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

Project Title

McMurdo LTER – Streams/Geochemistry: 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-506-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. 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. Streams component researchers will continue to operate a network of 16 stream-flow gauges, collect water quality samples from 30 streams, and make hydrologic measurements. 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

Streams and Geochemistry: Participants with the “stream team” will stay at the F6 camp and work out of Lake Hoare camp for a few days at a time. Field work will be conducted in Wright, Taylor, and Miers Valleys. The group will also conduct analyses in Crary Laboratory. Field sites will be accessed on foot and by helicopter day trips. Field activities may include: (1) maintaining a stream-gauge network; (2) collecting water-quality samples; (3) monitoring microbial mats in an abandoned channel in the Taylor Valley; (4) measuring dissolved oxygen in streams in the Lake Hoare and Lake Fryxell basins; (5) deploying and maintaining Aeolian sediment collectors across stream channels for over-winter collection of wind-blown material; (6) permafrost degradation experiments (PDE); and (7) glacier-stream-soil (GSS) studies.

Deploying Team Members

  • Henry Brandes
  • Ruth Heindel
  • Ruth Heindel
  • Jade Lawrence (Team Leader)
  • Lija Treibergs
  • Kathy Welch (Team Leader)