fin del Mundo, an art exhibition focused on weather, climate and Antarctica currently taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Ushuaia, El Calafate and the Antarctic base SANAE IV.
Interpolar website
The Polar project website
I-TASC project page
Fieldwork: December 2006 - March 2009, Dronning Maud Land sector of Antarctica
Countries: Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Argentina; Germany; New Zealand; South Africa; Slovenia; Swaziland; U.S.A.; Zambia
Press materials: Press Release, images on request.
Ntsikelelo Ntshingila, aka. Firstborn, email:, ITASC 0809 Expedition Leader and ICEPAC base commander tel: +27 21 405 9450 (after 19h00 GMT)
Alfons Hug, email:, Curator of the 2nd Bienal del Fin del Mundo, available at above number until Feb 9th
Thomas Mulcaire, email:, Artist and ICEPAC crew member, tel: +27 21 405 9450 (calls routed through SANAE IV)
Erika Blumenfeld, email:, Artist and Project Director of The Polar Project, tel: +8816 3167 1200 (ICEPAC satellite phone)

Feb 3: Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Arctic Regions (CAVIAR)

The aim of CAVIAR is to increase understanding of how Arctic communities are affected by climate and other changes and to contribute to the development of adaptive strategies and policies. Case studies in communities across the Arctic provide a basis for synthesizing knowledge of how communities experience changes in environmental, social and economic conditions and factors that influence adaptation to these changes. By using a common methodology, results are compared and provide critical, generalizable knowledge of vulnerability and experiences with adaptation to climate and other changes in the Arctic countries that can be exchanged both locally and internationally.
CAVIAR on Cicero
CAVIAR at Global Environmental Change Group
CAVIAR project page
CAVIAR at the Arctic Centre
Fieldwork: Ongoing from 2007 to 2009 (and possibly longer)
Countries involved: Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA (Alaska).
Press materials: Press release, Poster (PDF), Flyer (PDF). Contact information for researchers involved with specific community case studies can be provided upon request.
Barry Smit, Lead Investigator
phone: +519 824 4120 ext.53279
Grete Kaare Hovelsrud, Lead Investigator
phone: +47 22 85 87 69
Mark Andrachuk, Coordinator for CAVIAR Canada, contact for Canadian case studies
phone: +519 824 4120, ext. 58961
Bob van Oort, Coordinator CAVIAR Norway, contact for European case studies
phone: +47 22 85 87 51

Feb 4: IPY-THORPEX: THe Observing system Research and Predictability EXperiment

IPY-THORPEX: Flying into Arctic storms: The weather conditions in the Polar areas are among the most extreme on the planet. In IPY-THORPEX, scientists fly through hurricanes to study the nature of Arctic weather phenomena and thus improve the weather forecasts in the Arctic. Commercial activities in the North (e.g. fisheries, oil industry and shipping) become increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather as their activities in these areas increase, partly as a result of global warming. Recent research in the IPY-THORPEX project suggests that the occurrence of extreme weather will increase as the Arctic ice cover declines.
THORPEX webpage
Thorpex project page
Fieldwork: Arctic Winter 2008, aerial region above the Norwegian Sea and Arctic Ocean
Countries involved: Norway, Denmark, Japan, UK, Australia, France, New Zealand, USA, Belgium, Germany, Russia, The Netherlands, Canada, Iceland, Sweden
Press materials: Press release
Erik Kolstad, email:, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Phone: +47 55 58 26 40, Cell: +47 41 12 24 57
Erlend Hermansen, email:, + 47 99 64 36 01, media enquiries

Feb 5: Kinnvika

Kinnvika provides a platform for scientists that study change and variability in the High Arctic, with a focus on processes related to the presence and/or vicinity of the large ice cap Vestfonna, using the old IPY3 station Kinnvika on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard.
Kinnvika website
Kinnvika project page
Fieldwork: April-May 2007; August-September 2007; April-May 2008; April-May 2009; August 2009. Nordaustlandet, Svalbard.
Countries: Sweden, Finland, Poland, Germany, Norway, UK, USA, Canada
Press materials: Illustrations of the expedition on request; Press release; information folder
Dr. Veijo Pohjola, leader, Uppsala University, Sweden
Professor Paula Kankaanpää, vice-leader, Arctic Centre, Finland
Arto Vitikka, public relations officer, Arctic Centre, Finland. Email use:
Eva Grönlund, public relations officer, Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

