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National Science Foundation 1998 appropriations include funding for South Pole Station construction

In an appropriations bill passed by both houses of Congress in mid-October 1997 and signed into law by President Clinton on 27 October, the National Science Foundation's (NSF) funding for fiscal year 1998 was increased 5 percent over that of the previous year. The act provides a total appropriations package of $3.429 billion, $159 million more than the fiscal year 1997 amount and $62 million more than NSF had requested for fiscal year 1998.

The act provides $70 million--over half of the $128 million required for the 8-year project to modernize facilities at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The new station design was altered in 1997 to incorporate recommendations made by the 11-member U.S. Antarctic Program External Panel, which visited McMurdo and South Pole Stations last year. The panel was chaired by Norman Augustine, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. To review the panel's final report, see

In the areas of research and related activities sponsored by the NSF, the fiscal year 1998 appropriations act provides $2.546 billion, which represents an increase of $114 million, nearly 5 percent and $31 million more than was requested. House and Senate conferees also agreed to provide an additional $40 million above the current $20 million level to support an expanded plant genome research program and $1 million for the U.S.-Mexico Foundation.