of Greenland Ice Drilling
Comments and Documents on the Evolution of European-American Relations in Ice Drilling
The whole [GISP1] set was ready to go to the summit [in 1981]. Now, to be straight, the Americans were not. I understand that they would have liked to see an American drill being developed with a broader scope. ... Their idea was to develop a deep drill and test it in Greenland, along with the Danish drill. But it was not possible to continue the American-European cooperation. In fact, we lost seven years trying to convince them that the time was ripe for another deep drilling in central Greenland.
It's far from me to blame the Americans cooperators for choosing Dye 3 instead of the more appropriate summit for the first deep drilling for the Danish drill. After all, it was not tested in the field, and it would be crazy to go to the most expensive place with an untested drill. ... It was just a pity that the success of Dye 3 was not immediately followed up.
Chester Langway, in interview on 29 October 1992
[In 1981] the program was getting too big [and with] so many people in the United States getting interested in ice cores ... there was a necessity to get more samples. The Europeans (and I agreed with them) were willing to go forward and drill where they are drilling now ... and interact with any American who had something to contribute, but not as a kind of training program ....The Europeans didn't need the support of the U.S. in terms of science .... There weren't that many [American] people qualified [to extract and study ice cores] at that time.
Paul Mayewski, in interview on 6 May 1994
The United States [circa 1985] had had a long history of conducting ice core research and a reasonable amount of expertise but confined only to a few individuals. That included people like Chet Langway ... and Tony Gow, [who] were involved in the very earliest ice coring programs, ... and a couple of other people of my age group [about 40] who had conducted some shallower ice coring programs .... Wally [Broecker] and I effectively joined forces at the prompting of John Embree. Wally ... is of the same age and seniority as the senior people that we were trying to deal with in Europe ... [and] was in a significantly better position to speak to those senior people, particularly considering the fact that in Europe your age has a lot to do with what goes on.TOP OF PAGE
2. Broecker's Plan: 7 November 1986
[Editor's note: Our preliminary studies indicate that in the autumn of 1986, Wallace Broecker had concluded that NSF was unreasonably allowing its reading of the national interest to interfere with the pursuit of better climatological data. He apparently took it upon himself to organize a proposal that would force NSF to move promptly either to support drilling at the Greenland summit or to explain why further deliberation was appropriate. Subsequent developments went roughly as he thought they should (though perhaps not as quickly as he hoped) and yielded noteworthy scientific successes. For historical purposes, it is essential that the successes not become a justification for downplaying the conditions that inspired his actions or devaluing the perspectives of those he criticized.]
Letter from John Imbrie, 7 November 1986 [Document provided by Wallace Broecker]
I am convinced that this project [deep coring in Greenland] is the single most important one in the entire area of climate and environmental chemistry. I am deeply disappointed regarding NSF's performance in getting something going ... US-European cooperation is all but dead. The US program flounders in a myriad of committees and in bureaucratic indecision. The key polar scientists are tired of fruitless meetings and workshops ... If some new approach isn't taken, it will be a decade before a new Greenland deep ice core is obtained.
After some lengthy discussions with our Director, Barry Raleigh, ... it becomes clear that there is a way to circumvent many of the existing problems. A proposal could be submitted directly to NSF (and simultaneously to the appropriate European agencies) setting out the whole project .... NSF would respond to such a proposal by having it peer reviewed. Providing the reviews were excellent, the proposal would have to be put ahead [of other approaches to drilling in Greenland]. The key would be to involve the strongest scientists in each area of ice core research and put together a high-powered plan.
After much thought, I have decided that I would be willing to act as coordinator for the development of such a proposal [with John Imbrie] .... As neither John nor I would be involved directly in the key measurements (or in the publication thereof), I would hope that we could remain objective ...
It is my opinion, that only with US-European cooperation can a successful Greenland deep-drilling program be conducted. John and I would seek to heal the rifts that have been created over the last few years by the chauvanistic attitude at NSF. Although difficult, the task of dividing the costs and the science among the interested parties should be doable.
.... Please respond to this letter right away .... The important decision at this point, is whether this plan is feasible and whether you would feel comfortable in participating. If I get a positive reaction, we'll push ahead. If I get a negative reaction, I'll forget the whole thing.TOP OF PAGE
3. Negotiation of Memorandum of Understanding, 1988
[Editor’s note: In 1988, Herman Zimmerman, with direct oversight within NSF from Peter Wilkniss, attempted to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the European Science Foundation. The MOU was intended to be the basis for joint governance of American and European drilling activities in Greenland, and Zimmerman characterized it as modeled on the MOU for the Ocean Drilling Program. In what sense was ODP an appropriate model for GISP II and GRIP? What seemed good (or bad) in the way ODP functioned? .]
