John Behrendt, Jim White, Karen Cozzetto, and several other CU-Boulder scientists shared their experiences in the arctic, Greenland and Antarctic at a March 22 campus event in a prelude to the next International Polar Year (IPY) in 2007. Titled "Countdown to IPY," the free, public event focused on past and current research efforts at Earth's polar regions by CU-Boulder faculty and graduate students. The event also included a brief history of IPY, an international, interdisciplinary research campaign last held in 1957, which will involve the efforts of more than 60 nations beginning next year. IPY will officially run from March 2007 to March 2009 to allow for two full seasons of field work in the arctic and Antarctic. Participating scientists will use high-tech tools ranging from satellites, autonomous vehicles and remotely operated climate stations to GPS, laser altimeters and supercomputers to better understand the roles the polar regions play in a variety of global processes. Researchers involved in IPY will address such issues as dwindling sea ice, shrinking ice sheets and glaciers, thawing permafrost and creatures ranging from polar bears and penguins to marine life and microbes.