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Foreword by Walter Cronkite  
Introduction - The National Science Foundation at 50: Where Discoveries Begin, by Rita Colwell  
Internet: Changing the Way we Communicate  
Advanced Materials: The Stuff Dreams are Made of  
Education: Lessons about Learning  
Manufacturing: The Forms of Things Unknown  
Arabidopsis: Map-makers of the Plant Kingdom  
Decision Sciences: How the Game is Played  
Visualization: A Way to See the Unseen  
Environment: Taking the Long View  
Astronomy: Exploring the Expanding Universe  
Science on the Edge: Arctic and Antarctic Discoveries
Disaster & Hazard Mitigation  
About the Photographs  
About the NSF  
Chapter Index  
Science on the Edge: Arctic and Antarctic Research

Like Doing Research on the Moon

NSF began managing the entire U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) in 1970, providing not only research facilitation but also overall logistics management. The program maintains three year-round research stations and two research vessels capable of navigating through ice, as well as laboratories, telescopes, and other major instruments positioned across the continent. Besides developing the U.S. scientific agenda in cooperation with researchers, NSF provides for the health, safety, and overall well-being of 3,500 American scientists and support personnel, most of whom arrive and depart between October and February, when the continent is readily accessible by plane or ship.

Scientists say the experience is "like doing research on the moon." The continent's remote location and the fact that all provisions, building materials, fuel, equipment, and instruments must be brought in by ship or cargo plan. Each year, NSF improves the connections between the USAP and the rest of the world, making the region a little less isolated. All of the research stations now have Internet connections, and NSF hope to extend the program's telecommunications capabilities so that one day scientists can operate equipment remotely and view real-time displays of data from their home facilities.

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A Surprising Abundance of Life
Human Migration and Local Knowledge
The Importance of Sea Ice
Studying Extremes Above and Below
Ozone Hole over Antarctica
Knowledge of the Whole
Ice Cores Hold Earth's Climate
Like Doing Research on the Moon
Why the Ozone Hole?
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