Icebergs in Iowa:

Saudi dreams, Antarctic hydrologics and the production of Cold War environmental knowledge


Ed(s): Stephen Bocking, Daniel Heidt

In: Cold Science: Environmental Knowledge in the North American Arctic during the Cold War


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315172736

This chapter demonstrates how the first International Iceberg Utilization Conference, held in Ames, Iowa, in October of 1977, contributed to the formation of nascent hydrologics in the late 1970s that were used to justify incursions into unconventional sites of resource extraction such as Antarctica by “dry” nations such as Saudi Arabia. It is valuable to examine the ways in which the conference’s individual and institutional actors, from National Science Foundation representatives to Saudi royalty, attempted to expand the global resource base by justifying incursions into emerging resource frontiers through the construction of such resource logics—what Ruiz describes as an Antarctic “hydrologic”—as they shed light on the specific, situated, and material epistemologies of extraction that underlie their production.