Feb 6: PHOENIX Mars Mission

In May 2008 the Phoenix Mars Lander safely touched down in the northern arctic plains of Mars, finding evidence of frozen water ice. Phoenix assessed the habitability of the Martian arctic soil and the data continue to reveal clues as to how a planet’s polar regions help regulate its climate. In December of 2007, mission scientists set off on an Antarctic Dry Valley expedition to gather analog samples for Mars from one of the coldest and driest environments on Earth. By studying the polar past on both planets, scientists may gain insight into the potential for life in extreme and changing climates.
Phoenix Webpage
Phoenix project page
Fieldwork: Antarctica/US; Antarctic analog mission (Dec 2007-Jan 2008), Phoenix mission surface operations (Summer 2008).
Countries: US, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland
Press materials: Press release and Video Release: Simultaneous Solstice
Three video podcasts on iTunes: one, two and three. You can also see additional videos of the Phoenix Mars Mission on here.
Peter Smith, email:, Principal Investigator, Phoenix Mission, University of Arizona
Leslie Tamppari, Phoenix Mission Project Scientist, JPL
Leslie Tamppari, Phoenix Mission Science Team Lead (via JPL Media Relations Office)
Carla Bitter, email:, Education & Public Outreach Manager, Phoenix Mission, University of Arizona
Guy Webster, email:, JPL Media Relations Office, +1 818 354 6278

Feb 9: Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic (EBA): The Response of Life to Change

EBA is an international interdisciplinary programme. We are trying to do 4 main things: 1. Understand how Antarctic life evolved over time; 2. Work out how this process of evolution influenced what we see now on land and in the ocean; 3. Make predictions on how organisms and communities are responding and will respond to current and future environmental change; and 4. Identify specific areas of research that we can apply to conservation policies – to help preserve Antarctica for the future. EBA brings together many marine, terrestrial and aquatic projects under one framework. Many of the marine projects will be covered by The Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) that will be highlighted on February 15th & 16th in the IPY Focus.’
EBA Website
EBA project page
IPY Germany page on CAML
Fieldwork: IPY period and beyond, in many ice-free areas around Antarctica and several marine areas.
Countries involved: Italy, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, UK, Spain, Brazil, USA, Ukraine, Japan, New Zealand, Belgium, Russia, Norway, Canada, Argentina, Poland, Czech Republic, Malaysia, France, Chile, Sweden
Press materials: Newsletters: Issue 1 March 2008; Issue 2 October 2008. Contacts, Press release, photos/footage upon request
Guido di Prisco, Italy, Project Lead
Pete Convey, UK, Project Lead
Ian Hogg, email:, New Zealand, Terrestrial Leader
Takashi Naganuma, email:, Japan, Terrestrial Leader
Please contact Shulamit Gordon at , New Zealand, for contacts in a specific country or research area of interest.


Feb 9: PPS Arctic

PPS Arctic, “Present day processes, Past changes, and Spatiotemporal variability of biotic, abiotic and socio-environmental conditions and resource components along and across the Arctic delimitation zone”, investigates causes and consequences of changes in the circum-arctic treeline zone, using fieldwork and remote sensing to examine and model temporal and spatial aspects of ecological, social and climate factors. Changes in the zone affect Arctic ecosystem processes, resource availability and the Arctic climate through changes in tree and shrub cover and subsequently albedo, with global consequences.
PPS Arctic Website
PPS-Arctic project page
Fieldwork: summer 2007, 2008, 2009 ; circumpolar arctic
Countries involved: Norway, UK, Canada, Russia, US, Sweden, Belgium,
Press materials: Interviews, Press release
Annika Hofgaard, email:, project leader and coordinator
Gareth Rees, co-coordinator
Karen Harper, national leader Canada
(for contact details please see the PPS Arctic webpage)

