The background.

Greg Balco started this project in 2014 as an experiment in managing sample information and exposure-age data from an Antarctic field project in the Pensacola Mountains involving enough samples – about 250 – that using spreadsheets and the online exposure age calculator became a serious headache. At this point, the projected cost of the Google cloud computing services that provide the database management and computational back end for the project was somewhere between zero and a few dollars a month, so Greg handed over his own personal credit card number.

Then the project got a lot bigger.

First, it turned into a synoptic database of all Antarctic exposure-age data. Thanks to the Polar Geospatial Center, it acquired an extremely cool geographic browser interface that layers all the Antarctic data onto high-resolution satellite imagery. A collaboration with PH Blard at CRPG produced ICE-D:CALIBRATION, a database of all known cosmogenic-nuclide production rate calibration data for most commonly used nuclides. More collaboration with an international group of glacial geologists led to ICE-D:ALPINE, an online database of nearly all exposure-age data for alpine glaciers worldwide. Former BGC postdoc Perry Spector developed an NSF project that uses the Antarctic database to validate numerical ice sheet model simulations with the entire set of exposure-age data.

At this point it had turned into a big project. Although the minimal level of cloud computing services that this project uses was very inexpensive, more than five years of inexpensive wound up charging a total of \$1604.94 to Greg's credit card. A number of project contributors and users generously donated a total of \$1055.00 to defray this, leaving Greg with a net out-of-pocket expense of \$549.94. This is probably a sunk cost at this point.

Transition to NSF support in 2020.

Another consequence of the growth of the project was that it became fairly widely used by geoscientists in the US and internationally, mostly in areas having to do with Antarctic ice sheet change research. In turn, it wound up as an important element of research and data management plans for a number of projects and proposals in several countries. Thus, at this stage the project occupied a somewhat bizarre and precarious situation in which an important resource used in funded and proposed research in multiple countries was at risk of immediate evaporation should Google refuse to accept Greg's personal credit card. This situation led to a proposal by Balco and Ben Laabs to the 'Geoinformatics' program of the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the proposal was funded in 2020. The project will be supported by this grant for at least the next three years.

The ICE-D project still needs your help.

Finally, a lot of the actual work of populating the ICE-D databases is the result of volunteer contributions from a variety of geoscience researchers, hopefully all of whom are named on the front pages of the relevant databases and in the contributors page. Regardless of the NSF funding, as this project goes forward it will continue to rely on contributions from students and researchers whose work benefits from the project. If you are one of these people, please volunteer to help.