2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Antarctic automatic weather station program

Our team servicing one of our weather stations, Tall Tower!, on the Ross Ice Shelf.
 photo by: Masha Tsukernik.
O-283-M/S Research Location(s): On station / WAIS Divide


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1543305

Program Manager:
Dr. Peter Milne

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Elizabeth Kauffman / Timothy Ager / Neal Scheibe

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Matthew Lazzara
University of Wisconsin Madison
Space Science and Engineering Center/AMRC
Madison, Wisconsin

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: On station / WAIS Divide


The Antarctic Automatic Weather Station (AWS) network has been making meteorological observations since the early 1980s. This continent-wide network is positioned to observe significant meteorological events and increase understanding of the Antarctic surface climate, helping researchers observe and learn about the Antarctic in a warming world. Numerous studies of surface climatology in regions around the continent, like the Ross Ice Shelf, have been possible because of the long duration of the AWS project and regular AWS maintenance. This AWS-based climatology also aids in other studies such as winter warming events.

Field Season Overview

The team will visit and repair AWS stations that develop problems during the Austral winter and as needed throughout the deployment. Specific location details include: (1) West Antarctic sites based out of WAIS Divide; (2) Ross Ice Shelf work: vehicle and rigger support at Alexander Tall Tower!; (3) Ross Island sites including Williams Field, Phoenix Airfield, and Windless Bight using ground transportation; (4) South Pole access to Henry and Nico stations. Helicopter support will be required to access Capes Bird and Lorne, Marble Point, Minna Bluff, and White Island for local software updates. One McMurdo Station research associate (RA) provides support year around.

Deploying Team Members

  • Carol Costanza
  • David Mikolajczyk (Team Leader)
  • Michael Penn
  • Lee Welhouse (Team Leader)