Feb 10: International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA)

imageThe main mission of the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) is coordination of atmospheric data collection at existing and newly established intensive Arctic atmospheric observatories. This effort supports IPY, but is also intended to establish a continuing network consortium into the foreseeable future. Measurement categories at IASOA stations include standard meteorology, greenhouse gases, atmospheric radiation, clouds, pollutants, aerosols, and surface energy balances.
IASOA website
IASOA IPY project page
Field work: IASOA stations are permanent atmospheric observatories
Countries: IASOA stations are located in Canada, Greenland, Finland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States. Numerous other countries are involved in the IPY through collaborative research at many of the IASOA stations.
Press materials: A press release and contact information for station managers, scientists and outreach specialists available for interviews will be posted on our IPY Media Day Page.
IASOA Contacts: Taneil Uttal and Lisa Darby

Feb 11: Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments; Unified International Team for Exploration and Discovery - SALE-UNITED

SALE-UNITED brings together an international federation of scientists dedicated to understanding the interplay of biological, geological, chemical, glaciological, and physical processes within subglacial environments. Scientific objectives for subglacial lake environment exploration and research are: to understand the formation and evolution of subglacial lake processes and environments; to determine the origins, evolution and maintenance of life in subglacial lake environments; and to understand the limnology and paleoclimate history recorded in subglacial lake sediments.
SALE-UNITED web page
IPY Project page
Fieldwork: On-going and project-dependent — see the web site
Press materials: Press release, report, contact to scientists
Mahlon “Chuck” Kennicutt II
John Priscu, email:
Cynan Ellis Evans, email:
About Lake Vostok: Valery Lukin
About Lake Ellsworth: Martin J.Siegert

Feb 12: NOMAD

imageThis project sets out to examine the links between reindeer and humans by following the annual migration of semi-domesticated reindeer in Kola Peninsula, Northwest Russia. This is a novel effort, putting social and other scientists on the reindeer trek on a long-term basis.
NOMAD webpage
NOMAD project page
Fieldwork: March 2007-February 2008. Central part of Kola Peninsula, Murmansk Region, NW Russia.
Countries: Bulgaria, Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden
Press Material: Illustrations of the expedition; press release
Meet NOMAD scientists
, Professor of Social Anthropology, Bulgaria/Norway
, NOMAD Coordinator, Germany
, NOMAD researcher, Germany/Norway
, NOMAD Research Assistant, Russia

Feb 13: Summer-Winter transitions in Antarctic meltwater ponds

A team of scientists remained at their field site on the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica after the traditional close of the field research season to find out what happens as meltwater ponds transition from summer liquid to winter frozen states. For many years, our understanding of such ponds, which are widespread and common in continental Antarctica, has been largely confined to summer months. This project opened a window on what happens to these ponds as the sun sets and temperatures plunge below -30 C.
Fieldwork: Jan-April 2008; October 2008; McMurdo Ice Shelf, Ross Sea Sector
Countries: New Zealand
Press materials: photographs, interviews, press release
Dr Ian Hawes; Up to 4 Feb: +677 87821; after 6 Feb: +64 21 02281494
Brian Sorrell

Feb 14: Crater Lake Drilling Project

In an effort to uncover secrets the Arctic reveals to no one without a fight, a team of international scientists has battled the worst Siberia has to offer for the sake of ground breaking discoveries in climate and impact science. Crater Lake provides an unprecedented 3.6 million years worth of accumulated sediment containing clues of past Arctic climate. It is also the only known terrestrial meteorite impact site located in bedrock of volcanic origin. The project will yield five cores in total, in addition to shock metamorphism the team will focus on the evolution of Arctic climate change during glacial/interglacial transitions.
Web site
Fieldwork: Previous teams in 1998, 2000, and 2003, current team: December 2008-May 2009 in Chukotka, Northeast Russia.
Countries Involved: United States, Russia, Austria, Germany
Press materials: Images, video, press release, frequent web updates of field work, weekly drilling progress reports, interviews and more.
Julie Brigham-Grette, Univ. Massachusetts, US
Martin Melles, Univ. Cologne, Germany
Pavel Minyuk, RAS-FEB NEISRI Magadan, Russia
Christian Koeberl, Univ. Vienna, Austria

