2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Biology & Medicine

Dr. Polly Penhale
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 02-17282
Station: RV Laurence M. Gould and Palmer Station
RPSC POC: Karl Newyear
Research Site(s): Faure Islands, Petermann Island, Cape Monaco, Joubin Islands, Emperor Island, Dion Islands, Avian Islands

Seabird component of LTER (Long Term Environmental Research): Climate migration, ecological response and teleconnections in an ice-dominated environment
Dr. Hugh W. Ducklow
College of William and Mary
School of Marine Science
Dr. William R. Fraser
Polar Oceans Research Group

Deploying Team Members: Cynthia D Anderson . Heidi N Geisz
Research Objectives: The seabird component of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project will continue studies of seabird communities within the LTER sampling grid with emphasis placed on species abundance and dietary components during summer.

Field Season Overview:
Field work includes a Palmer Station program and a science cruise aboard the R/V Laurence M. Gould. During the Palmer Station program, several team members will travel daily via Zodiac inflatable boats from the station to local islands to monitor seabird (e.g., penguins, skua, kelp gull) communities. The researchers will observe banded penguins before they pick their nesting sites and will try to determine if the birds pick the same nesting sites and the same mates from year to year. Colony boundaries and nest locations will be mapped using differential Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment. The field-team members will weigh, size, and band hatchlings late in the season. Remote sensing via radio telemetry will be used to document the feeding behavior of Adelie penguins. Team members will work in the Palmer Station laboratory to analyze the dietary components of seabirds to determine the sources, quantity and quality of food consumed.

During the science cruise (LMG 03-01), two team members will conduct general observational studies of the foraging range of seabirds in the Bellingshausen Sea. They will also use Zodiac inflatable boats to follow feeding penguins and observe their foraging behavior.