Note to Reporters: The U.S. Antarctic Program’s Blue Ribbon Panel executive summary and full report are embargoed until 12 p.m. MDT today.
The U.S. Antarctic Program’s Blue Ribbon Panel, established by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, is hosting a press conference today to discuss their findings on the future of the U.S. role in Antarctica.
Colorado State University biologist Diana Wall, one of only four scientists serving on the panel, is available to discuss the group’s results after their release today at 12 p.m. MDT.
To listen to the live webcast news briefing in a "listen-only" mode, go to: http://live.science360.gov/antarctica/. Reporters may contact Debbie Wing at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an EMBARGOED copy of the Executive Summary of the U.S. Antarctic Program’s Blue Ribbon Panel Report.
Wall, a University Distinguished Professor at CSU and nationally known ecologist, is one of only 12 people – and one of only four scientists – appointed to the U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel.
Five panel members, including Wall, visited Antarctica in February to evaluate the efficiencies of the U.S. science program – everything from the planes that fly there to the ease of obtaining food and other materials. Some buildings and equipment, such as the medical facilities on McMurdo Station, date to the 1950s.
“We’re going to make recommendations on a long-term strategy for an efficient U.S. research program for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean,” Wall has said. “We’re looking at everything from international collaborations to the management and logistics support of the program.”
“There have been many scientific discoveries there, but today, the most important issue is the effect of climate change on the Antarctic continent and South Ocean. We need the research to understand when and how ice and ecosystems will change, similar to what we have looked at for the Arctic Circle,” Wall said.
Wall has spent 24 seasons in Antarctica studying the effects of climate change on ecosystems and exploring soil biodiversity and survival of organisms in this harsh continent. Wall’s journeys and exploration of Antarctica have provided scientists internationally with scientific evidence about the role of soil biodiversity in carbon cycling and other ecosystem services.