Cover credits: The cover for Research and Development: Essential Foundation for U. S. Competitiveness in a Global Economy celebrates the 2007–09 International Polar Year with a montage including photographic images from the polar regions. At the center is an ice cave at Loudwater Cove, on Anvers Island. Arcing above it and to the left are smaller images showing (counterclockwise): a team of seal researchers in Antarctica by the light of research vessel Laurence M. Gould; the elevated station and flags of the original 12 Antarctic Treaty signatory nations at Amundsen- Scott South Pole Station. A sundog, caused by diffraction of ice crystals, can also be seen; an aurora borealis, and a sunset at Cape Hallett.
(Credit, ice cave: Zenobia Evans, National Science Foundation (NSF); Credits for images counter clockwise: Steve Trumble, NSF; Scott Smith, NSF; Patrick Smith, Ken Ryan, NSF.)