2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
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Habitability of Antarctic lakes and detectability of microbial life in icy environments by autonomous year-round instrumentation

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

Event Number: B-280-M

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Cara Sucher

Dr. Peter Doran (Principal Investigator)

Louisiana State University Baton Rouge
Department of Geology and Geophysics
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, Hoare

Project Description:
Researchers will deploy autonomous instrumentation in selected Taylor Valley lakes to collect the first below-ice suite of physical, chemical, and biological data during the polar night. Their proposed research will test the overarching hypothesis that the winter darkness induces a cascade of physiological changes that alters the biodiversity and functional roles of autotrophic and heterotrophic microplankton within the lakes.

Field Season Overview:
LTER camp staff will deploy Autonomous Lake Profiling and Sampling (ALPS) stations in both the east and west lobes of Lake Bonney. These stations will add to existing Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) monitoring equipment and will consist of ice-tethered profilers, phytoplankton samplers, and remote-access samplers, along with requisite power and communication. The stations will operate year-round.

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