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Strategic & Implementation Plan
Authors: IDPO/IDDO
Year: 2016
Keywords: Strategic Plan, IDPO, IDDO, Drilling,
Abstract:

Executive Summary

One of the most pressing environmental issues of our time is anticipating the climate changes resulting from our warming planet. In order to predict the future with confidence, we need a clear understanding of the past changes recorded in and under the climate archives of glaciers and the polar ice sheets. Detecting climate change in ice core records is a relatively new science that has evolved since the International Geophysical Year 1957-1958 (Langway, 2008). Ice core records have led to many important discoveries, for example the discovery that dramatic changes in climate can occur abruptly, in less than ten years (NRC, 2002). This discovery has revolutionized climate science and also has important impacts on policy; it established some of the key groundwork leading to the 2007 award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC for climate science. Members of the U.S. ice coring community have led the efforts for these and a multitude of other important findings in fields ranging from climate to life in extreme environments to geophysics. The societal need for accurate predictions of future sea level rise requires improved understanding of glacier and ice sheet dynamics. This involves probing glaciers and ice sheets by geophysical means, including poorly understood basal processes. Ice sheets themselves can serve as platforms for science for a wide range of discoveries, from astrophysics to biology in extreme environments. U.S. scientific productivity in these areas, including both knowledge generation and creation of the next generation of scientists, critically depends upon a mechanism for ensuring continuity and international cooperation in ice coring and ice drilling efforts, along with availability of appropriate drills, drilling expertise, and innovations in drilling technology. This plan outlines our approach to science and technology planning and coordination, one that relies on ice coring and drilling science communities' input for current and future planning, but that is coordinated nationally and internationally, conveyed to the public, and carried to fruition for NSF through the daily efforts of the Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) that works hand-in-hand with the Ice Drill Design and Operations group (IDDO).

There are six interrelated goals of IDPO-IDDO: 1) to provide community leadership in ice drilling research and development; 2) to identify new technology needs and plan for technology development; 3) to acquire new drilling technologies to support science objectives for new discoveries; 4) to provide the drills, equipment, and drilling expertise needed by the science; 5) to enhance communication and information exchange related to drilling science and technology, and 6) to establish activities in collaboration with the polar science and engineering community to contribute to the NSF strategic goals for desired societal outcomes.

Broader Impacts: The broader impacts of the Ice Drilling Program Office include the outcomes from IDPO leadership in the planning, coordination, and oversight necessary to form and execute continuously evolving ice drilling and science programs. The formation of ongoing, continuous programs will nurture the inclusion of students of a range of ages, races, and genders, will help to launch graduate students into promising careers in science, and will result in discoveries in climate and environment that are important to all citizens. Education and Outreach programs of IDPO will foster diversity through teaming with the American Meteorological Society for IDPO-led School of Ice, a residential experience that exposes a network of faculty from minority-serving institutions to the ice core lab, leading scientists, and their data. This will enable the faculty to provide their students in underserved institutions and community colleges with cutting-edge lessons and insight into inspiring careers in science and engineering. IDPO outreach efforts will sustain the pipeline of scientists and engineers by continuing to support activities and programs of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and Ice Core Young Scientists (ICYS). IDPO outreach efforts will advance public literacy by humanizing the face of climate science by promoting interviews of science community members on main stream media and television.

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