The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires every scientist proposing research in Antarctica to analyze the environmental impact of the proposed project. In addition, all activities within the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP), including scientific research, science support, construction, operations, logistics, and facilities maintenance are subjected to environmental impact assessment.
The NSF provides information to USAP participants, as well as nongovernmental entities such as tourists, tour operators, and adventurers to educate them about their environmental protection responsibilities and the penalties for noncompliance. There is also a permit system, which enables qualified scientists and educators to obtain access to fauna and flora and specially protected areas.
All program participants sort and recycle waste, and projects are underway to reduce the use of fossil fuel.
For more specific information on conservation and environmental procedures, see the National Science Foundation U.S. Antarctic Program Environmental Stewardship web page.
McMurdo Dry Valleys, Southern Victoria Land
Initial Environmental Evaluation/Environmental Assessments (IEE/EA), Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and Related Environmental Documents (by Fiscal Year)