2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Palmer, Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER): Land-shelf-ocean connectivity, ecosystem resilience and transformation in a sea-ice influenced pelagic ecosystem


Antarctic minke whale carrying a multi-sensor video recording tag with the ARSV Laurence M. Gould in the background.  
Photo by: Ari Friedlaender
C-024-L/P Research Location(s): Palmer Station local area / LTER study site

Summary

Event Number:
C-024-L/P
NSF/OPP Award 1440435

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Bruce Felix


Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Ari Seth Friedlaender
ari.friedlaender@ucsc.edu
University of California Santa Cruz
Institute of Marine Sciences
Santa Cruz, California

Project Web Site:
http://pal.lternet.edu/


Location

Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould, Palmer Station
Research Locations: Palmer Station local area / LTER study site


Description

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

Cetaceans Component: Team members will deploy on the annual LTER cruise on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould from early January to early February. During the cruise, they will use small boats to deploy suction cup tags on baleen whales and to deploy an unmanned aerial system (UAS) for collecting whale measurements and condition. Two project participants will reside at Palmer Station from January through early April and will use a dedicated small boat for visual surveys of marine mammals, quantitative prey mapping, biopsy sampling, and suction cup tag deployment and recovery. When a second small boat is able to accompany the team, these studies will take place in the extended boating area around Palmer Station.


Deploying Team Members

  • Greg Larsen
  • Ross Nichols
  • Logan Pallin