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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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Lessons and Legacies of
INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR
2007-2008

Committee on the Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008

Polar Research Board

Division of Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under award number ANT-1026273. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agency or any of its sub agencies.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-25203-4
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-25203-2

Cover image by Max, age 5, Seattle, WA.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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COMMITTEE ON THE LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF
INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008

JULIE BRIGHAM-GRETTE (Co-Chair), University of Massachusetts, Amherst

ROBERT A. BINDSCHADLER (Co-Chair), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

MARY R. ALBERT, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

JOHN J. CASSANO, University of Colorado, Boulder

LARRY D. HINZMAN, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

EILEEN E. HOFMANN, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

IGOR KRUPNIK, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

VERA KINGEEKUK METCALF, U.S. Arctic Research Commission/Eskimo Walrus Commission, Nome, AK

STEPHANIE PEIRMAN, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY

CHRIS RAPLEY, University College London, UK

LISA SPEER, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, NY

THOMAS N.TAYLOR,* University of Kansas, Lawrence

WILFORD F. WEEKS, University of Alaska, Fairbanks (Emeritus), Portland, OR

NRC Staff

MARTHA MCCONNELL, Program Officer until September 2011

EDWARD DUNIEA, Senior Program Officer

LUIREN BROWN, Research Associate

SHELLY FREKLAND, Senior Program Assistant


______________________

* Resigned during the study process.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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POLAR RESEARCH BOARD

JAMES W.C.WHITK (Chair), University of Colorado, Boulder

SRIDHAR ANANDAKRISHNAN, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

JULIE BRIGHAM-GRETTE, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

DAVID H. BROMWICH, Ohio State University, Columbus

JENNIFER A. FRANCIS, Rutgers University, Marion,

EILEEN E. HOFMANN, Old Dominion University, Norfolk,

BERNICE M. JOSEPH, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

AMY LAUREN LOVECRAFT, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

MOLLY E. McCAMMON, Alaska Ocean Observing System, Anchorage

ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON, Ohio State University, Columbus

GEORGE B. NEWTON, QinetiQ North America and U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Marstons Mills, MA

CARYN REA, ConocoPhillips, Anchorage,

VLADIMIR E. ROMANOVSKY, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

GAIUS (GUS) R. SHAVER, The Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole,

ALLAN T. WEATHERWAX, Siena College, Loudonville, NY

Ex-Officio

JACQUELINE M. GREBMEIER, University of Maryland, Solomons

MAHLON (CHUCK) C. KENNICUTT II, Texas A&M University, College Station

TERRY WILSON, Ohio State University, Columbus

NRC Staff

CHRIS ELFRING, Board Director

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer

LAUREN BROWN, Research Associate

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

GRAIG MANSFIELD, Financial Associate

AMANDA PURCELL, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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Preface

Despite their location, tucked away at the fringes of maps of our planet, the polar regions are central to the global system. Scientists of the International Geophysical Year in 1957 could not have imagined the extent to which humanity has changed the face of our planet in the intervening 50 years. Record lows in the extent of Arctic summer sea ice, rapid changes in the Greenland ice sheet, the disintegration of gigantic ice shelves around the Antarctic, ocean acidification, and reorganization of polar ecosystems, among other changes, are reshaping the world, which is now home to over 7 billion people.1

What we primarily celebrate in this International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) are the scientific pursuits that illuminate our understanding of the high latitudes and the role that they play in a rapidly evolving world. Reaching across the scientific spectrum, from the first high-resolution images of whole mountain ranges buried beneath Antarctica to the asymmetric auroras of our austral and boreal atmosphere, IPY 2007-2008 focused attention on the Earth as a complex integrated system. New technologies, new tools, and networked data acquisition structures were developed, setting new benchmarks for observing and understanding polar systems. Our understanding of the risks and uncertainties of global change were enhanced through groundbreaking modeling studies of the geologic past.

Starting from the efforts of a small number of enthusiasts and agencies, and building on existing multinational collaborations and science programs, IPY developed into a worldwide, community-based effort. Central to this success was an expanding Internet that permitted the rapid growth of a community; the transmission of ideas, maps, and data; the matching of collaborators; and the evolution of innovative themes. The Internet also made it possible for scientists to engage the public personally and enter thousands of classrooms as never before, often directly from remote field sites, as one part of the larger IPY education and outreach effort. IPY also celebrated the human spirit of discovery, bridging circumarctic indigenous knowledge with shared scientific endeavors while also addressing challenging societal concerns.

