2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Palmer, Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER): Land-shelf-ocean connectivity, ecosystem resilience and transformation in a sea-ice influenced pelagic ecosystem
Dr. Doug Martinson
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould
Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (PAL-LTER) started in 1990 to address the hypothesis that the annual sea ice cycle may be the major determinant of spatial/temporal changes in the structure and function of Antarctic marine communities. Research now includes bacteria, viruses, phytoplankton, krill, macrozooplankton, penguins, seabirds, and marine mammals. The PAL-LTER model traces the effects of changing climate, and the extent, duration, and seasonality of sea ice on ecosystem composition and dynamics in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, where satellite observations over the past 35 years indicate the average duration of sea ice cover is now about 90 days shorter. Six collaborative projects deploy on January’s ARSV Laurence M. Gould cruise and/or to Palmer Station. Team members use airborne and underwater vehicles, moorings, numerical modeling, oceanographic cruises, and environmental sampling to address core hypotheses.
Field Season Overview
During the annual LTER cruise aboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG) to the LTER research grid west of the Antarctic Peninsula, vessel marine technicians will deploy and recover up to four moorings and will make approximately 70 CTD casts to full depth for this project, and in collaboration with C-019-L (Schofield) and C-045-L (Ducklow).