University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: F6 / Garwood and Wright Valleys / Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, Hoare, Miers
In 1980, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, a collaborative effort involving more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER is one of 26 sites that investigates ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. The MCM LTER program is an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys. 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. This project is the “streams” component of the MCM LTER. Researchers operate a network of 16 stream flow gauges, collect water quality samples from 30 streams and make hydrologic measurements.
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:
Diane McKnight (PI)