At its core, IPY was a large, coordinated suite of polar observations, research, and analysis. It also achieved an expanding knowledge base of diverse and enthusiastic men and women prepared to sustain and build on the legacies of previous polar science. Many dedicated people deserve thanks for their efforts in this process. IPY would not have happened but for the dedication and efforts of the thousands of participating scientists and researchers. Many more technicians and engineers assisted science teams with equipment and logistics in challenging environments.

This report was prepared to capture the major successes of this effort and to summarize what was learned. The committee heard from many people in the polar science community, and we thank everyone for their thoughts and perceptions (see Acknowledgments section). On behalf of the entire study team, we also thank the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs for their support of IPY and this

______________________

1http://www.census.gov/.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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report, and for providing documentation and informative details. Finally, this report would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the National Research Council staff: Martha McConnell, Shelly Freeland, Lauren Brown, Edward Dunlea, and Chris Elfring.

The world will continue to change, and processes of polar amplification will continue the rapid transformation of the high latitudes in the coming decades. Our hope is that the legacies of IPY will help societies understand those changes and put knowledge into action, forging new frontiers in the protection and management of our planet’s resources at all latitudes. When another IPY is needed in the future, we hope the lessons from this one can serve as a guide.

Julie Brigham-Grette,
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Robert Bindschadler,
NASA Goddard Space Center
Co-Chairs
Committee on the Lessons and Legacies
of International Polar Year 2007-2008

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Robin Bell, Columbia University, Palisades, NY

Cecilia Bitz, University of Washington, Seattle

Richard Boone, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

David Carlson, IPY International Programme Office, Boulder, CO

Shari Gearheard, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada

Guy Guthridge, National Science Foundation (Retired), Arlington, VA

Amy Lovecraft, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Mark Parsons, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO

Lynne Talley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA

Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Margo H. Edwards, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.

In addition, the committee would like to thank in particular for their contributions during the study process:

Waleed Abdalati, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC

Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Jenny Baeseman, Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, Tromsø,

Norway Robin Bell, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Columbia University, New York, NY

Jody Deming, University of Washington, Seattle

Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Jackie Grebmeier, University of Maryland, College Park

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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Geoffrey Haines Styles, POLAR-PALOOZA/P2K, New York, NY

Fae Korsmo, National Science Foundation, Washington, DC

Don Perovich, ERDC-CRREL, Hanover, NH

Ted Scambos, NSIDC, Boulder, CO

Peter Schlosser, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, New York, NY

Carthage Smith, International Council for Science, Paris, France

Mead Treadwell, Lt. Governor of Alaska, Juneau

The committee would also like to thank the numerous scientists spoken to throughout the study process, in particular all of the questionnaire respondents who provided their thoughts on the lessons and legacies from IPY.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13321.
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International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) was an intense, coordinated field campaign of observations, research, and analysis. It was the largest, most comprehensive campaign ever mounted to explore Earth's polar domains. Legacies and Lessons of the International Polar Year 2007-2008 summarizes how IPY engaged the public to communicate the relevance of polar research to the entire planet, strengthened connections with the Indigenous people of the Arctic, and established new observational networks.

Legacies and Lessons of the International Polar Year 2007-2008 also addresses the objectives articulated for IPY in the 2004 National Research Council report, A Vision for International Polar Year (NRC, 2004). These objectives include: suggestions for scientific communities and agencies to use the IPY to initiate a sustained effort aimed at assessing large-scale environmental change and variability in the polar regions, the need to explore new scientific frontiers from the molecular to the planetary scale, investment in critical infrastructure and technology to guarantee that IPY 2007-2008 leaves enduring benefits for the nation and for the residents of northern regions, as well as increase public understanding of the importance of polar regions in the global system.

Legacies and Lessons of the International Polar Year 2007-2008 explains how activities at both poles led to scientific discoveries that provided a step change in scientific understanding and helped translate scientific knowledge into policy-relevant information. At a time when the polar regions are undergoing a transformation from an icy wilderness to a new zone for human affairs, these insights could not be more timely or more relevant. From outreach activities that engaged the general public to projects that brought researchers from multiple disciplines and several nations together, the legacies of IPY extend far beyond the scientific results achieved, and valuable lessons learned from the process will guide future endeavors of similar magnitude.

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