2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
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2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

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

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


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Jenny Cunningham / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Dr. Michael N Gooseff

University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
Boulder, Colorado

Project 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. Glacier researchers will continue measurements of physical properties of Dry Valley glaciers and their response to meteorological conditions, 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

The team will be based at Lake Hoare camp from early November until late January and may also operate out of F6 during the months of December and/or January. They will make day trips to Commonwealth, Howard, Canada, and Taylor glaciers in the Taylor Valley and to Adams Glacier in the Miers Valley, where they will conduct mass balance measurements and collect melt water and shallow ice cores. Researchers will collect the majority of ice cores in November with less frequent collection in December and January. They will also conduct meltwater sampling along the Canada and Commonwealth Glaciers primarily in December and January. They will make day trips to various active layer monitoring stations (ALMSs) in the Taylor Valley including Many Glaciers Pond, F6, Green Creek, the snout of Canada Glacier, and Wormherder Creek. The team will install a new ALMS in the Miers Valley in January. Team members will also deploy a pressure transducer in the Dry Valley Drilling Project (DVDP) borehole at Don Juan Pond in November and plan to revisit the site to download the data logger in January.

Deploying Team Members

  • Anna Bergstrom (Team Leader)
  • Michael Gooseff (PI)