Feb 15: Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) and Arctic Ocean Diversity (ArcOD)

imageCAML is a five-year program that draws together all known data on Antarctic marine biodiversity and ocean change. Research undertaken via CAML is producing fascinating images of the Southern Ocean and its rich biodiversity via remote sensing. These images are also transmitted to a wide audience via a vigorous public outreach program.
ArcOD is a six-year international collaborative effort to inventory biodiversity in the Arctic sea ice, water column and sea floor from the shallow shelves to the deep basins. ArcOD is the cluster lead project for the Arctic Marine Biodiversity cluster of IPY which includes 14 funded projects.
CAML and ArcOD are part of the Census of Marine Life, a global network of researchers engaged in a 10-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. The world’s first comprehensive Census of Marine Life will be released in 2010.
CAML webpage
CAML project page
ArcOD webpage
ArcOD project page
Fieldwork: CAML: 2007-8 & 2008-9, Southern Ocean; ArcOD: 2007-2009, Arctic
Countries CAML: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, UK, USA
Countries ArcOD: Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, USA
Press Material: Images, Video, Interviews, press release
CAML Lead Scientist
CAML Lead Scientist
ArcOD Lead Scientist
ArcOD Lead Scientist
, ArcOD Lead Scientist
media enquiries
media enquiries

Feb 16: SCAR-MarBIN: free and open access to Antarctic Marine Biodiversity Data

Antarctic marine biodiversity information has to be widely published, instantly accessible, and carefully checked. SCAR’s Marine Biodiversity Information Network (SCAR-MarBIN) manages a dedicated portal that provides free and open access to Antarctic marine biodiversity information. SCAR-MarBIN has developed the first authoritative Register of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS) and a distributed network of interoperable databases holding information on Antarctic marine biodiversity. SCAR-MarBIN now offers access to 115 databases, including almost a million distribution records, and detailed information on more than 13,000 taxa. SCAR-MarBIN works hand-in-hand with the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML), acting as its information component and data legacy.
SCAR-Marbin website
IPY Project page
Fieldwork: 1926 - recent, Southern Ocean
Countries: Belgium, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Japan, USA, France, Netherlands, Poland, Uk, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Spain, Argentina
Press materials: A version 2.0 of the webportal is on its way, with many new features to improve data access. It will also include new tools such as identification keys, field guides, experts and expeditions database.
Release Date: Spring 2009
Dr Bruno Danis, Scientific Coordinator, +32 2 6274318
Dr Claude De Broyer, chair of International Steering Committee, +32 2 6274127

Feb 17: Greening of the Arctic

imageThe Greening of the Arctic IPY initiative examines how the retreating sea ice impacts land areas of the Arctic by analyzing sea-ice, land-temperatures, and greening patterns along arctic coastlines; by looking at how reindeer herding, resource development, and climate variations affect vegetation; and by conducting a 1800-km transect across all five Arctic bioclimate subzones in Alaska and Canada. There is also an “Arctic Geobotanical Atlas”, a major education and outreach component of the project.
Greening of the Arctic IPY Initiative
Synthesis and models to examine pan-Arctic vegetation change: climate, sea-ice, and terrain linkages
The NASA Yamal
North American Arctic Transect
Arctic Geobotanical Atlas
Fieldwork: Summers from 2007-2010; Yamal Peninsula, Russia; North Slope of Alaska, USA; and Canadian Archipelago (Banks Island, Prince Patrick Island, Ellef Ringnes Island)
Countries: USA, Russia, Canada, Finland, China, Switzerland
Press materials: Additional material will be on the press page.
Contact: D.A. Walker, Alaska Geobotany Center

