The Principal Investigator (PI) or field-team leader of each research group is responsible for ensuring that his/her group acts responsibly in the field. All field personnel should read the Antarctic Conservation Act (Document No. NSF 89-59) and the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) Personnel Manual (Document No. NSF 90-71, rev. 6-93). Both documents are available from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Specially Protected Areas (SPA) are places of unusual scientific or historic interest. Entry into these areas is prohibited unless there is a scientific purpose. To enter one of these areas, you must obtain a permit from the NSF. To apply for a permit, contact the NSF/OPP prior to leaving for Antarctica.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are places where scientific work is being conducted (or planned) and there is a risk of interference. Permits are not always required for entry into these sites and, in some cases, permission may be obtained in McMurdo from the NSF Representative. However, you should apply for permits before leaving for Antarctica. All entrants must read and comply with the management plan specific for each site.
Violation of the regulations for Specially Protected Areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest may result in a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for up to one year.
USAP scientific and operational teams that are deployed to sites remote from USAP main stations shall conduct their activities in a safe manner. The field-party leader shall be responsible for the conduct of all team members in the field and shall ensure that each team member is familiar with the risks involved and proficient in dealing with those risks.
GUIDELINES FOR PERSONAL CONDUCT Do not disturb wildlife. Do not litter. Do not introduce plants or animals into the Antarctic. Do not collect eggs, fossils, or plants without a permit. Do not enter any Specially Protected Area. Avoid Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Avoid interference with scientific work. Do not disturb Antarctic historic monuments. Leave only footprints. Be environmentally responsible.