Documents provided by Herman Zimmerman,
Letter from Zimmerman to Munsch, 25 May 1988
Dr. Bernard Munsch
It was indeed a pleasure, after so long a time, to find you sitting across the table from me during the recent meetings in Copenhagen. I would like to thank you for agreeing to work with us in the preparation of an MOU for the second Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP). I expect to hear about NSF budgets for the 1989 Fiscal Year sometime in September and I will then have a clearer understanding of what can be accomplished in the initial year and our relation to the Eurocore program. In anticipation of satisfactory progress on both these fronts, it is prudent that we move ahead to establish a clear working relationship for the deep ice core work.
The enclosed draft is, you will note, modelled on the MOU developed for the Ocean Drilling Project. I would very much appreciate your comments and suggestions. I call your attention particularly to Article 9 in which I have specified payment for actual costs incurred plus costs for the service of our logistics contractor. These include the costs of office operations at the contractor's home institution as well as operating in Sondrestrom, i.e. personnel, warehouses, trucks, fuel, loading aircraft. If you wish a different system, such as actual costs incurred plus a fixed annual fee, I would be happy to make that change.
Once again, I appreciate your good offices as the point of contact between the U.S. and European scientific communities. GISP II will require a great deal of effort and cooperation. I am sure that the importance of the work will lead to a close and fruitful collaboration.
Herman B. Zimmerman
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Between the National Science Foundation and the European Science Foundation on behalf of countries participating in ice core retrieval on the central Greenland Ice Sheet.
Article 1: ENDORSEMENT - The National Science Foundation and European Science Foundation endorse, in principle, a program of ice core drilling on the Greenland Ice Sheet for the purpose of retrieving a record of paleoclimate over the last several thousand and several hundred thousand years.
Article 2: DURATION - This Memorandum of Understanding shall remain in force between its effective date and the conclusion of the joint field program with the attainment of the project's scientific objectives.
Article 3: OPERATIONS - The National Science Foundation and European Science Foundation agree to maintain field camps and drilling apparatus at a mutually agreed upon site. The National Science Foundation will provide logistics coordination through a U.S. operations contractor. Reimbursement for the transport of European Science Foundation personnel, supplies and equipment on U.S. aircraft will be on the basis of actual cost incurred. An accounting of these costs will be determined by the operations contractor. All other costs incurred for the emplacement and operation of the field camps are the responsibility of the separate parties.
Article 4: PARTICIPATION IN THE PROJECT - Selection of field team members
Article 5: SCIENTIFIC PLANNING - Scientific planning and direction of the two field parties shall be the separate responsibility of each party.
Annual operational and scientific planning for field work shall occur through an International GRIP/GISP II Coordinating Committee (IGGCC). In order to further the overall quality of the results of the project, this committee shall review the project's scientific progress and explore the intercalibration of laboratory analyses. The IGGCC shall establish guidelines and encourage cooperation in all phases of the project including: research on ice properties, site selection, sample and data sharing and archiving, and ancillary studies.
This group shall consist of four designees from each party and shall
Matters of immediate common interest in the field will be decided by the then current Chief Scientists of each field team. The Chief Scientist of each team will be an individual designated by each party and having the operational authority for that party's field operations.Article 6: SALARIES, TRAVEL, AND EXPENSES: Salaries, travel and expenses for participants, in the field and for science planning, will be borne by the separate parties.
Article 7: EXECUTIVE MEETINGS: Representatives of the National Science Foundation and the European Science Foundation shall normally meet once each year in executive session to review financial, managerial, safety, and other matters involving the overall support of the project. This meeting shall provide a forum for exchange of views among the participating parties. No formal voting procedures will be established. The annual meeting shall include a financial report and discussion, a review of scientific and technical achievements for the past year, draft program plans and budgets for the coming year, and other topics of mutual interest. Liaison representatives of contractors and important scientific planning entities will be available for consultation.
