From its original formulation in 1990, the International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE ) has had as its primary aim the collection and interpretation of a continental-wide array of environmental parameters assembled through the coordinated efforts of scientists from several nations. The primary planned product of this cooperative endeavor is the description and understanding of environmental change in Antarctica over the last ~200 years. As a demonstration of the importance of the original scientific objectives posed by ITASE, they were adopted as a key science initiative by both the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). U.S. ITASE is the United States' contribution to ITASE and has been led by Paul Mayewski at the University of Maine.

Our work on ITASE at the University of Washington (Eric Steig, Principal Investigator, and David Schneider [now at NCAR]) have led the water isotope measurement component of U.S. ITASE. We and our students (Peter Neff, Joe Flaherty [now at Boeing] and Lora Koenig [now at NASA] have also participated in the field campaigns for ice core drilling and radar observations. In addition to the stable isotope records, we have incorporated satellite observations, statistical climatology and general circulation modeling of water isotopes into the program. We are also involved in the closely related ice coring effort in East Antarctica, in collaboration with Tom Neumann (NASA) and the U.S.-Norway Traverse.

A map of our U.S. ITASE route and core drilling locations can be found at here. A map of all ITASE ice core drilling sites is shown to the left. Click on the map to the left for a link to icereader.org where a larger version with core names, latitude and longitude, and other information is available.