Feb 18: ICECAP - Investigating the Cryospheric Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate

imageScientists have become increasingly concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, the largest remaining body of ice on Earth. They warn that ice filled basins within the ice sheet could melt in a warmer world and release large volumes of the ice sheet into the sea, raising global sea levels. Researchers with the ICECAP project are flying an upgraded World War II-era DC-3 aircraft with a suite of geophysical instruments to map the thickness of the ice sheet and measure the texture, composition, density and topography of rocks below the ice. The data will help them model East Antarctic ice stability, forecast how the ice might react to climate change, and show its potential impact on global sea level.
ICECAP website
ICECAP project page
Fieldwork: Antarctic summer field seasons 2008/09, 2009/10, and 2010/11.
Location: East Antarctica, including Aurora Subglacial Basin, Totten Glacier, Astrolabe Basin, Wilkes Subglacial Basin, Law Dome, and Dome C. See map and descriptions of flight patterns
Countries: Australia, UK, US
Press materials: Images, Videos, press release
Marc Airhart, Public Affairs Representative, University of Texas at Austin, 512-407-9425
Catriona Kelly, Press and PR Officer, University of Edinburgh, T: +44 131 651 4401 or M: 44 7791 355940
Marion O’Sullivan, Senior Press Officer, Natural Environment Research Council (UK), T: +44 (0)1793 411727 or M: +44 (0)7917 086369
Patti Lucas, Press Officer, Australian Antarctic Division, (03) 6232 3514 or 0439 639 227

Feb 18: IPY-CFL - Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study

The Circumpolar Flaw Lead (CFL) system study is a large Canadian-led international project designed to examine the importance of climate processes in changing the nature of a flaw lead system in the Northern Hemisphere, and the effect these changes will have on the marine ecosystem, contaminant transport, carbon fluxes, and greenhouse gases. The project involved the overwintering of the CCGS Amundsen, Canada’s research icebreaker, in the Cape Bathurst flaw lead in the western Canadian high Arctic. The project also aims to integrate Traditional Knowledge (TK) with science through a series of TK interviews and Inuit led policy initiatives and workshops.
IPY-CFL website
Fieldwork: Over 350 investigators from 27 different countries participated from October 2007 to August 2008 (293 days). TK interviews, and analysis of field data are ongoing.
Countries: Canada, USA, Spain, Russia, Germany, China, UK, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, France, Netherlands
Press materials: press release
David Barber Project Lead, University of Manitoba, Canada
Dan Leitch Project Coordinator, University of Manitoba, Canada

Feb 19: DAMOCLES: Developing Arctic Modeling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies

The Arctic is a very important indicator of climate change, and Arctic sea ice is diminishing at record speed. The main objective of DAMOCLES is to better understand and predict climate change, as well as to provide more accurate weather predictions. The project is specifically concerned with the potential for a significantly reduced sea ice cover, and the impacts this might have on the environment. The Arctic has been peppered with instruments that are central components in an integrated Arctic Ocean Observation System (AAOS); these measure ocean temperature and salinity, sea-ice drift, sea-ice thickness, ocean currents and winds, air temperature and pressure, providing indispensable information for understanding the Arctic. DAMOCLES is one of the most important European contributions to IPY, and among the largest EU research project to date.
DAMOCLES webpage
DAMOCLES project page
Fieldwork: 2007 - 2009, Arctic Ocean
Countries involved: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, UK, USA
Press materials: Press release
Jean-Claude Gascard, email:, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Tel: +33 144 27 70 70
Erlend Hermansen, email:, Tel: + 47 99 64 36 01, media enquiries

