About Us

By the Numbers

NZ$49million
7 years: 2018-2025
100+ researchers
25 early career researchers
30+ graduate students
10 research organisations

The purpose of the Antarctic Science Platform (ASP) is to conduct excellent science to understand Antarctica’s impact on the global earth system, and how this might change in a +2° (Paris Agreement) world, or warmer.

Our Story

The Antarctic Science Platform is a collaborative enterprise, designed by New Zealand’s Antarctic science and research community, and the users of this research.

Since 1957, New Zealand has sustained an ongoing programme of Antarctic research, in fields including climatology, paleoclimatology, geology, glaciology, sea-ice research, atmospheric research, biology (terrestrial, marine and freshwater), and oceanography. Particular strengths have included sea-ice research, biological research (including establishing and maintaining long-term biological datasets), long-term monitoring of the Antarctic ozone hole, climatological research, and reconstruction of past Antarctic climates. Large scale geological and glaciological drilling programmes have led to New Zealand being an international leader in Antarctic scientific drilling technology. In large parts, however, research has been undertaken by relatively small groups of scientists funded through diverse mechanisms for 1-3 year periods.

The ASP concept evolved with the recognition that to address bold questions, that require long term data and collective efforts, a new approach to funding of science was needed. Longer-term, multi-disciplinary research projects, and a focus on capability building through the ASP is intended to facilitate a cohesive and integrated approach to addressing policy needs of both a regional and global nature, and to ensure that a new generation of Antarctic researchers is being trained. To this end the New Zealand Antarctic (and related) science community was brought together to the major questions that needed addressing and the best way to accomplish this.

In 2017:

  • Funding was announced for a new Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF) for Antarctic science. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) invited Antarctica New Zealand to develop a plan to host the Antarctic Science Platform.

In 2018:

  • New Zealand’s Antarctic science community came together with stakeholders in a series of workshops to determine the highest priority science to be done by New Zealand, for Antarctica – this would become the scope of an Antarctic science platform. The collective defined high level goals, determined the most pressing questions, and ensued alignment with national and international targets and concerns.
  • A proposal was submitted to MBIE by Antarctica New Zealand on behalf of the New Zealand Antarctic science community. This proposal, including a framework of four long-term projects, expert groups, contestable funding, was accepted for funding.
  • A Steering Group and Independent Science Panel was established to guide and ensure the highest quality in the research.
  • The Director and Programme Leaders were appointed
  • Lead organisations for the four long-term projects were identified.

In 2019:

  • Researchers and lead organisations worked together to design the long-term research projects, and the Future Projections and Science-Policy interface expert groups. These proposals were internationally peer-reviewed and reviewed by the Independent Science Panel, before receiving Steering Group approval to be funded.
  • We developed a strategy for embedding Vision Matauranga in the Platform, and established a Kāhui Māori (Māori advisory group).
  • Research and Platform operations got underway!

Learn More

Our research partners are conducting world-class research, and our findings will have a beneficial Impacts for the future of Antarctica and New Zealand.

Visit the Knowledge Hub for access to research publications and outputs, and go to Updates to find out what we have recently been up to.