audience; whereas Chapters 2 through 5 provide technical details intended for the scientific community.

In preparing this report, the committee recognized that the responsibility of all parties subject to the Antarctic Treaty is to maintain good environmental stewardship for all activities, while appreciating that some impacts are acceptable in pursuit of scientific understanding and that these should be mitigated as far as possible. The committee acknowledged that the scientific investigation of subglacial aquatic environments has previously been vetted internationally through the Antarctic Treaty Protocol and exploration has been accepted as a legitimate activity. The charge to the committee was concerned with how to undertake such an activity while maximizing the overall protection of this particular environmental resource. In managing any future activities it is assumed that parties will recognize, as did the committee that limiting the science to a few sites, maximizing the expertise, organizing a stepwise approach, and using the cleanest available technology will all maximize the scientific outputs and minimize the impacts. The committee hopes this rationale will provide important guidance for developing, testing, and verifying sensor deployment and sampling protocols to balance the value of the scientific information to be gained against the potential for alteration and/or contamination of the sites being studied.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement