2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Temporal variability in natural and anthropogenic disturbance of McMurdo Station

Program Manager:
Dr. Polly Penhale

NSF Agreement

ASC POC/Implementer:
Addie Coyac / Cara Sucher

Dr. Mahlon Kennicutt (Principal Investigator)
http://antarctica.geog.tamu.eduExternal Non U.S. Government Site

Texas A & M University
College Station, Texas

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  On Station

Project Description:
Antarctica represents perhaps one of the most carefully tended and strictly monitored habitats on Earth. Aside from the manifest desire to protect the flora, fauna and the atmosphere of a relatively pristine environment, there is the value the extreme southern latitudes provide as a virtual baseline barometer of global pollution. The Antarctic Treaty's Protocol on Environmental Protection, supplemented by the policies and practices of the nations who work and do science there, have combined to focus scrutiny on any anthropogenic impacts that can be foreseen or detected. This project collects a system of observations that should enable scientists to be more aware of any such impacts on both marine and terrestrial habitats in and around McMurdo Station. The observations are located precisely and tracked over time. Researchers use geographic information systems (GIS) techniques and geostatistical methods to organize these diverse data sets into a coherent, coordinated framework. The results should provide additional fundamental scientific information for developing a long-term strategy to document and minimize the impacts of future science and support operations on Antarctic resources and values.

Field Season Overview:
Four participants will be based in McMurdo and travel to local sites to take measurements, record observations, and take samples. The field team will have support from UNAVCO for a backpack GPS unit, from contract divers for sample collecting, from MEC for pooled vehicle use, and from Crary Lab for space in which to perform toxicity tests, a staging area, and office space.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Andrew Klein
  • Terence Palmer
  • Stephen Sweet

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs