2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
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2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

McMurdo LTER - Lakes: Increased connectivity in a polar desert resulting from climate warming: McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER Program

Using a Herman-Nelson heater to keep water liquid while working on Lake Bonney during mid-April. Photo by: John Priscu


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Sune Tamm / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Priscu

Montana State University Bozeman
Land Resources and Environmental Sciences
Bozeman, Montana

Project Web Site:
http://www.mcmlter.org External Web Site


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Dry Valleys


Initially funded in 1980, the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network is a collaborative effort involving more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER program is an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys. It is one of 26 LTER sites where researchers are studying ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. Researchers focusing on lakes will continue their long-term measurements of biological, chemical, and physical limnological properties of Dry Valley lakes and lake ice, with special emphasis on LTER core research areas. This six-year award cycle comprises seven collaborative projects: C-504-M (Gooseff), C-505-M (Priscu), C-506-M (Gooseff), C-507-M (Wall), C-508-M (Barrett), C-509-M (Lyons), and C-511-M (Doran).

Field Season Overview

Five participants will make routine lake measurements, periodically occupying field camps at Lakes Bonney, Hoare, and Fryxell from early November to early January. Sediment traps will be retrieved and re-deployed in East and West Lake Bonney between mid November and mid December. They will camp for at least five nights at Lake Miers to measure biological, chemical, and physical limnological properties. Team members will visit the ice edge or an ice hole in McMurdo Sound to calibrate the Seabird CTD (conductivity/temperature/depth) instrument.

Deploying Team Members

  • Amy Chiuchiolo (Team Leader)
  • Noell Martinez
  • Jeffrey Patriarche
  • Cristina Takacs-Vesbach (Co-PI)
  • Madelyne Willis