2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Biology & Medicine

Dr. Polly Penhale
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 98-10219
Station: McMurdo Station
Research Site(s): Taylor Valley, Lake Miers, Wright Valley

McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER: The role of natural legacy on ecosystem structure and function in a polar desert.
Dr. Diane M. McKnight
University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)

Deploying Team Members: Jenny Baeseman . Karen Cozzetto . Louise T Huffman . Diane Mcknight . Peter A Spatz . Paul L Turner . Erin C Van Matre
Research Objectives: Flow, sediment transport, and productivity of streams component of McMurdo LTER. The researchers plan to monitor the flow, sediment transport, and productivity of glacial melt streams in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

Field Season Overview:
Team members will maintain the current network of 19 stream gauges. High flows from the previous season damaged some of the gauge structures, and early season efforts will ensure the continued viability of these structures. Previously established stream algal transects throughout Taylor Valley will be sampled and surveyed this season. Sediment size distribution analysis will be carried out in response to last seasons high flows.

The group will also collect water quality samples, make hydrologic measurements, and install telemetry equipment at some of the stream gauges.