Welcome to the 4th International Polar Year (IPY)! Over the next two years there will be intense focus on Polar research and several multi-institutional U.S ice coring projects will be ongoing during IPY. These include the WAIS Divide Ice Core Project, U.S. ITASE, a Norwegian/U.S. scientific traverse in East Antarctica, and a new U.S.-European deep ice core in Greenland. Brief descriptions about these projects are included in this issue of In-Depth and we hope to follow up with longer articles on each project in upcoming issues.
In other news, the international ice coring community has established the “International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences” (IPICS) (see story page 4) whose charge is to promote ice coring projects through greater partnerships in logistics, technology and scientific collaborations between the 20 member nations. This is an important step for increased ice coring activities leading to a better understanding of the Earth’s climate system.