About the Program
U.S. Antarctic Program - About the USAP Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
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What is the USAP?
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USAP Summary and Background 

The USAP Summary and Background outlines the basic goals and rationale behind conducting research in Antarctica, and how science projects are aligned with the USAP's goals to expand fundamental knowledge of the region, to foster research on global and regional problems of current scientific importance, and to use the region as a platform or base from which to support research.

The Summary and Background is provided in its entirety and individual sections on the National Science Foundation website:

USAP Summary and Background Home Page External U.S. government site

Reasons to Perform Antarctic Research External U.S. government site
Season Project Highlights External U.S. government site
Construction Highlights External U.S. government site
Environmental Protection and Waste Management External U.S. government site
Personnel, Camps, and Stations External U.S. government site
Support Operations External U.S. government site
United States Antarctic Policy and Achievements External U.S. government site
National Science Foundation (mission, organization, activity, and budget)External U.S. government site
Aircraft and Supply Ship Operations 
For more information about USAP Science, see Science Support.
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Antarctic Policies

The United States Antarctic Program represents our Nation in Antarctica. Carrying forward U.S. goals supporting the Antarctic Treaty, the program strives to encourage international cooperation, maintain an active and influential presence in the region, and continue to conduct high-quality science research, all while sustaining funding efficiency. Read the Antarctic Treaty in its entirety, or peruse through the various U.S. Antarctic policies.

The Antarctic Treaty External Non-U.S. government site
Antarctic Treaty Secretariat External U.S. government site
U.S. Policy for Antarctica External Non-U.S. government site
U.S. Federal Agency Responsibilities External Non-U.S. government site
International Cooperation External Non-U.S. government site
U.S. Antarctic Policy—U.S. Department of State External Non-U.S. government site
U.S. Policy on Private Expeditions to Antarctica External U.S. government site
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Because Antarctica is one of Earth's pristine, isolated regions, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties have developed measures to protect the environment and conserve living resources; in response, the United States has created laws and regulations to implement these measures. Anyone participating in the USAP must work within these regulations. The USAP promotes strict adherence to the Antarctic Conservation Act, which protects Antarctic native plants, animals, and their habitats. You can read about this effort on the following web pages.

Antarctic Conservation Act External Non-U.S. government site
Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 complete text of Public Law 95-451 External Non-U.S. government site
The Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) External U.S. government site
Antarctic Specially Protected Areas Information External U.S. government site
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) External U.S. government site
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International Cooperation

The Antarctic Treaty regulates international cooperation in Antarctica, and different nations continually support one another in logistics and science projects across the continent. Exciting collaboration is taking place, and the United States Antarctic Program is a prominent participant. Browse through information on international cooperation by using the links below.

U.S. Antarctic Policy—U.S. Department of State External Non-U.S. government site
Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) External U.S. government site
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) External U.S. government site
International Polar Year (IPY) External U.S. government site


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Curator: Webmaster, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Peter West, Office of Polar Programs