A Science Management Office for the United States Component of the International Trans Antarctic Expedition (US ITASE SMO)
– A Collaborative Program of Research from Taylor Dome to South Pole
Duration: March 2005 – February 2008
Principle Investigators: P.A. Mayewski and G. S. Hamilton
This proposal is the lead proposal for a series of collaborative science proposals that are all related to US ITASE. It includes a description of
the basic objectives, science administration, and logistics for several science proposals that will be submitted to OPP as part of US ITASE. For detailed
information concerning these individual science research proposals reviewers are requested to examine the actual science proposals.
This proposal requests support from the Office of Polar Programs for:
US ITASE is the terrestrial equivalent of a polar research vessel. It offers the ground-based opportunities of traditional style oversnow travel coupled with the modern technology of GPS navigation, crevasse detecting radar, satellite communications, and multi-disciplinary research. By operating as a ground-based transport system US ITASE offers scientists the opportunity to experience the dynamic environment they are studying. US ITASE also provides a stimulating interactive venue for research similar to that afforded by oceanographic research vessels and large polar field camps, without the cost of the former or the lack of mobility of the latter. More importantly the combination of disciplines represented by US ITASE provides a unique, logistically efficient, multi-dimensional (x, y, z and time) view of the atmosphere, the ice sheet and their histories. US ITASE SMO activities in West Antarctica included the successful integration of 11 science programs. The US ITASE traverse team reached South Pole Station at the end of the 2002-2003 field season, concluding SMO operation and field activities for the initial four season sampling of West Antarctica.
ITASE has as its primary objective the understanding of Antarctic climate (e.g., accumulation rate, air temperature, atmospheric circulation), and environmental (eg., sea ice extent, atmospheric chemistry) variability over the last 200 years, and where possible longer. US ITASE goals include the ITASE primary objective (although typically records in the 200-1000 year and longer range are collected). In addition, US ITASE scientific objectives include those from a variety of additional disciplines, because the US ITASE logistics platform is designed to accommodate interactive research programs such as: meteorology, remote sensing, surface glaciology, geophysics, ice core glaciology, dynamical glaciology, atmospheric chemistry, and glacial geology. Data collected by US ITASE and its international ITASE partners is available to a broad scientific community. US ITASE has an extensive program of public outreach and provides significant opportunities for many students to experience multi-disciplinary Antarctic research.