International Polar Year

IPY Photo Contest student entry Bears on BeringProud participants in the International Polar Year!

Geophysical Institute scientists participated in the International Polar Year of 1957-1958, also known as the International Geophysical Year, and the International Polar Year of 2007-2008. IPYs are designated internationally for intense study of Earth’s polar regions. As a result of the research conducted at these points in history, giant scientific strides have occurred.

In IPY of 1957-1958, the theory of continental drift was confirmed, the Van Allen radiation belt was discovered by a United States satellite, and the size of Antarctica’s ice mass was first estimated. As a result of the work scientists from GI conducted in the 1950s, the institute gained international prominence. Some of the institute’s faculty that were here in the late 1950s were able to participate in their second IPY in 2007-2008.

Data collected from IPY of ‘07-’08 continues to be analyzed, but the GI is now an international leader for studies in atmospheric sciences, snow, ice and permafrost; earthquakes, volcanoes, space physics and more.