Colorado State University Distinguished Professor Diana Wall is spending a week in Antarctica as part of a White House panel evaluating the U.S. research presence on the frozen continent.

Wall, a biology professor and nationally known ecologist, is one of only 12 people — including three scientists — appointed to the U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel.

Five panel members, including Wall, will evaluate the efficiencies of the U.S. science program in Antarctica, everything from the planes that fly there to the ease of obtaining food and other materials. Some buildings and equipment, such as the medical facilities on McMurdo Station, date to the 1950s.

The panel will be making recommendations on a long-term strategy for an efficient research program for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, looking at everything from international collaborations to the management and logistics support of the program, according to Wall.

Wall has spent more than 21 seasons in Antarctica studying the effects of climate change on ecosystems and exploring soil biodiversity and survival of organisms in this harsh continent. Her work has provided scientists with information about the role of soil biodiversity in carbon cycling and other ecosystem services.

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