2013-2014 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
 

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

Event Number: C-506-M
NSF/PLR Award 1115245

ASC POC/Implementer:
Sune Tamm / Cara Sucher

Dr. Diane McKnight (Principal Investigator)
diane.mcknight@colorado.edu
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:  F6 / Garwood and Wright Valleys / Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, Hoare, Miers

Project Description:
Initially funded in 1980, the US 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 that investigates 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: Andrew Fountain B-504, John Priscu B-505, Diane McKnight B-506, Diana Wall B-507, Jeb Barrett, B-508, Berry Lyons B-509, and Peter Doran B-511.

Field Season Overview:
Seven 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.

In addition to the typical busy schedule of the MCMLTER, the NSF Site Review Committee will be deploying to the field for a routine review of the MCMLTER's progress and goals.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Steven Crisp
  • Chris Jaros
  • Alia Khan
  • Alexandra Mass
  • Diane McKnight (PI)
  • Aneliya Sakaeva

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