The National Science Foundation announced last week Norm Augustine has been appointed to lead the upcoming strategic review of U.S. science-support operations on the continent of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Augustine is the former chair of the National Academy of Engineering and previously served as chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin.
According to NSF, Augustine has also previously served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and has led a number of other commissions regarding national priorities in science and technology domains.
“The Obama administration strongly supports the U.S. Antarctic Program and understands its importance in America’s conduct of international diplomacy, polar scientific endeavors, science leadership, and exploration of this vast continent and its surrounding seas,” said John P. Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. “The administration’s goal is to ensure that these important research programs remain on a strong and stable footing well into the 21st century, and this review will be crucial to meeting that goal.”
NSF has been supporting research activities in the Antarctic for more than 50 years. The team Augustine is to lead will review the current U.S. Antarctic Program to ensure the nation is pursuing an optimal long-term strategy for conducting science and diplomacy in Antarctica. The panel will aim to identify and characterize a range of options for supporting and implementing U.S. priorities in Antarctica, including scientific progress, international collaboration, maintenance of a strong U.S. presence, efficient operations, and good stewardship of the Antarctic environment.
“It is an honor to be asked to lead this important scientific program review,” Augustine said. “I am a firm believer in the value of this nation’s research enterprise and will do everything I can to provide the information needed to help the country maintain its scientific leadership and excellence in this remote, but exceedingly, important part of our planet.”