Public Release: 

Antarctic lake experts to gather June 6, 7 in Montana

Media welcome to cover

Montana State University

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- An international group of experts on subglacial Antarctic lakes will gather June 6 and 7 in Big Sky, Mont. The media is welcome to attend at no charge.

The meeting will be important given the recent release of the National Research Council's report on environmental and scientific stewardship during subglacial lake exploration, said organizer John Priscu of Montana State University. The authors of many new articles published in the journals Science and Nature will attend the meeting, as well as the head of the Russian Antarctic program who directs drilling efforts at Lake Vostok. Scientists from the United States, Russia, France, Belgium, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy will give updates on their Antarctic activities.

The Big Sky meeting brings together a subgroup of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, called the Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments (SALE) group.

The media is invited to cover any of the sessions on June 6 and the morning of June 7, Priscu said. The meetings will be held at the Yellowstone Conference Center at the Big Sky Resort between Yellowstone National Park and Bozeman, Mont. The schedule is:

Wednesday, June 6:

  • 9:30 to 9:40 a.m. -- Welcome and opening remarks.

  • 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. -- U.S. National Research Council report.

  • 10:30 to 11 a.m. -- Update and future plans of the Lake Vostok Drilling Program.

  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. -- Open meeting.

  • 11:30 a.m. to noon -- Update on Lake Ellsworth Program.

  • Noon to 12:30 p.m. -- Report on France's SALE activities.

  • 12:30 to 1 p.m. -- Modeling the Stability of subglacial lakes and episodic drainages.

  • 1 to 2:30 p.m. -- Open meeting.

  • 2:30 to 3 p.m. -- Update on Germany's SALE activities.

  • 3 to 3:30 p.m. -- Update on Italy's SALE activities.

  • 3:30 to 4 p.m. -- Update on Lake Vostok accreted ice microbiological studies.

  • 4 to 4:30 p.m. -- Open meeting.

  • 4:30 to 5 p.m. -- Biological particles in the WAIS Divide ice core.

  • 5 to 5:30 p.m. -- Biological investigations on bottom ice from Dome F. Station.

  • 5:30 to 6 p.m. -- Subglacial Lake Engelhardt exploration.

Thursday, June 7:

  • 9 to 9:30 a.m. -- Biological and chemical investigation of drill fluids or contaminated ice.

  • 9:30 to 10 a.m. -- Biological context for exploring subglacial Lake Vostok.

  • 10 to 10:30 a.m. -- Subglacial environment below Taylor Glacier.

  • 10:30 to 11 a.m. -- Subglacial book volumes.

  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. -- Open meeting.

  • 11:30 to 11:45 a.m. -- ICECAP update and future plans.

  • 11:45 to 1 p.m. -- Open discussion.

  • 1 to 2:30 p.m. -- Lunch.


For more information about SALE, go to To learn more about the focus of the conference, see or contact Priscu at or (406) 994-3250 or (406) 570-6761.

Web sites on Priscu's projects are located at: or

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