2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 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
C-507-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. Byron J Adams
Brigham Young University
College of Life Sciences
Provo, Utah

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 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

Soils: Participants will make overnight trips to Dry Valleys camps and day trips on foot and by helicopter to Taylor, Miers, and Garwood valleys’ sites. The group will store samples at camps but will do all sample processing at Crary Lab. Field activities may include: continuing long-term measurements of soil biodiversity and biogeochemical processes; monitoring established soil meteorological stations; sampling soils near fixed and historic camps; continuing the long-term permafrost thaw experiment (P3); continuing the long-term soil stoichiometry experiment (SSE); establishing permanent sampling transects for the soil-lake inundation moat experiment (SLIME); establishing a new study monitoring moss and algal ground cover and production in near-stream environments and dry soils; and establishing soil sampling sites for the permafrost degradation experiment (PDE).

Deploying Team Members

  • Byron Adams (PI)
  • John Barrett (Co-PI)
  • Natasha Griffin
  • Matthew Hedin
  • Sarah Power