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
McMurdo LTER - Streams: Increased connectivity in a polar desert resulting from climate warming: McMurdo Dry Valley LTER Program
The "Stream Team" and environmental support staff remove a stream gage at Priscu Stream in response to rising Lake Bonney water surface from recent high flow seasons. Photo Credit: Chris Jaros. 

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

NSF/PLR Award 1115245

ASC POC/Implementer:
Elizabeth Watson / Cara Sucher

Dr. Michael Gooseff (Principal Investigator)
http://www.mcmlter.org/External Non U.S. Government Site

University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)
Boulder, Colorado

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Dry Valleys / F6 / Garwood and Wright Valleys / Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, Hoare and Miers

Project Description:
Initially funded in 1980, the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network is a collaborative effort involving more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER program is an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys. It is one of 26 LTER sites where researchers are studying ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. Streams component researchers operate a network of 16 stream flow gauges, collect water quality samples from 30 streams, and make hydrologic measurements. This six-year award cycle comprises seven collaborative projects: Michael Gooseff C-504, John Priscu C-505, Michael Gooseff C-506, Diana Wall C-507, Jeb Barrett, C-508, Berry Lyons C-509, and Peter Doran C-511.

Field Season Overview:
Six participants will be the primary occupants of the F6 field camp. Most monitoring will take place in Taylor Valley, with monitoring continuing in Wright and Miers Valleys. New gauging sites and algal monitoring transects will be established in Miers and Garwood Valleys. Team members will continue to upgrade temperature and specific conductance probes at several gauges in order to minimize the loss of data collected during the season. Activities to relocate upstream gauging sites that are at risk of being submerged due to lake level rise will be conducted for Aiken Creek. An Iridium based telemetry network makes real time data available for three lakes, seven streams, and 13 meteorological stations. This year two Iridium base stations and additional remote data loggers will be added. The team will continue to measure lake levels at Lakes Joyce, House, Vida, Vanda, and Don Juan Pond, visit 16 stream sites to collect algal mat and water quality samples, and conduct LIDAR surveys.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Devin Castendyk
  • Alexandria Fair
  • Michael Gooseff (PI)
  • Chris Jaros
  • Tyler Kohler
  • Adam Wlostowski

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Curator: Ethan Norris, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs