The University of Otago Polar Environments Research Theme works closely with Antarctica New Zealand, which is a New Zealand Government Crown Entity that provides logistical support and science planning for research carried out in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, particularly the Ross Dependency.
The New Zealand Snow and Ice Research Group (SIRG) connects glaciological staff and research students from New Zealand universities and Crown Research Institutes. It operates as the New Zealand branch of the International Glaciological Society, running an annual research workshop/conference, and monthly video meetings/seminars. The Polar Environments Research Theme has sponsored the attendance of students at past SIRG workshops, and sponsored the 2009 Otago-organised SIRG workshop.
NZARI funds Antarctic science to answer globally important questions. Members of the Polar Enviroments Research Theme have been active in establishing and setting the scientific direction for NZARI. Recently two University of Otago projects were funded by NZARI.
ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) is a multinational collaboration comprised of more than 200 scientists, students, and educators from seven nations (Brazil, Germany, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States) to recover stratigraphic records from the Antarctic margin using Cape Roberts Project (CRP) technology. The chief objective is to drill back in time to recover a history of paleoenvironmental changes that will guide our understanding of how fast, how large, and how frequent were glacial and interglacial changes in the Antarctica region. Future scenarios of global warming require guidance and constraint from past history that will reveal potential timing frequency and site of future changes.