2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Palmer, Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER): Land-shelf-ocean connectivity, ecosystem resilience and transformation in a sea-ice influenced pelagic ecosystem
Dr. William Ronald Fraser
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould, Palmer Station
Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (PAL-LTER) started in 1990 to address the hypothesis that the annual sea ice cycle may be the major determinant of spatial/temporal changes in the structure and function of Antarctic marine communities. Research now includes bacteria, viruses, phytoplankton, krill, macrozooplankton, penguins, seabirds, and marine mammals. The PAL-LTER model traces the effects of changing climate, and the extent, duration, and seasonality of sea ice on ecosystem composition and dynamics in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, where satellite observations over the past 35 years indicate the average duration of sea ice cover is now about 90 days shorter. Six collaborative projects deploy on January’s ARSV Laurence M. Gould cruise and/or to Palmer Station. Team members use airborne and underwater vehicles, moorings, numerical modeling, oceanographic cruises, and environmental sampling to address core hypotheses.
Field Season Overview
Penguins and Other Seabirds Component: One component of the C-013 project will sail on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould. The vessel will drop the team at Avian Island where they will establish a field camp and conduct research for five days. The second component of the project will be based at Palmer Station from late October to early April. The team will use small boats to access local islands in the station vicinity and will make some day trips to bird colonies in the extended boating area including Dream Island, Biscoe Point, the Joubin Islands, Cape Monaco, the Wauwermans Islands and the Rosenthal Islands.
Deploying Team Members