2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Palmer Station

Table of Contents

Project Indexes USAP Program overviews Station schedules & overviews Technical Events


  Palmer Station, established in 1965, is named for Nathaniel B. Palmer, a Connecticut sealer who, on 17 November 1820, may have been the first person to see Antarctica during an exploratory voyage ranging southward from the South Shetland Islands. (British and Russian ships were in the area at about the same time.)  
  While "Old Palmer" opened in 1965, it was only open for three years before construction on the current station began. It was completed and occupied in 1970. Built on solid rock, the station consists of two major buildings and three small ones, two large fuel tanks, a helicopter pad, and a dock. The new station replaced a prefabricated wood structure that was located two kilometers away and across Arthur Harbor. Old Palmer has been disassembled and removed from Antarctica.  
  Palmer Station is the only USAP station on the Antarctic Peninsula, and is a base for Aeronomy, Biology, Geology & Geophysics, and Oceans & Climate Systems research. The station receives all logistics support from the Research Vessel Laurence M Gould (R/V LMG), a USAP-chartered research and supply vessel. The Gould transports cargo and personnel to and from the station throughout the year. Unlike the other two USAP stations, McMurdo and South Pole,, Palmer Station does not have the long period of winter isolation associated with "wintering-over" in Antarctica.  
  Palmer Station laboratories were completely remodeled during the winter of 2002 and now provide a safer, more modern facility with the capability to support a wider variety of research projects. Communications have been significantly upgraded as well with the installation of an improved network and a satellite earth station that provides around-the-clock Internet connectivity.  
  Palmer Station opened for the 2002-2003 research season on 29 September 2002 with the arrival of cruise LMG 02-06. Onboard the Gould were the summer season support staff to begin the turnover process with the winter-over personnel. Research and additional support staff arrive on 17 October 2002 on cruise LMG02-07. The primary research season will extend through May 2003, with station population ranging between 37 and 44 staff members, divided approximately equally between support staff and researchers. The transition from summer to winter personnel will occur over the course of five cruises from 15 February 2003 through 24 June 2003, with an additional winter support cruise in mid-August 2003.  


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