Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Policy Analyses

  1. Development of United States Antarctic Policy, by B.M. Plott, unpublished Ph.D. thesis presented to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on 31 March 1969.  325 p. The thesis provides extensive citations to the primary literature and traces the political, diplomatic, administrative, and international aspects of U.S. Antarctic policy. It gives a brief history of Antarctic exploration to enable understanding of territorial claims. Ways in which the Antarctic Treaty was drawn up and has been executed are discussed.

  2. Statement of U.S. Policy Objectives for OPP’s Long-Range Objectives Plan [LOU], 6 March 1973 (14 p. + memorandum), by James E. Heg, Chief, Polar Planning and Coordination, NSF. 

  3. Wrap-up brief, January 1974, prepared probably by James E. Heg, Chief, Polar Planning and Coordination, NSF (17 + 1 p.), describing Antarctic policy background and choices for the United States.

  4. Revised Decade Study, Department of State, 21 October 1981, an assessment, by the Antarctic Policy Group, of future U.S. interests.

  5. Historical Statements of U.S. Interests and Objectives in Antarctica [1948-1982] (3 p.) + Antarctic Reviews [1970-1982] (2p.), probably prepared by NSF.

  6. Antarctic Treaty System – An Assessment: Proceedings of a Workshop Held at Beardmore South Field Camp, Antarctica, 7-13 January 1985, Polar Research Board, National Research Council, xvi + 435 p.  NSF supported this workshop when several nonmember nations challenged the treaty’s authority and the United Nations considered The Question of Antarctica.  The workshop assembled 57 individuals from 25 countries that included consultative, nonconsultative, and nonmember parties.  The volume consists of papers representing the range of views regarding the treaty.

  7. Development of U.S. Antarctic Policy, 13 November 1995, an NSF (Office of Polar Programs) summary of Antarctic policy history.

  8. Science and Stewardship in the Antarctic (107 p.), 1993, Polar Research Board, National Research Council.  The Department of State and the NRC Fund supported this study, which centers on implementing the Antarctic Treaty’s 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection.  It recommends monitoring to inform governance questions with scientific information and states that the management relationship between NSF and researchers should be unchanged.

  9. United States Antarctic Program (93 p.), 1996, Committee on Fundamental Science, National Science & Technology Council.  The cost of redeveloping Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was to be nearly as much as that of the annual U.S. Antarctic Program.  The Senate’s VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Committee asked the NSTC to assess the U.S. presence in Antarctica and to examine options for reducing the operating budget.  NSTC concluded that U.S. interests are well-served by the U.S. Antarctic Program and recommended that an external panel examine the options.  Appendix II, a 1996 memorandum by the Executive Secretary of State, states, “More than any other nation, the United States benefits from the Antarctic Treaty. . . .  The effective operation of the Antarctic Treaty is a direct result of the active and influential United States presence in Antarctica maintained through the Antarctic Program.”

  10. The United States in Antarctica (vi + 94 p.), 1997, U.S. Antarctic Program External Panel.  Norman R. Augustine, chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation, chaired the panel recommended in NSTC’s 1996 report.  The panel concluded that the U.S. Antarctic Program is well managed, involves high quality science, and is important.  Of 12 recommendations, two concern funding and building an optimized station at the South Pole.  Appendix III is a 1997 letter by the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs stating that the “United States presence in Antarctica serves important strategic and foreign policy objectives.  This presence in Antarctica, anchored at the South Pole, gives us a decisive voice in the Antarctic Treaty system, which is the basis for the peace and stability of the area.”

  11. Eagle Over the Ice: The U.S. in the Antarctic, by Christopher C. Joyner and Ethel R. Theis,University Press of New England (xvi + 303 p.), 1997.  “The United States is the chief architect of law and policy for the Antarctic.  For over three decades the United States has exerted the political and diplomatic clout necessary to enhance and expand the legal regime governing the Antarctic continent and the Southern Ocean. . . .  United States interests in Antarctica, which are inextricably tied to the preservation of the Antarctic Treaty and its auxiliary instruments, are long-standing.”

  12. Antarctic Treaty Summit, 30 November – 3 December 2009, Smithsonian Institution.  A 4-day meeting on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty reviewed the interactions of science and policy, science achievements, international cooperation, governance of commons, and global stewardship.