Posters Available on Web

IGY poster

Poles poster for IGY

Many Vintage and New Designs may be Downloaded


Several federal agencies involved in IPY have printed posters to highlight various aspects of their missions or research. Although paper copies are available of most, these downloadable versions provide an easy way to obtain a classroom set or large number of these posters quickly.

This page will be updated and amended, as new posters become available.

National Academies

In 1958, as part of its program of educational outreach, the National Academy of Sciences International Geophysical Year (IGY) committee put together a booklet providing a brief introduction to the earth and environmental sciences (IGY was actually the third International Polar Year.). The booklet was organized around six posters, each devoted to an area of geophysics, created expressly for the outreach project. The posters were large, striking (see above) and fondly remembered by many scientists of today who were in their youth when the originals, now very rare, were issued.

The Academies have made available downloadable versions of the IGY posters.

NASA's official IPY poster front
NASA's official IPY poster back

NASA's official IPY poster


This full-color, doubled-sided poster captures the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s unique perspective on Earth's poles: from space, the air, and on the ground. From the ozone hole over the Antarctic to glaciers in Greenland and historical photos of early polar explorers, the 40 images on NASA's official IPY poster represent the many ways humans have sought to understand these remote regions. Descriptions of each photo are provided on the back of the poster.

NASA poster

Tour of the Cryosphere

The NASA Tour of the Cryosphere poster shows how Earth-observing satellites provide scientists with insights into those parts of Earth's surface where water is found in solid form: sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, ice sheets and icebergs. The poster is available in multiple sizes and formats.

NASA poster


Aimed at middle school students, NASA's double-sided Aurora poster (PDF) contains photos and explanatory graphics about what the aurora looks like, its causes, where and when it can be seen, as well as historical and cultural aspects of the aurora phenomenon.

NOAA history poster

Climate Lessons from the First IPY


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains a site with several NOAA IPY-related posters.

NOAA's Arctic Research Office maintains a Web site with data and images from the first International Polar Year (1881-1884), including a downloadable poster of climate lessons from the first IPY.

NOAA promo poster

NOAA's Central Library Network poster

NOAA's Central Library Network has produced a poster about the range of Central Library Network's IPY resources (PDF) for the general public and researchers.

NOAA promo poster

NOAA's IPY promotional poster

NOAA chart

Contours of the Ocean Floor

NOAA also has published an IPY promotional poster. The NOAA promotional poster can be downloaded in multiple sizes.

NOAA's site is making available a chart that shows the contours of the Arctic Ocean floor (PDF).

NOAA ocean explorer

Ocean Exploration

Ozone Hole

Ozone Hole

NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration has its own IPY poster (PDF).

Another NOAA poster shows the extent and variability of the Antarctic Ozone Hole.

NSF poster

NSF's IPY promotional poster


The National Science Foundation (NSF), which the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has designated the lead U.S. agency for IPY, has avalaible several different NSF IPY posters.

NSF's Office of Polar Programs' poster highlights IPY themes and is reminiscent of the original IGY poster series.

NSF cold and dark poster
NSF cold and dark poster back

Life in the Cold and Dark, front and back

NSF has a number of research themes for the IPY period. Two double-sided posters explore these themes:

One on Life in the Cold and Dark discusses exploring the limits of life in polar regions and, on the reverse, shows the life cycle and remarkable physical attributes of the Emperor Penguin.

NSF Arctic poster back
NSF Arctic poster

Arctic Observing Network, front and back

The second highlights efforts to build an Arctic Observing Network to better understand the climate of the Arctic and the effects of changing climate on Arctic peoples.

NSF S. Pole poster
NSF S. Pole poster back

South Pole Station, front and back

Another NSF poster shows a detailed cross-section of the new Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, complete with a key that explains the function of almost every room and facet of the remarkable structure, the third U.S. station at the Pole since 1957. The reverse shows some of the architectural and logistical challenges of building Earth's most remote scientific station at the very bottom of the world.

NSIDC poster

NSIDC's IPY promotional poster

USGS poster

USGS's IPY promotional poster


The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) poster features a view of the Earth from both poles. Two printable sizes are available.


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a poster that highlights USGS scientific research and mapping at both Poles (PDF).

Alaska survey poster

Smithsonian poster, featuring surveying in Alaska

Smithsonian Institution

In 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Coast Survey, one NOAA's predecessor agencies, originally chartered by Thomas Jefferson. As part of this celebration, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and NOAA have produced a special poster exhibit: From Sea to Shining Sea: 200 Years of Charting America's Coasts. One of the 20 posters in the series features surveying in Alaska.

Other Scientific and Educational Projects

Some large scientific expeditions and projects also have developed posters, some of which are available electronically and others which may be ordered via the Web.

CReSIS winner, Ivan Aguirre

CReSIS winner, Ivan Aguirre

CReSIS winner, Carolina Medeiros

CReSIS winner, Carolina Medeiros

The mission of the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) is highlighted in a series of student-designed posters. A sophomore graphics design class at the University of Kansas took on the task of designing a new International Polar Year (IPY)-CReSIS poster to carry on the legacy begun with a poster series developed in association with the 1957/58 International Geophysical Year.

Two winning designs were chosen: one by Ivan Aguirre (PDF), and one by Carolina Medeiros (PDF).

You can view all of the CReSIS student posters.

People poster

One of six University of Alaska IPY commemorative posters

Change poster

One of six University of Alaska IPY commemorative posters

The Digital Design Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute has created a series of posters in recognition of each of six IPY themes. Download mini versions of the University of Alaska posters.

A full-sized set may be requested by e-mailing

NSIDC poster

ASI Achievements

Since 1994, the Antarctic Site Inventory has made 639 visits to 93 locations on the Antarctic Peninsula to track changes in the physical features, flora, and fauna of sites caused by human visitors. ASI's goal is to determine how to minimize or avoid possible environmental impacts of tourism and non-governmental activities in the Peninsula area. Beginning in with a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, ASI in 2003 began a focused assessment and monitoring program at Petermann Island, a highly visited location that is diverse in species composition and sensitive to potential environmental disruptions from visitors.

The poster describes ASI's achievements between 1994 and 2005 (PDF).

ITASE poster


The U.S. International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (U.S. ITASE) has been gathering ice cores that are representative of the composition of the atmosphere over the past 200 to 2,000 years during tractor train traverses of the Antarctic ice sheet. Download the ITASE poster.

ANDRILL poster

ANDRILL project

The ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) project is a four-nation scientific collaboration that is drilling underAntarctic's Ross Ice Shelf to recover a history of environmental change it hopes will provide a picture of climate cycles over millions of years.

The ANDRILL poster and other materials may be ordered, free of charge.

In addition, some research teams, as part of their education and outreach efforts, are encouraging classrooms to create posters.


SnowSTAR 2007 exchange submission

The SnowSTAR 2007 team, which snowmobiled 3000 kilometers (more than 1,800 miles), from Circle, Alaska to Baker Lake, Canada in March and April 2007, encouraged schools to participate in a classroom-to-classroom poster exchange.

The resulting school poster designs are gathered online.