Environmental Earth System Science
San Jose, California
Supporting Stations: Palmer Station
Research Locations: Palmer Station
The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is undergoing some of the most dramatic warming on the globe, with correspondingly rapid ecosystem changes. Research, especially from work carried out by the Palmer LTER program, has shown that resulting changes are occurring to phytoplankton of the Western Antarctic Peninsula waters, but few details are known about species composition and metabolic activity. The objective of this three-year project is to develop microarrays that can be used by the scientific community in coming years to assess changes to community composition and gene expression. The microarrays will be based on high-throughput sequencing of samples collected in the first year. The goal this year is to collect high-biomass and high-quality phytoplankton samples for DNA and RNA sequencing. In order to capture the intra-annual community changes, samples will be collected by filtering off-shore water at regular intervals throughout the entire season (October to April).
Field Season Overview:
One field team member will collect water samples once or twice weekly from 10m depth. Most sampling will be done at a single offshore station using a submersible pump or Go-Flo bottles from a Zodiac inflatable boat. Samples will be collected twice weekly. In addition, samples will be collected from a subset of stations in the sampling grid during the annual LTER cruise on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould. While on station, the PI will train other scientists on station in the collection and processing protocols, so sampling can continue once weekly while the PI is on the LTER cruise and for the last few weeks of the field season.
Deploying Team Members: