2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

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

The McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research project continues to study how this polar desert ecosystem functions and how it will change.
C-504-M Research Location(s): Dry Valleys


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1637708

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns

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

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Michael N Gooseff
University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
Boulder, Colorado

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 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 study ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. Glacier researchers will continue measurements of physical properties of Dry Valley glaciers and their response to meteorological conditions, 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 (Adams), C-508-M (Takacs-Vesbach), C-509-M (Gooseff), and C-511-M (Doran).

Field Season Overview

Glaciers: Researchers will divide time between Lake Hoare and F6 camps, with short returns to McMurdo Station to process samples. From camp, they will make day trips to glaciers in the Taylor and Miers valleys. Over the season, they hope to: (1) maintain established active-layer monitoring stations (ALMS); (2) perform mass-balance measurements; (3) collect shallow ice cores and meltwater from glaciers; (4) collect landscape albedo measurements from a helicopter-slinged albedo box over the Taylor Valley; (5) measure dissolved oxygen in supraglacial and valley streams: deploy temperature sensors and a data logger into borehole #11; (6) conduct nutrient uptake experiments in two streams on top Canada Glacier; (7) maintain glacier ice temperature logging stations; (8) collect water samples from glacier cliff faces; and (9) collect stream water and sediment samples.

Deploying Team Members

  • Anna Bergstrom (Team Leader)
  • Matthew Cohen (Team Leader)
  • Michael Gooseff (PI)
  • Joel Singley