2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title


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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Mr. Tim McGovern

ASC POC/Implementer:
Matthew Erickson / Adam Jenkins

Principal Investigator

Dr. George Watters

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
La Jolla, California

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations: South Shetland Islands Vicinity


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries' Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) program supports the development of US policy regarding the conservation and management of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean. For the past 25 years, the AMLR field program has been conducted in the vicinity of Elephant Island, the South Shetland Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral summer. This austral summer, researchers will participate on two cruises aboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG) to continue testing newly developed US AMLR sampling techniques using autonomous technology. The broad-scale survey will be augmented to better understand the small-scale patterns of krill distribution in relation to circulation and to understand habitat use in enclosed bays.

Field Season Overview

Field team members will sail on the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer from Punta Arenas, Chile, to their research area in the South Shetland Islands. There they will: (1) Conduct a bio-acoustic, oceanographic and net-based krill survey to map meso-scale features of water mass structure, phytoplankton biomass and productivity, zooplankton and bacterioplankton composition, and the dispersion and population demography of krill during mid-winter; (2) Calibrate shipboard acoustic systems; (3) Collect continuous measurements of ship's position, sea surface temperature, salinity, turbidity, fluorescence, air temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction; (4) Collect underway observations of seabirds and marine mammals; (5) Collect data to characterize the sea ice, including thickness, type, color and other qualitative components with the goal of deriving a standardized description of ice during the survey; (6) Deploy drifter buoys (number to be determined); (7) Deploy expendable bathythermographs (XBTs) or expendable conductivity/temperature/depth (XCTDs) during the crossing of the Drake Passage and elsewhere in the survey area; (8) Quantify sea ice algae community by collecting ice cores at select stations; (9) Measure water column irradiance using a hand held Profiling Reflection Radiometer (PRR); (10) Extend their acoustic, net, and oceanographic study through the Gerlache Strait and down to Andvord Bay; (11) Deliver food to the Polish station, Arktowski; and (12) Have outreach with PEW.

Deploying Team Members

  • Kim Bernard
  • Anthony Cossio
  • Adrian Dahood-Fritz
  • Kimberly Dietrich
  • Ryan Driscoll
  • Rachel Pound
  • Christian Reiss (Co-PI)
  • Jarrod Santora
  • Jennifer Walsh
  • Elliot Weiss