Feb 19: iAOOS Norway - Closing the Loop

In order to enhance our understanding of the Arctic and climate change, a state-of-the-art observation system is required. iAOOS-Norway contributes by broadening the existing observation system geographically, technologically and in scope. iAOOS-Norway focuses on monitoring the transport of heat and freshwater in and out of the Arctic ocean, as well as sea ice changes and biological activity. New data provided by iAOOS-Norway and related projects improve operational now-casting and forecasting of the state of the ocean and sea ice. iAOOS-Norway builds on, and supplements, other ongoing components of this observation system, such as DAMOCLES and NABOS.
iAOOS Web site
iAOOS project page
Fieldwork: 2007 - 2009, Arctic Ocean
Countries involved: Norway, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA
Press materials: press release
Cecilie Mauritzen, email:, Tel: +47 22 96 33 45 Cell: +47 90 74 85 74
Erlend Hermansen, email:, Tel: + 47 99 64 36 01, media enquiries

Feb 20: Antarctic Geological Drilling - ANDRILL

imageANDRILL is a multinational collaboration comprised of more than 200 scientists, students, and educators to recover stratigraphic records from the Antarctic margin. The chief objective is to drill back in time to recover a history of paleoenvironmental changes that will guide our understanding of how fast, how large, and how frequent were glacial and interglacial changes in the Antarctica region.
ANDRILL webpage
ANDRILL project page
Fieldwork: 2006-7, 2007-8, 1008-9 Antarctic Seasons, (location)
Countries: Germany, Italy, New Zealand, UK, USA
Press Material: press release
Contacts--ANDRILL Science Management Office
, Executive Director
, Research Director
, Asst. Staff Scientist
, Education & Outreach Coordinator
, IT Specialist and Data Manager
, Office Manager and Subawards Associate
, Media Specialist

Feb 20: GAPS

The GAPS project examines the effects of oil and gas activities on peoples in the Arctic from a human security perspective, which provides a comprehensive and holistic approach. Human security is achieved when individuals and communities have the freedom to identify risks and threats to their well-being and the ability to determine ways to end, reduce or adapt to those risks and threats. Furthermore, this perspective takes into consideration the cumulative effects of oil and gas development and climate change. The purpose is to identify and document risks and survival strategies through the participation and collaboration of Arctic communities, and to share these insights with other Arctic communities as well as with other researchers.
GAPS Project Page
Fieldwork: Ongoing from 2007 to 2009 (and possibly longer)
Countries involved: Canada, Norway, Russia, USA (Alaska).
Press materials: Press release, Newsletter.
Dawn Bazely, Principal Investigator, York University
phone: +1 416 736 2100 ext. 33631
Gabrielle Slowey, Co-applicant, York University
phone: +1 416 736 2100 ext. 22564
Julia Christensen, Co-applicant, McGill
phone: +1 514 766 2412
Alana Kronstal, Co-applicant, University of Victoria
phone: +1 250 857. 4814

Feb 21: Students on Ice International Polar Year Antarctic University Expedition 2009

An initiative led by the Canadian-based Students on Ice Expeditions, this ship-based field-course is an opportunity to encourage interdisciplinary University-level education, research and training in Antarctica. The expedition will involve an international team of 71 students and 18 world-class scientists, environmentalists, researchers and educators. Participants have the opportunity to earn one of three course credits and will consider how to be better stewards of the global environment. Research will be conducted on Antarctica’s physical, biological and human environments.
Antarctic University website
Students on Ice website
Students on Ice project page
Fieldwork: February 14–27, 2009, Antarctic Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego
Countries involved: Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Canada, England, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, United States of America
Press materials: Daily website updates during expedition, interviews before, during and after expedition, Contrasting the Poles documentary film description, expedition photographs and HD video content, expedition participant journal entries, Press release.
Contacts:Reina Lahtinen, Operations Manager, Students on Ice Expeditions

Feb 22: POLENET: The Polar Earth Observing Network

The vast ice fields of Antarctica and Greenland cloak many mysteries of how the underlying bedrock has responded to the growth and retreat of crushing ice sheets. Up to now, scientists have gleaned slivers of insight by collecting seasonal data from exposed mountain ranges and isolated rocky outcroppings. During IPY, researchers are instrumenting the length and breadth of Antarctica and Greenland to form a network of sensors that will continuously monitor the earth beneath the ice. Scientists will thus be able to piece together the history of polar ice sheets. Combining ground-based data with information gathered by satellites will help determine where, and at what rate, the ice sheets are changing in response to recent climate change.
POLENET website
POLENET project page
Fieldwork: 2007-2012 Antarctica, Greenland
Countries involved: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, UK, United States
Press materials: Press release, images, video, podcasts
Terry Wilson, email:, Lead Scientist, Ohio State University, USA
Reinhard Dietrich, email:, Lead Scientist, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Kelly Carroll, email:, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Ohio State University, USA

