Expert Report

A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research (2015)

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

Research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean has yielded tremendous insights into the workings of our planet and the universe beyond. Much of this research is now becoming increasingly urgent as scientists seek to understand how the region may affect sea-level rise and other global-scale environmental changes. Informed by input from across the scientific community, this report offers a strategic vision to guide the U.S. Antarctic Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) over the coming decade. An initiative to better understand how melting ice sheets could contribute to sea level rise; efforts to decode the genomes of organisms to understand how Antarctic ecosystems evolve and adapt to the extreme, changing environment; and studies of the Cosmic Microwave Background to address questions about the origin of the universe are identified as key research priorities. The report also recommends that NSF continue to support a core program of investigator-driven research across a broad range of disciplines and strengthen logistic and infrastructure support for all Antarctic research activities.

View the recording of a webinar held about this report here.