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
 
Habitability of Antarctic lakes and detectability of microbial life in icy environments by autonomous year-round instrumentation
 

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

Event Number: B-280-M
NSF/PLR Award 1340905

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Cara Sucher

Dr. Peter Doran (Principal Investigator)
pdoran@uic.edu

University of Illinois Chicago
Dept of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Chicago, Illinois

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, Hoare

Project Description:
Researchers will deploy autonomous instrumentation in selected lakes of Taylor Valley, Antarctica, to collect the first below-ice suite of physical, chemical and biological data during the polar night. Their proposed research will test the overarching hypothesis that the winter darkness induces a cascade of physiological changes that alters the biodiversity and functional roles of autotrophic and heterotrophic microplankton within the lakes.

Field Season Overview:
LTER camp staff will deploy Autonomous Lake Profiling and Sampling (ALPS) stations in both the east and west lobes of Lake Bonney. These stations will add to existing Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) monitoring equipment and will consist of ice-tethered profilers, phytoplankton samplers, and remote-access samplers, along with requisite power and communication. The stations will operate year-round.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Luke Winslow

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