2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
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2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

McMurdo LTER – Soils: Ecosystem response to amplified landscape connectivity in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

McMurdo LTER – Soils: Ecosystem response to amplified landscape connectivity in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1637708

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns

ASC POC/Implementer:
Jenny Cunningham / Elizabeth Kauffman / Jennifer Blum

Principal Investigator

Dr. Byron J Adams

Brigham Young University
College of Life Sciences
Provo, Utah

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: McMurdo Dry Valleys


Initially funded in 1980, the U.S. LTER network is a collaborative effort of more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER program is a multi-disciplinary aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems study in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. It is one of 26 LTER sites where researchers are studying ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. The soils team will maintain, monitor, and sample their long-term plots near Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, and Hoare and aims to determine impacts of natural factors and those associated with potential climate change on soil biota. This six-year award cycle comprises seven collaborative projects: C-504-M (Gooseff), C-505-M (Priscu), C-506-M (Gooseff), C-507-M (Adams), C-508-M (Takacs-Vesbach), C-509-M (Gooseff), and C-511-M (Doran).

Field Season Overview

Seven participants will deploy between 15 December and 10 February. The group will be based in McMurdo, and will make four overnight trips (three to six nights each) to Dry Valleys fixed camps, including F6, Fryxell, Hoare, and Bonney. In addition, they will make day trips on foot and by helicopter to field sites in Taylor, Miers, and Garwood Valleys. Other sites, including sites in Beacon, Victoria, Wright, and Alatna Valleys, and Cape Royds, may be visited within the duration of the grant, though not on a yearly basis. The group will use cold storage space at the camps to store samples, and will do all sample processing at Crary Laboratory.

Deploying Team Members

  • Byron Adams (PI)
  • John Barrett (Co-PI)
  • Heather Buelow
  • Natasha Griffin
  • Matthew Hedin
  • Adrian Howkins (Co-PI)
  • Xia Xue