Subglacial Access Drilling: IDPO Science Planning Workshop

May 22-23, 2016
Marriott Washington Dulles Suites
Herndon, Virginia, USA


On May 22 – 23, IDPO held the Subglacial Access Science Community Planning Workshop in Herndon, Virginia, which was a science-planning meeting organized by IDPO Director Mary Albert and was open to the community and to NSF. The goal of the meeting was to identify community consensus on the major community science projects in the coming decade that would need subglacial access drilling. Attendees at the workshop included 30 scientists, four NSF program managers, and one representative of Antarctic Support Contract. IDPO Subglacial Access Working Group (IDPO-SAWG) members Jill Mikucki, Ross Powell, and John Goodge led the discussions at the meeting, facilitated by Mary Albert of IDPO. IDDO Program Director Kristina Slawny and Terry Benson (Physical Sciences Lab, University of Wisconsin – Madison) also participated in the workshop. Download the workshop's final agenda and participant list.

The workshop produced the following white papers:


Scientific discoveries achieved from, within, and beneath the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, ice caps and valley glaciers are critical to society today, but large group endeavors are not achieved without significant advance planning. What is your vision for future subglacial science? The U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) is sponsoring an interdisciplinary science community planning workshop to identify the science drivers, targets, and timelines of subglacial access drilling for the coming decade. The goal of this workshop is to form consensus within the U.S. science community on scientific goals, potential drilling targets, and proposed dates and timelines for major science projects that will require subglacial access drilling over the coming decade, possibly in joint endeavors with international partners. This information will be used in the 2016-2026 update of the IDPO Long Range Science Plan, which is the foundation for identifying and developing appropriate drilling technologies for use in larger projects defined by the U.S. science community. This work will be held on May 22-23 (all day Sunday, May 22 and the morning of Monday, May 23), 2016, and will be at the Washington Dulles Marriott Suites Hotel in Herndon, VA. All interested scientists who will be seeking science funding from a U.S. agency are encouraged to participate, including, but not limited to, those from the fields of glaciology, paleoclimatology, glacial geology, biology, and earth science. Scientists should come to the workshop prepared to summarize scientific research questions to be addressed by subglacial drilling in the coming decade, and to identify likely target areas, technologies needed, and timelines for completion of projects that they are likely to propose in the near-term or long-term future.

Sponsor and IDPO Lead:
Mary Albert, IDPO, Dartmouth

IDPO Subglacial Access Working Group Conveners:
Jill Mikucki, Middlebury College
Ross Powell, Northern Illinois University
John Goodge, University of Minnesota-Duluth

10-minute presentation slots are available in the agenda for participants interested in "making the case" for specific future subglacial drilling projects. Please indicate your interest in making a brief presentation in the registration form. We will send registered participants updates on the agenda and details of the workshop.

Background Information:
The current IDPO Long Range Science Plan for the ice coring and drilling community is available for download on; we update the plan every year in June. This plan drives the NSF budget for U.S. ice drilling activities. We encourage scientists to work with IDPO to forecast your science plans over the next decade -- this enables us to ensure that the ice drilling technology will be ready when needed by your science.

Outcomes from this workshop will be directly incorporated into the IDPO Long Range Science Plan. Specifically, discussions from this workshop will be reflected in the science descriptions, timeline and planning matrices in the Long Range Science Plan, and will be used to identify drills, platforms and logistical support needed to achieve the science. We hope that you and your colleagues will join us in this planning.


May 22-23, 2016

Sat, May 21: arrive in evening
Sun, May 22: meeting all day
Mon, May 23: meeting in morning; return home in afternoon


Washington Dulles Marriott Suites
Herndon, Virginia, USA

For more information about Washington Dulles Marriott Suites, see LODGING below.


** Registration for the workshop closes on Friday, May 6. **

Registration for the workshop is now closed. If you are local and would like to sit in on part of the meeting, please email Mary Albert.


We will send registered participants updates on the agenda along with details of the workshop.


A block of rooms has been held at Washington Dulles Marriott Suites. You need to make your own reservations directly with the hotel, either online or by phone:

Online reservations:
Book your group rate for IDPO Planning Workshop

Phone reservations:
Dial 1-888-399-4229 and refer to the group "IDPO Planning Workshop" when making reservations.

The group rate is $79.00/night plus tax. The cut-off date for accepting reservations into this room block is May 6, 2016. After May 6, rooms at the hotel will be on a space-available basis.

Start date: 5/21/16
End date: 5/23/16
Last day to book: 5/6/16

Note: If you are planning to attend the workshop, please register even if you are from the area and will not be staying in a hotel, so that we have a head count for the meeting room setup and lunch. If you want to give a short talk, indicate that when filling out your registration information. Registration for the workshop closes on Friday, May 6.


The Washington Dulles Marriott Suites is located only 3 miles from Washington Dulles International Airport and offers complimentary shuttle service to/from the Dulles airport.


Friday, May 6: Last day to register for workshop; last day to book hotel room at group rate.


For more information regarding the workshop please send an email to Icedrill at Dartmouth dot edu or contact one of the people below directly.

Sponsor and IDPO Lead:
Mary Albert, IDPO, Dartmouth

IDPO Subglacial Access Working Group Conveners:
Jill Mikucki, Middlebury College
Ross Powell, Northern Illinois University
John Goodge, University of Minnesota-Duluth