Feb 23: Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), one of the major legacies of IPY, is an organization of young researchers and others with interests in the Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. APECS began in 2006 as a small group of researchers and has quickly grown to a network of over 1400 polar researchers from across the disciplines and over 40 countries who meet, share ideas and experiences, and develop new research directions and collaborations. Through workshops, meetings and field schools APECS provides career development opportunities and promotes outreach as an integral component of polar research.
APECS web site
Countries involved:
Over 40 countries
Press material: Interviews, documents on website, conference videos 1 and 2, press release.
On Feb 23, all the APECS Executive Committee members will be meeting in Geneva, Switzerland prior to the IPY Celebrations and release of the “State of the Poles”
Main Media Contact:
Dr. Jenny Baeseman, Director, +47 776 46593
Additional contacts:
Daniela Haase, President, New Zealand, +64 3 352 7868
Liz Thomas, UK, +44 1223 221658
Matt Strezlecki, Poland
Jose Xavier, Portugal, +351 936728419
Ben Beall, Canada
Tina Tin, France
APECS has representatives in over 40 countries. If you would like talk with a national representatives, please contact Dr. Jenny Baeseman for more information.

Feb 23: Arctic Human Health Initiative (AHHI)

The Arctic Human Health Initiative (AHHI) is an IPY coordinating project that highlights the human health concerns of northern communities. The AHHI will advance and expand the joint research agenda of the International Union for Circumpolar Health and the Arctic Council. The goal of AHHI is to increase the awareness and visibility of human health concerns of Arctic peoples, foster human health research, and promote health strategies that will improve the health and well-being of all Arctic residents. As part of AHHI, researchers from around the world have submitted project proposals addressing different health issues of the Arctic people.
AHHI web page Fieldwork: 2007-2009, Internationally
Countries involved: Canada, United States, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden
Press materials: press release
Contact: Stephanie Rolin, email:

Feb 24: Permafrost Observatory Project: A Contribution to the Thermal State of Permafrost

Permafrost (perennially frozen ground) occurs in over 25% of the Earth’s land regions and extends to depths from a few meters to more than 1500 meters. Thawing of permafrost can cause building collapse, landslides and the release of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) to the atmosphere. During the IPY, scientists are measuring the thickness of the surface seasonally thawed layer at 165 bipolar sites and ground temperatures in 500 drill holes in both hemispheres to determine the present Thermal State of Permafrost. Permafrost is thawing at some sites, warming is occurring at others and modeling indicates that both trends will continue into the future.
NSIDC permafrost site
IPA permafrost site
CALM sites
Permafrost Young Researchers Network drilling page
IPY project page
Permafrost outreach programs
Interview with Dr. Vladimir Romanovsky
Permafrost Laboratory
TSP Norway
Geological Survey of Canada: Permafrost
Fieldwork: Arctic, Antarctic and mountainous regions: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, U.S.A., Canada, Iceland Switzerland, Germany, Austria, China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, France, Italy, Romania, Year-round
Countries involved: Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany , Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Portugal, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States of America,
Press materials: The December 2008 issue of Frozen Ground, on the web, will report on IPY and TSP projects of the 26-member International Permafrost Association. Press release, and a brochure about the International Permafrost Association.
Prof. Vladimir Romanovsky, +1 907 474 7459
Dr. Hanne H. Christiansen +47 79 02 33 20
Prof. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten +49 331 288 2100
Dr. Sharon Smith +1 613 947 7066
Dr. Hugues Lantuit +49 331 288 2162
Dr. Jerry Brown

