2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
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2016-2017 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

McMurdo LTER - Lakes: 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. John Priscu

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

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. 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

Participants will make routine lake measurements, periodically occupying field camps at Lakes Bonney, Hoare, and Fryxell from early November to early January in two rounds of site visits. The team will retrieve and re-deploy sediment traps in East and West Lake Bonney and will camp for at least five nights at Lake Miers to measure biological, chemical, and physical limnological properties. They will also collect samples from Lake Chad at the end of the first round of site visits. Team members will work with C-511-M (Doran) on the Autonomous Lake Profiling and Sampling (ALPS) project, retrieving and deploying the automated samplers in Lake Bonney. The project also aims to collect ice cores from the lake ice covers on Lakes Fryxell and Hoare, East and West Lake Bonney, the Canada and Commonwealth Glaciers, and the New Harbor sea ice.

Deploying Team Members

  • Heather Buelow
  • Amy Chiuchiolo (Team Leader)
  • John Priscu (PI)
  • Madelyne Willis