Draft Proposal 2004 - page11


We request support for a US ITASE SMO from March 2004 to February 2008 to perform the following tasks.

  1. US ITASE SMO will develop the field operations plan (SIP) on behalf of all US ITASE science investigators, streamlining logistics and administration for all projects.
  2. Route selection activities will be a component of the new proposed ITASE SMO. This work will be conducted by G.S. Hamilton with much of the mosaic preparation being carried out by a graduate student. We are already in possession of the RADARSAT imagery required to map the proposed traverse routes. New imagery will be acquired and added to the interpretation as it becomes available. Very recent ASTER data will be especially useful for mapping flow features near the heads of the Transantarctic Mountain outlet glaciers.
  3. US ITASE SMO will organize annual workshops to discuss logistics and science. These are often held in conjunction with Spring AGU, but other opportunities will be explored.
  4. US ITASE will maintain and expand the current website ( and for access by the public and researchers.
  5. Outreach activities for US ITASE will follow the current plan. US ITASE currently maintains an active outreach activity in coordination with the Museum of Science in Boston; numerous lectures for K-12, the public and professionals; TEA involvement and liaison with media.
  6. US ITASE will continue, as in the past, to work with researchers to develop several data products including:
  1. arrays of environmental time-series (e.g., accumulation rate, temperature, atmospheric circulation) and change in atmospheric composition over the last several hundred years;
  2. synoptic reconstructions and interpretation of major atmospheric circulation features (e.g., ENSO, cyclogenesis);
  3. estimates of the modern contribution made to sea level by WAIS and EAIS ice volume changes;
  4. an environmental base map for EAIS and WAIS that will be valuable for assessing natural variability and the influence of anthropogenic activity;
  5. data needed to interpret ice dynamics influences and ice core properties to link planned deep ice cores and identify sites for other ice cores that extend key climate change records to 10,000 years and longer;
  6. in-situ control for remote sensing experiments;
  7. data needed for evaluating atmosphere-snow transfer functions to broaden the scope of paleoclimate interpretations developed from ice cores.
  • We are also beginning work on compiling data from current US ITASE activities and ITASE activities as the SCAR Project Office for ITASE. The data will be assembled at our forthcoming meeting SCAR Meeting in Bremen (2004) and also in a web-accessible GIS database, using satellite image mosaics as the base layer. Gordon Hamilton is developing this initiative. Data from all funded US investigators will be included, so that the GIS will contain a spatial record of US ITASE regions from the atmosphere to the ice sheet bed. The purpose of the web-based approach is to ensure maximum accessibility to the data to other investigators, without the need to learn technical GIS skills. The development of an ITASE GIS is not intended to compete with the ITASE data repository at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Rather, it allows an intuitive interface for users (technical and general public) to visualize the data. Following a period of restricted access, the GIS will be made available to the wider science community and the public. The ITASE SMO will play an important role in the development of the GIS by encouraging individual investigators to contribute or grant access to their data.
  • US ITASE SMO Management

    US ITASE SMO has operated in the past through a process of very close involvement (electronic and in field) between the SMO and US ITASE researchers. Following this format US ITASE SMO will be comprised of a Director (Paul Mayewski) and an Associate Director (Gordon Hamilton) who are both currently US ITASE PIs (and are submitting new science proposals for continued involvement) and have considerable logistic and scientific experience. Four months of support are sought in this proposal for a Program Coordinator (Ann Zielinski) who will handle much of the office activities. Paul Mayewski has considerable experience in science adminstration as Director of US ITASE SMO since 1998 and Director of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two SMO from 1989-2000. An advisory committee will be assembled with consultation from US ITASE PIs and OPP.


    US ITASE offers a highly efficient logistics platform that could serve as a model for future OPP/NSF field activities. The project is logistically efficient because it allows as many as 11 scientific projects (thus far) to share the aircraft and surface vehicles requirements of a very much smaller number of individual projects.

    Scientifically US ITASE catalyses the integration of a variety of disciplines (to date – meteorology, remote sensing, geophysics, dynamical glaciology, ice core glaciology, and chemistry plus potentially more). This disciplinary integration allows significantly more robust and creative examination of both disciplinary and multi-disciplinary problems.

    US ITASE researchers will follow protocols established by ARCSS (Appendix B in US ITASE, 1996) for data and by GISP2 for sample sharing. Samples collected from shared materials will be collected so that all necessary scientific requirements are satisfied and, wherever possible, registered to exactly the same sample interval to avoid problems with sample registration when comparing high-resolution time-series. The US Antarctic Data Coordination Center (USADCC) web page functions as the access point for US ITASE researchers to enter metadata and data thus fully complying with the data sharing standards set by NSF and the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research to maximize usage of scientific data.
    US ITASE has a very successful and extensive history of outreach. Much of this is based on the US ITASE association with the Museum of Science (Boston). In cooperation with MOS, US ITASE maintains a web based daily report series during the field season, twice weekly live interviews from the field to MOS, an extensive website, a US ITASE display at MOS, frequent public lectures to K-12, public groups, and universities, significant media coverage, and a University of Maine based website.

    US ITASE routinely includes 3-5 graduate students per field season and several are women. One undergraduate participated in the 2000-2001 field season and another participated in the 2002-2003 season. Most of the graduate students have utilized the research for MS and PhD topics and the undergraduates for senior projects.

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