I am grateful to numerous individuals who assisted me in this study. To start I thank Academician G. A. Avsiuk, who hired me at the Institute of Geography of the Soviet (later Russian) Academy of Science, the Institute Director Academician V. M. Kotlyakov and Institute personnel I worked with since 1962 (especially Dr. V. Barbash, Dr. N. Osokin, Dr. J. Raikovsky, and Dr. V. Zagorodnov); the Director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Academician A. F. Treshnikov, all those at the Institute and members of Soviet and Russian Antarctic Expeditions I worked with (especially Dr. N. Barkov, Prof. A. Kapitsa, Dr. V. Lipenkov, Dr. V. Lukin, Dr. L. Savatugin, and Mr. V. Morev). I thank all members of the U.S. Antarctic Research Program beginning with "Operation Deep Freeze 65'' and the overwinter party of 1965 at McMurdo Station (especially Cdr. D. Blades, Mr. H. Ueda, and Dr. A. Gow); those at the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. (especially Dr. R. Cameron, Dr. J. Fletcher, and Cdr. R. Dale); the Ross Ice Shelf Office at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Prof. R. Rutford, Mr. B. Lyle Hansen, and Mr. K. Kuivinen); and field parties at McMurdo Station and J-9 camp from 1972 to 1978 (especially Mr. S. Jacobs). I would like to thank those at the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory at Hanover, New Hampshire, for their hospitality, where I stayed for 6 months in 1979 as a visiting scientist; the people of the Ice Core Facilities, State University of New York, where I worked with Dr. C. C. Langway for 6 months in 1983; those at Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratory (now Earth Observatory) (especially Mr. S. Jacobs), where I stayed for 3 months in 1986; and Professor O. Watanabe, who invited me to work for 6 months on this project at the Japanese Antarctic Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan, in 1995 - as well as everybody at this Institute.

My special thanks go to Drs. G. de Q. Robin, J. Dowdeswell, M. J. Siegert and their colleagues at the Scott Polar Research Institute of Cambridge University, U.K.

Dr. Robin invited me in 1993 and 1996 to work on the problems of Lake Vostok, and this collaboration became one of the most important contributions to the book.

My very special thanks go to Dr. R. Barry, Professor of Geography and Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and World Data Center (WDC) for Glaciology of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences of the University of Colorado in Boulder and host for my 8 months Fulbright Foundation Scholarship in 2004 in the U.S.A. Without his generous suggestion that I should use the stay for writing this book, and without his supervision, this task would not have been completed.

I also want to include everyone at the NSIDC, WDC, and other institutions in the U.S.A. for the permanent support and friendship I received during my 8-month stay. Finally, I thank Dr. R. H. Rutford, Excellence in Education Professor of Geosciences at the University of Texas in Dallas. He was actively involved in Antarctic studies for the whole period described in the book, was President of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) for many years dealing with issues related with the study of Lake Vostok, and supported the idea for this book from the beginning, being very generous with his time for discussions. Professor Rutford helped me with this book in one further way. He asked his friend, a known American editor, polar explorer, and the President of the American Polar Society (2005), John Splettstoesser, to assist me editorially in a critical review of the manuscript converting the text into a form suitable for publication - John agreed to do this. His generosity, willingness, and personal desire to see this book in print made it possible. Dr. Philippe Blondel (University of Bath), scientific editor for Praxis Publishing Ltd edited it comprehensively too. Thank you John and Philippe!

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