Additional Participants

Senior Personnel

Kirk Maasch

Andrei Kurbatov

Graduate Student

Daniel Dixon

Elena Korotkikh

Nicole Spaulding

Technician, Programmer

Sharon Sneed

Michael Handley

Organizational Partners

University of Washington

St. Olaf College


British Antarctic Survey

University of Nebraska Lincoln

Victoria University of Wellington

Project Period

September 2008-August 2009

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This award supports a project to undertake glaciochemical investigations of the Ross Sea Embayment Drainage System, and portions of Wilkes Land for purposes of understanding annual to multi-centennial scale climate variability. The glaciochemical data that will be collected will contribute to the U.S. component of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition and will occur over a period of two years on an overland traverse that will begin at Taylor Dome in Northern Victoria Land and travel to the South Pole. This data, along with similar information collected on a series of earlier traverse in West Antarctica, will contribute to providing an in-depth understanding of natural climate variability and will provide a baseline for assessing modern climate variability in the context of human activity; and a contribution to the prediction of future climate variability. By choosing appropriate sites for sampling, the traverse will make important contributions to the understanding of the behavior of major atmospheric phenomena such as the Antarctic Oscillation, ENSO, and changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere, plus controls on all of these changes. US ITASE research addresses important questions concerning the role of Antarctica in global change and will make an important contribution to IPY. Results are translated into publicly accessible information through lectures, media appearances, and a major outreach activity shared between the University of Maine and the Museum of Science (Boston). US ITASE activities provide material for curriculum development in K-12 education and university courses and opportunities for field and laboratory experiences for graduate and undergraduate students. The Climate Change Institute has a long history of gender and ethnically diverse student and staff involvement in research.

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