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New Zealand announces IPY Funding results

MEDIA RELEASE WEDNESDAY 8 AUGUST 2007

Antarctic research to benefit from $4.5 million in special projects for International Polar Year. Six exciting research projects touching on climate change and protecting the fragile Antarctic environment have been approved to mark International Polar Year.

The projects have been made possible by a special three-year, $4.5 million contestable fund to support International Polar Year research, announced by the Prime Minister in May and administered by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology,

“International Polar Year represents a unique opportunity for New Zealand scientists to participate in a number of important Antarctic scientific collaborations,” says foundation Chief Executive Murray Bain. “These collaborations are likely to produce major advances in Antarctic science and reinforce the position of New Zealand as a serious science partner, particularly in the Ross Sea region.”

Three of the projects will be led by the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and one each by the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and Waikato University.

The projects will look at such diverse subjects as summer biological activity in melt-water ponds, the winter thickness of the sea-ice, the effect of climate change on micro-organisms that grow in sea-ice, the ecosystems of the Dry Valleys, understanding the Antarctic

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