An international panel of scientists will discuss research conducted at Lake Vostok in Antarctica at a press conference on Tuesday, May 28, as part of the American Geophysical Union’s 2002 Spring Meeting. The panel will include two U.S. scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as one from Russia and one from France.

NSF will webcast the press conference live at 3 p.m. EDT at:

Lake Vostok, located thousands of meters beneath Russia’s Vostok Station, is comparable in size and depth to one of the North American Great Lakes. There is evidence that its waters may contain microbial life. Exploration of the lake to determine whether life exists there will be an international effort requiring the development of ultra-clean technologies to prevent contamination. The lake’s physical characteristics have also led scientists to argue that it might serve as an earthbound analog for Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Confirmation that life can survive in Lake Vostok could indicate that life may exist on Europa.

For information about how to phone questions in to the press conference, see:


What: Webcast press conference on Lake Vostok

Who: J. C. Priscu, Montana State University

Robin E. Bell, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

Jean Robert Petit, LGGE/CNRS, St. Martin D’Heres, France

Sergei Bulat, Division of Molecular and Radiation Biophysics, Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute,

Russian Federation

When: 3 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, May 28


For more information, contact:

Peter West, (703) 292-8070,