For Scientists

Resources and information for scientists

Requesting Field Support

If you are preparing a proposal that includes any kind of support from IDPO-IDDO, you must include a Letter of Support/Scope of Work (LoS/SoW) document from IDPO-IDDO in the proposal. Researchers are asked to provide IDPO-IDDO with a detailed support request three weeks prior to the date the LoS/SoW document is required. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

One aspect that has changed in our Letter of Support is that the costs for IDDO driller salary associated with providing the field drilling support is no longer requested from the NSF Science Program Managers, rather it is provided from within our IDPO Cooperative Agreement with NSF. This means that the IDDO costs to NSF science projects are lower than they have been in the past.

To request IDPO-IDDO support, follow these simple steps:

  1. Complete the FIELD PROJECT SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS form and email it to three weeks in advance of when you require the support letter and cost estimate. Early submissions are strongly encouraged. Your email will be received by IDPO-IDDO, and personnel from IDDO will contact you to discuss your needs and provide a LoS/SoW document for your project.
  2. Include the LoS/SoW document in your proposal. If you are submitting a proposal to NSF, it is also recommended that you notify the relevant NSF Program Officer that your proposal requires support from IDPO-IDDO.
  3. If you are submitting a non-NSF proposal, familiarize yourself with the Policy for Ice Drilling for Organizations other than NSF.

Please note that following the completion of your field season, IDPO will contact you and provide you with a survey form (End of Season Project Support Evaluation Form) regarding IDDO's support of your field season. Your feedback assists IDDO in providing the best possible support for field projects.

In addition, please acknowledge IDPO-IDDO support in any publications or articles that result from your IDPO-IDDO supported fieldwork with the following statement "We thank the Ice Drilling Program Office and the Ice Drilling Design and Operations group for coring activities (NSF-1327315)."

Long Range Science Plan

The Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) was established by the National Science Foundation to lead integrated planning for ice coring and drilling. The IDPO and its Science Advisory Board (SAB) update this Long Range Science Plan annually in consultation with the broader research community. The purpose of this plan is to articulate goals and make recommendations for the direction for U.S. ice coring and drilling science, and for the development of drilling technology, infrastructure and logistical support needed to enable the science.

The Long Range Science Plan is revisited and revised as appropriate each spring.

Download Long Range Science Plan (.PDF)

Long Range Drilling Technology Plan

The IDPO Long Range Science Plan lays out recommended directions for U.S. ice coring and drilling science. This companion Long Range Drilling Technology Plan begins with a discussion of the drills and technologies needed to successfully implement the Science Plan. It then discusses field projects that would use the drills. Finally the Technology Plan addresses briefly the funding allocated for its implementation.

This plan is revisited and revised as appropriate each spring.

Download Long Range Drilling Technology Plan (.PDF)


IDDO maintains and operates existing drill equipment, and develops new systems with two principal foci:

  1. to provide high quality ice cores, and
  2. to produce boreholes that provide access to the interior and beds of ice sheets and glaciers for such purposes as embedding instruments, collecting gas samples, setting seismic charges, studying subglacial processes, collecting subglacial bedrock core, and borehole logging.

Visit the Equipment section of the website to learn more about the existing equipment that is available to the scientific community.

You can also download operator manuals for several of the drills in the IDDO inventory.

Outreach Support

The mission of IDPO's Education Program is to enable effective educational outreach to teachers, students and the public on behalf of, and in collaboration with, the ice drilling and coring community.

To learn about how IDPO can help you with your outreach needs, visit Outreach Support for Scientists.


For a list of IDPO sponsored meetings, visit the Meetings section of the web site.

Projects Utilizing IDDO Services

Visit the Expeditions page to learn about current (and forthcoming) projects that utilize IDDO services.