Feb 24: Antarctica Gamburtsev Province Project - AGAP

imageTwo teams of international scientists ventured deep into the interior of East Antarctica to capture information on a subglacial mountain range hidden several miles beneath the thick ice sheet! Using airborne geophysical surveys to peel away the layers of ice, scientists gathered information on the formation of this large mountain range and the early history of the Earth, their role in the formation and ongoing stability of the East Antarctic ice sheet, and their connection to the areas with subglacial lakes.
AGAP South webpage
AGAP North webpage
AGAP project page
Fieldwork: 2008-9 Antarctic Season
Countries: Australia, China, Germany, Japan, UK, US
Press Material: Images, video, interviews, press release
Release date:TBC, late Jan 2009
; AGAP Lead Scientist, USA
; AGAP Lead Scientist, USA
; AGAP Coordination, USA
; AGAP Press Office, UK

Feb 25: IPY State of Polar Research Report

On February 25th, 2009, as the formal observational period of IPY draws to a close, the IPY Joint Committee will issue a report on the State of Polar Research. In conjunction with this release, IPY sponsors ICSU and WMO are pleased to announce an IPY Celebration, including a press conference and presentation, in Geneva, Switzerland. The State of Polar Research report will present an overview of the collective impact of international and interdisciplinary research that has been achieved through the International Polar Year 2007-8, and will outline the future for polar research.
Dr. David Carlson, email:, Director, IPY International Programme Office
Press materials: Press release
To register for the press conference, please contact the WMO press Office:
Media Advisory in Word
Ms. Carine Richard-Van Maele, email:, Chief, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel: +41 22 730 8315
Ms. Galle Sevenier, email:, Press Officer, Tel. +41 22 730 8417

Biological and climate diversity of the central part of the Svalbard Arctic archipelago

Arctic climate and biological diversity is an interdisciplinary (biology and climatology) research project, part of the Network for ARCtic Climate and Biological DIVersity Studies (ARCDIV), an international research initiative. The project explores the diversity of the ecosystem on the central the Svalbard archipelago, central part of Isfjorden, Billefjorden and Petuniabukta. The project is co-ordinated by the Norwegian Polar Institute.
Report (PDF) on field activities of the Czech research group in the central part of the Svalbard archipelago (Isfjorden, Billefjorden, Petuniabukta) during the summer 2008
ArcDivNet website
IPY Project Page
Fieldwork: Svalbard archipelago, summer 2008
Countries: Czech Republic (17 countries in ArcDiv)
Contacts:Dr. Josef Elster, Associate Professor, University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany

Ongoing: Plate tectonics and polar gateways in the Earth system - PLATES & GATES

imageThis network project consists of numerous individual projects with a particular focus on the Earth’s climatic transition from greenhouse to icehouse conditions. Because motions of the Earth’s tectonic plates have constantly altered the geometries of the Polar ocean basins and distribution of land masses, reconstructing these geometries allows the creation of models that look at the tectonic effect on climate changes.
Plates and Gates website
IPY Project Page
Project page on Germany’s IPY website
Fieldwork: Arctic and Sub-Arctic: central Arctic Ocean, Lomonosov Ridge, Siberian shelfs and coasts, Franz Joseph Land, Svalbard, Fram Strait, Barents Sea, Greenland, Baffin Bay, Ellesmere Island. Antarctica and Southern Ocean: Drake Passage, Scotia Sea, Antarctic Peninsula, Patagonia, Southern Atlantic, Cosmonaut Sea and Prydz Bay, Davis Sea, George V Coast, Ross Sea, Marie Byrd Land
Countries: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, UK, Ukraine, USA
Karsten Gohl, karsten.gohl (at) (coordinator), Alfred Wegener Institut for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
Alan Haywood, a.haywood (at) (coordinator), School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK

March 18- 26th: Polar Oceans Activites

Every three months, IPY celebrates International Polar Days, focusing on a different aspect of polar research. Previous Polar Days have focussed on Sea Ice, Ice Sheets, Changing Earth, Land & Life, People, research Above the Poles and Polar Oceans.