The history of Antarctic exploration and research is extraordinary, dramatically demonstrated by major commitments to science for over the past forty years. Antarctica provides unique sites for many areas of astronomy, astrophysics, terrestrial climate, geophysical, and oceanographic research. These remarkable features have been and continue to b the central rationale for the establishment of and continued investments in a focused and organized program of research in this region. The productivity and world-class results of these investments in scientific research in Antarctica are well-vested in new and fundamental scientific knowledge and expanded understandings of the southern polar regions.
Reflecting the importance of the South Pole for scientific research as well as supporting the Antarctic Treaty, long a cornerstone of U.S. policy, the National Science Foundation has been and continues to be charged with the responsibility of managing the United States Antarctic Program.
Since the inception of the U.S. Antarctic Program, the Department of Defense has provided all major logistics support. In particular, the airlift support has been the essential support component. The air logistics capabilities of DoD remain critical to the continued existence of the U.S. Antarctic Program.
Recognizing the continuing national and international importance of the U.S. Antarctic Program, and the critical role DoD plays in support of that Program, the National Science Board,
RESOLVES, and strongly recommends that:
NSF maintain all appropriate logistical capabilities to support the U.S. Antarctic Program, including necessary support from DoD to sustain an active U.S. presence in the Antarctic.
RESOLVED, that the National Science Board approve the inclusion of construction funding of the 110-person expandable South Pole Redevelopment Project in an amount not to exceed $181 million, in the National Science Foundation's FY97 Budget Request, above the OMB guidance level, and authorizes the Director negotiate with OMB the overall funding for this project.