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The National Science Foundation manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, which coordinates all U.S. scientific research (including penguin research!) on the southernmost continent and in the Southern Ocean.

Behind the scenes in Antarctica with the National Science Foundation and Disneynature Penguins

The U.S. Antarctic Program manages a robust, cutting-edge Antarctic Program, supporting researchers who study everything from penguins and biology to astrophysics, glaciology, Earth science and oceanography.

Penguins, which live exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, have adapted to their environments through a long and complex evolutionary history. Various penguin species are interesting for different reasons. Some act as barometers of ecological change, while others possess physiological features — the ability to dive deep for a long time without breathing, for example — that may provide researchers with useful lessons for developing tools that society can use, like new anesthetics.



Watch and learn about NSF’s scientists, penguins and more!

NSF-funded scientists create detailed history of oldest and largest Adéie penguin colony in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula.
Image Credit: Michael Polito, ©Louisiana State University

A Phone Call From A Penguin Colony

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Science Friday’s education director, Ariel Zych, has been exploring the research happening in and around McMurdo Station, including trips to ecological monitoring projects in the Antarctic Dry Valleys, work in the station’s labs, and an expedition to band chicks in the Cape Royds Adélie penguin colony. She calls in via satellite phone to check in.


About what NSF-funded researchers are studying on the Ice

emperor penguins approaching a tent

A Season at the Penguin Ranch in Antarctica

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Adelie penguin and its baby

Adélie Penguins Cope With Climate Change

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northern elephant seals on the beach

How Penguins & Seals Survive Deep Dives

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Emperor Penguins with their babies

Scientists Determined First-ever Census for Emperor Penguins

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Emperor penguin dives through a hole into the water

Understanding Emperor Penguin Physiology May One Day Aid Doctors

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Emperor Penguins snuggling

Molting Emperor Penguin

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man in boat in antarctica
Adelie penguin and its baby
Adelie penguin and chicks
Emperor Penguin getting into water
Emperor Penguins
Emperor Penguins
aurora sky
an ice berg
Docking station in Palmer