National Ice Core Laboratory Science Management Office
Entry ID: NICL_SMO
Abstract: Duration: January 15, 2002 - December 31, 2006
Principal Investigator: Mark S. Twickler
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Geological Survey
(USGS) jointly manage and operate the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) in
Denver, Colorado. This facility has proven to be vitally important for
researchers from the ice core community. NICL provides a state of the art ice
core ... processing area for investigators to conduct research funded by NSF and
the USGS. NICL also maintains the integrity of ice core archives by providing a
safe and controlled environment to preserve ice cores for future researchers.
The Scientific Management Office (SMO) coordinates the Scientific Management of
NICL and is located at the Climate Change Research Center (CCRC) of the
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space (EOS) at the University of
New Hampshire (UNH).
At NICL, the USGS has the responsibility of maintaining the freezer operations
and the day to day operation of the facility. This includes: maintaining
current service contracts; assuring that activities and projects from an Annual
Program Plan are carried out; assuring the ability to meet scheduling demands,
planning, budgeting and contracting for the operation of NICL; providing and
setting up laboratory and processing space for individual and group sampling
teams; assisting investigators in scheduling, sampling, shipping and record
keeping; system monitoring and emergency response; and providing outreach
The Scientific Management Office for NICL (NICL SMO) serves as a direct point
of contact for principal investigators interested in access to ice cores. It
also facilitates the Ice Core Working Group (ICWG) that represents ice core
researchers and those in related disciplines whose research uses ice core data.
Established in 1985, the ICWG primary role is to provide guidance to NSF. The
ICWG investigates a wide range of topics related to ice core research including
NICL oversight, sample access and distribution, inventory, policy issues and
the development of a plan for future activities. Through yearly meetings and
reports, the ICWG provide leadership and direction to the ice core community.
Members of the ICWG are nominated by the scientific community and serve on a
rotating basis. A Sample Allocation Committee (SAC) developed from members of
ICWG provide timely recommendations to NSF and USGS on sample allocation and
core access for qualified investigators.
Ice core research and the societal relevant results produced from this research
have created a large public interest. The NICL SMO serves as a primary point of
contact for such public inquiries and a conduit for information for individual
researchers, the scientific community, and the public.
Access Constraints The Facility's objectives are to (1) insure maximum availability of samples to
qualified investigators, (2) encourage analysis over a wide range of research
disciplines without unnecessary duplication, and (3) encourage prompt
publication of results.
Decisions on sample allocation will be coordinated by the NICL-Science
Management Office (NICL-SMO) and made by ... the Sample Allocation Committee
(referred to as the Committee), appointed by the Ice Core Working Group (ICWG,
referred to as Working Group), with final approval from NSF-OPP. The Scientific
Coordinator of NICL-SMO is the central point of contact for requests for ice
core samples. Through the NICL-SMO, the Committee has developed a communication
system to allow for prompt handling of all requests. Once a decision has been
made to allocate samples to an investigator, the NICL Curator will assist
investigators in accessing the ice core samples and making arrangements for
transportation of samples to home institutions, or for analyses to be performed
at the Facility.
Use Constraints Once a request has been approved by the Committee and NSF, the Scientific
Coordinator will notify the requesting investigator. The investigator should
then contact the Facility Curator to arrange for a visit to NICL to work on
samples or to arrange for transport of samples to their home institution. The
Facility may charge investigators to recover labor, freight or mailing ... expenses
involved in filling requests. The Curator will furnish a charge estimate, if
required, before processing the request.
Data derived from measurement and analysis of all samples from the Facility
must be archived at an appropriate Data Center, as described in the NSF-OPP
data policy NSF-OPP data policy.
Subsequent sample requests for the same investigation must include a statement
that describes progress of the study, the need for additional samples, and the
status of previous samples. Approval of an initial request does not constitute
approval for subsequent access to the core collection. New requests by the same
applicant or group will be honored when results from previous requests have
been published as research papers in scientific journals, as research reports
or data is archived at an established data center. Any conflicts between the
Facility, NICL-SMO and an investigator will be referred to the Office of Polar
If any work is to be done on samples that is in addition to, or different than,
that stated on the original request, the Scientific Coordinator must first be
notified.. In order to prevent duplicative efforts, recipients of samples must
not allow research projects that differ substantially from projects originally
proposed in sample requests to be undertaken by themselves or others without
first obtaining permission and approval from the Scientific Coordinator.
Samples must not be transferred to other investigators without prior
notification Any unused samples or portions of cores must be returned to the
Facility for re-archiving and possible allocation to another investigator. The
objective of this provision is not to restrict research; on the contrary, the
objective is to insure that the best possible use is made of the samples and
that the Scientific Coordinator is fully informed as to their use and
Investigators who simply wish to make a brief examination of specific cores
(without sampling or conducting analyses) may apply informally to the
Scientific Coordinator. A decision will be made quickly to facilitate this
Once a request has been approved by the SAC and NSF, the Scientific Coordinator
will notify the requesting investigator. The investigator should then contact
the NICL Curator to arrange for a visit to NICL to work on samples or to
arrange for transport of samples to their home institution. NICL may charge
investigators to recover freight or mailing expenses involved in filling
requests. The Curator will furnish a charge estimate, if required, before
processing the request.
1. Prompt publication of significant results, with acknowledgment of the
National Science Foundation as the source of materials.
2. Submittal of information to the Scientific Coordinator pertaining to
samples obtained from the Facility. In addition, be sure to include this
information in your annual NSF report.
3. Notification to the Scientific Coordinator of any significant change in
the research plan described in the original request.
4. Data derived from material from the Facility must be archived at an
established data center in accordance to the NSF-OPP data policy.
Creation and Review Dates