Polar science is receiving increased attention this spring with several new developments in the national and international arenas. At last month's meeting of the United States-Russian Joint Commission on Economics and Technological Cooperation, one of the major agenda items was Arctic sciences. This commission has met semiannually since it was initiated in 1993 by U.S. Vice President Al Gore and former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chenomyrdin to establish new intergovernmental agreements for priority areas of science, technology, and economics. The U.S. and Russia have substantial scientific and environmental interests in the Arctic, and recognition of its value has increased dramatically.

On the national level, "Polar Connections" is the theme of this year's National Science and Technology Week--April 26 to May 2--a major public-outreach program produced by the National Science Foundation and supported by corporate and associated sponsors. In a message last fall to educators and parents engaged in outreach activities,...

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