2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Biology & Medicine

Dr. Polly Penhale
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 98-10219
Station: McMurdo Station
Research Site(s): Dry Valleys

McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER: The role of natural legacy on ecosystem structure and function in a polar desert.
Dr. Andrew G. Fountain
Portland State University
Department of Geology

Deploying Team Members: Chad Delany . Amy Lefebvre . Thomas H Nylen
Research Objectives: Glacier mass balance, melt and energy balance component of the McMurdo LTER.

Field Season Overview:
The researchers plan to monitor the mass balance of selected glaciers in Taylor Valley and maintain weather stations and snow fences in Beacon, Taylor, Wright, and Victoria Valleys. Team members will set up a temporary meteorological station on Howard Glacier, install and refurbish satellite reflectors on Commonwealth Glacier, and measure glacier snow lines and ablation stakes on several glaciers with GPS.

Team members will also drill cryconite holes on the Canada Glacier, collect samples, and install conductivity and temperature probes in the holes for winter data collection. With the assistance of a support contractor mountaineer, team members will extract a snow core from the accumulation zone of Commonwealth Glacier.