Article 8: VISA AND CUSTOMS FACILITATION - Through collaboration with
appropriate authorities, the parties will facilitate, to the extent feasible,
the granting of visas and other forms of official permission for entry
to and exit from Greenland of personnel, equipment, supplies, and
Article 9: FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION - The European Science Foundation will support the project with a contribution for actual costs incurred for the transport of European Science Foundation equipment, supplies and personnel plus associated costs for management of operations and logistic coordination by the U.S. operations contractor.
Payment shall be made to the operations contractor in U.S. dollars in two installments:
A. on or about April 1 of each operational year, a payment of one half the contractor's estimate of that year's operation costs. Contractor estimates of potential costs will be submitted to the European Science Foundation the annual meeting.
B. on or about November 15, the balance of actual costs incurred plus associated costs. An accounting of all costs will be submitted to the European Science Foundation immediately after each field season, but no later than November 1.
Should the project be terminated by the National Science Foundation before the start of any field operation, the European Science Foundation will be fully reimbursed for all advance payments.
Should the European Science Foundation withdraw from the Memorandum of Understanding under terms of Article 11, no refunds of contributions will be made.
Article 10: CONSULTATION - Meetings of the representatives of the National Science Foundation and the European Science Foundation may be held at any time upon the request of either party to discuss the terms and conditions of this Memorandum and other matters of mutual interest.
Article 11: TERMINATION NOTICE - Obligations arising from this Memorandum of Understanding may be terminated by either party giving the other party written notice at lease one half year in advance.
Grenoble Meeting, October 1988
[Editor's Note: The following memorandum, in which Zimmerman reports to Wilkness on a meeting in Grenoble in October 1988, alludes to an earlier meeting in Copenhagen where American and European scientists clashed over the appropriateness of a formally cooperative arrangement.]
MEMORANDUM Oct. 12, 1988
TO: Peter Wilkniss
FROM: Herman Zimmerman
RE: GISP II/GRIP Cooperation
The following is my report to you on the results of meetings in Grenoble, France (October 8, 1988). You will recall that this meeting was scheduled as a decision point for the U.S. and European scientific communities to reach agreement on drill site location and other matters of mutual interest in connection with ice core drilling in central Greenland.
The European and U.S. ice core research communities have finally come together on a cooperative program for research in central Greenland. Following your instructions, these agreements will take the form of an MOU between the NSF and ESF on the overall intent of the communities (DRAFT attached) and, in addition, we will develop more detailed side letters spelling out the logistics coordination and scientific cooperation.
At the Copenhagen meeting, I advocated an 'integrated' program and you indicated that your requirement was a 'bona fide' cooperative program. At the time, the Europeans seemed reticent to agree to either. This we found very curious in view of the two holes being planned so close together.
Since that meeting, the U.S. community has settled on a hole separation of 30-35 km (analysis attached). The hole siting and location has now been accepted by both groups and, given that fact, the communities have decided to join the two projects as closely as possible.
Attached is a new DRAFT MOU that Bernard Munch (ESF) and I formulated at the Grenoble meeting. Also attached are the outlines of the logistics coordination and the science cooperation that I will draft into side letters.I call your attention to the following points:
1. The MOU contains an article (#7) in which the ESF will facilitate access to Greenland and I will draft a similar statement on the indemnification issue. These issues are, of course, the actual responsibility of the Danish Government - not ESF. But, Denmark will be a party to this agreement! We must, if you will wish, negotiate a separate agreement with Denmark, but this puts the ESF - and the Danish scientific community - on record as supporting international access for scientific purposes. Furthermore, this puts the other European participants in the same position as the U.S. with respect to Greenland access and indemnification.
2. The science article (#5) and side letter will establish a bona fide cooperative project. Joint property-by-property collaboration between specific scientists will occur, and sampling scheme, sample sharing, data handling, interlaboratory calibration will be decided at regular meetings of the scientific teams. I believe that the communities will even come to an agreement of joint publication of raw data and preliminary results (which is a far cry from the situation we encountered last spring). All members of our delegation were clearly delighted by the full and open-nature of the discussions and the interaction established between the science communities.
3. The logistics article (#6) and side letters will also establish bona fide cooperation in many field aspects of the program. Field camps and preparation activities will be separate, but key aspects of field operations (such as Sondrestrom-to-field transport and communications) will be closely coordinated by PICO - on a cost sharing basis including indirect costs. Also, for safety reasons, the camps will be as closely tied as practicable (flag lines and regular communications).
In my judgement, the agreements are workable, fair, and fully cooperative. I recommend our moving ahead to finalize the agreements.
