Tours & Media Visits

Tours

Coronavirus Update

Due to concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the NSF-ICF is taking preventive measures and suspending its tour program until further notice. Any groups that have been impacted by the tour shutdown will be prioritized when we resume tour operations. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

NSF-ICF supports a variety of outreach activities. The facility is a popular destination for field trips from schools, universities, visiting federal agencies, teachers, museum groups, and interested individuals. As such, the NSF-ICF tour schedule generally needs to be booked several months in advance.

If you are interested in visiting NSF-ICF, please observe the following:

  1. All tours must be scheduled several months in advance by completing the ONLINE TOUR REQUEST FORM.
  2. Plan to be flexible with your time. We may need to suggest alternate days or times for your visit if we can't accommodate your first choice. There are some time periods during which we cannot conduct tours due to the priorities of other facility activities or for safety reasons.
  3. NSF-ICF staff cannot accommodate "drop-in" visits or spur-of-the-moment tours. Please plan ahead.
  4. The 'Visiting the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF)' document contains additional information to help you prepare for your visit.
  5. Please take the time after your visit to provide us with feedback. We will provide you with a link to a feedback form after your tour. Your feedback is essential in helping us demonstrate the value of our outreach activities to the public.
 

Our normal hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. We observe all federal holidays. Tour hours are 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Media Visits

 
  1. Media visits (e.g., film crews) should be booked as far in advance as possible and a completed 'Media Request Form' must be submitted.
  2. Plan to be flexible with your time. We may need to suggest alternate days or times for your visit if we can't accommodate your first choice. There are some time periods during which we cannot conduct tours due to the priorities of other facility activities or for safety reasons.
  3. NSF-ICF staff cannot accommodate "drop-in" visits or spur-of-the-moment tours. Please plan ahead.
  4. The 'Visiting the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF)' document contains additional information to help you prepare for your visit.
  5. The document 'Filming in the NSF-ICF, a guide to filming in the freezer' contains helpful information regarding best practices for filming in the freezer.
  6. The 'Quick Guide for the Media' document is a resouce for basic facts about the NSF-ICF.

QUICK GUIDE FOR THE MEDIA [Download as PDF]

Facility Name: National Science Foundation - Ice Core Facility

Facility Name Abbreviation: NSF-ICF

Funded by: U.S. National Science Foundation

Operated by: U.S. Geological Survey

Main archive freezer temperature: -36°C = -32.8°F

Exam room temperature: -20°C = -4°F

Amount of ice stored: 22,000 meters = 13.67 miles

About the facility: The facility was established in 1993 as the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) and renamed in 2018 to the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF). NSF-ICF is located at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado, and is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF-ICF is housed administratively within the U.S. Geological Survey, Core Science Systems Mission Area, which is responsible for all operational aspects of the facility. The facility's most important responsibility is for the safe and secure storage and curation of ice cores that are collected primarily by NSF-sponsored projects. The laboratory also provides the opportunity for scientists to examine ice cores without having to travel to remote field sites. The main archive freezer is held at a temperature of -36°C (which is -32.8°F). A second room for examination of ice cores is held at -24°C (which is -4°F). The facility currently stores over 22,000 meters (which is 13.67 miles) of ice core collected from various locations in Antarctica, Greenland, and North America.

Website: https://icecores.org