10 October 1988
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Article 1: ENDORSEMENT - The National Science Foundation and European
Science Foundation endorse, in principle, projects of ice core drilling
on the Greenland Ice Sheet for the purpose of retrieving a record of paleoclimate
over the last several thousand and several hundred thousand years. These
projects are respectively referred to as the second Greenland Ice Sheet
Project (GISP II) and Greenland Ice core Project (GRIP).
Article 3: DRILLING SITES - GRIP and GISP II will operate field camps at mutually agreed upon sites in central Greenland.
Article 4: SCIENTIFIC PARTICIPATION - Scientific planning, direction of field parties, and selection of the field team members shall be the separate responsibility of each project.
Article 5: SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION - In order to promote and maximize the scientific results of the two projects, a joint scientific organizational plan is here adopted. Both projects will be organized through separate Scientific steering Committees (SSC) which will meet on a regular basis and will maintain open contact between the two projects so that scientific issues can be jointly addressed. One member of each SSC will be identified as the primary liaison for their science project.
Each SSC may initiate discussions related to intercalibration, sampling schemes, data sharing, and other issues of scientific cooperation. The SSCs will make every effort to foster interproject cooperation with respect to publication policy, public relations, arrangement of scientific meetings, and other issues related to project cooperation.
Article 6: LOGISTICAL COOPERATION - In order to maximize support of science, minimize costs and enhance safety of field operationsJ the two projects agree to discuss and coordinate details of logistical requirements on a regular basis and, where possible, share logistical resources and costs; assist each other in procurements; and standardize field camp support and communications equipment.
The two projects will maintain parallel facilities at Sondrestrom with the National Science Foundation logistics contractor, the Polar Ice Coring Qffice (PICO), serving as the primary point of contact with U.S. authorities.
Matters of immediate common interest in the field will be decided by the then current field team leader of each project. The field team leader will be an individual designated by each project and having the operational authority for that project's field operations.
Article 7: ADMINISTRATIVE FACILITATION - Through collaboration with appropriate
authorities, the parties will facilitate, to the extent feasible, the
granting of official permission for activities related to these projects
SIDE LETTER - OUTLINE/LOGISTICS
1. Procurement of large (community) items - at direct cost + overhead; routine items (fuel bladders, etc.) should be compatible to allow interchange.
2. Sondrestrom Operations - we should operate more closely, but with separate personnel, storage, and staging areas. Cargo handling will be cooperative, with fork lifts, etc. on a cost sharing basis and traded between projects. PICO and GOC field ops managers (FOM), PICO FOM will be point of contact with U.S. authorities.
3. Standardized communications equipment, frequencies, and schedules between camps and Sondrestrom base. May run a telephone line between field camps.
4. Air Support - PICO will coordinate, but separate mission tasking. European tasking through U.S. Embassy (may be different rate). Actual operation, accounting, will be cost share according to flight hours. Joint contingency plans should be developed when C-130s not available.
5. Field Camp Ops. - To as great a degree as possible, equipment should be compatible, regular communications, and flag line and possible telephone line. Also, possible sharing of Paramedic. For safety, the camps should rely on each other, rather than total reliance on the coastal base camp.
Operations people will meet again for pre-field discussions during the regular Copenhagen meetings; Ops people want 3 meetings per year- October, February, April.TOP OF PAGE
Paul Mayewski, in interview on 6 May 1994
"Because the Europeans were a year ahead [in the drilling], there was a great deal of shuffling [within GISP] going on about "Gee, they're going to report everything before we do."... [But] an interesting thing occurred ... at our joint GISP-GRIP meeting last spring [spring 1993]. You could almost prophesize this was going to happen. Because people have been so intense about what they want to produce from this, they inevitably all carved out different pieces of the problem....And we all relaxed a lot after that meeting....We all sort of now figured out that this person is really interested in pursuing that goal, and if I want to do that with them I know the person to talk to, and I'm really interested in pursuing this goal. And the goals range from very technical or highly specialized problems to very global problems.
[My group competes with three GRIP groups.] One ... does a wider range of measurements than we do, but doesn't do them at the resolution that we do. So we're very interested in the time series; they're very interested in the chemistry. Another ... is less experienced doing chemistry...so they are not much competition for us. There's another group that does continuous chemistry, but only on two of the measurements we do and then on two trace measurements in the atmosphere. So we're the only ones -- and this was by plan -- that measure more than 95 percent of the total soluble content of the atmosphere continuously in a high resolution."
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