2019-2020 Science Planning Summaries
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2019-2020 USAP Field Season
Staffed Field Camps
Staffed Deep Field Camps for the USAP 2019-2020 Season

A total of seven field camps will have resident staff to provide logistical and operational assistance to McMurdo-based researchers during the 2019-20 season.


Dry Valleys: Taylor Valley Camps

50 Nautical Miles From McMurdo Station

77° 37.38' S, 162° 53.99' E (Lake Hoare Camp)

Each year, multiple science teams conduct research in the Dry Valleys while based at the semi-permanent facilities located in the Taylor Valley. All the facilities are supported by helicopter operations based in McMurdo. Two resident staff based at Lake Hoare camp oversee operations at Lake Hoare, Lake Fryxell, F6, Lake Bonney, and New Harbor camps, as well as a small temporary camp at Lake Miers (located farther south in the Dry Valleys).

Scientist Aneliya Sakaeva Collects Samples in the Dry Valleys

The McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research (MCM LTER) science teams C-504-M (Gooseff), C-505-M (Priscu), C-506-M (Gooseff)v, C-507-M (Adams), C-508-M (Takacs-Vesbach), C-509-M (McKnight), and C-511-M (Doran) will be working out of Lake Hoare, Lake Fryxell, F6, Lake Bonney, and Lake Miers again this season, along with two groups that collaborate with the MCM LTER: T-295-M (Pettit - UNAVCO (University NAVSTAR Consortium)) and Antarctic New Zealand K-080 (Hawes). The science team G-183-M (Lyons) will be working at New Harbor. One artist/writer grantee team, W-221-M (Anderson), may stay for a night or two at Lake Hoare or one of the Taylor Valley camps in order to work with LTER. In addition, media team W-222-M (Anderson) may visit with LTER on day trips to the Taylor Valley camps.


Lower Erebus Hut (LEH) Camp

22 Nautical Miles From McMurdo Station

77° 30.63' S, 167° 8.891' E

The Lower Erebus Hut (LEH) camp supports high altitude work on Ross Island in areas near the Erebus volcano. The facility is helicopter-supported and a resident camp supervisor or FS&T staff member typically provide oversight during USAP operations. An Antarctic New Zealand project, K-023 (Craig), will occupy LEH for the first half of the 2019-20 season. Mid-season, the USAP will utilize Construction and FS&T staff to install a replacement survival shelter in the area of the former Upper Erebus Hut, and raise the partially-buried survival shelter at CONEZ. Also during this period, a proposed USAP science project may occupy LEH for approximately 3 weeks to drill and install seismic stations and a telemetry network at 5 high-elevation sites. The temporary tent camp at Fang Glacier will be set up to support acclimatization for any groups working out of LEH camp.


Siple Dome (SDM)

507 Nautical Miles From McMurdo Station

81° 39.840' S 149° 1.050' W

Siple Dome camp serves as a fueling point for aircraft operating between McMurdo Station and West Antarctica or South Pole. Two resident staff will provide daily weather observations and maintain the camp. Siple Dome will also host and support Kenn Borek Air (KBA) crews as needed. This season, 2 USAP science events are scheduled to utilize Siple Dome: C-533-M (Priscu), led by Matt Siegfried will complete a retro of 8 GPS stations in the Whillans Ice Plain. A 3-person KBA Twin Otter Crew will also work residentially from Siple in support of C-533-M.

O-325-M (Lubin) will deploy multiple instrument assemblies at Siple to conduct measurements of the Surface Energy Balance in West Antarctica. Camp staff will also provide aviation support to Antarctic New Zealand’s work at the Kamb Ice Stream, (K-862 and K-863A) on an as-needed basis.


Portable Shelters at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Field Camp

WAIS Divide Field Camp (WSD)

891 Nautical Miles From McMurdo Station

79° 29.000' S 112° 5.000' W

The WAIS Divide field camp with 13 resident staff will act as a regional aviation hub for West Antarctica. The camp will support the transit of 5 Thwaites science projects: C-443-M (Goerhring-Johnson-GHC Hudson Mts.), C-444-M (Holland-MELT), C-445-M (Pettit-TARSAN), C-446-M (Tulaczyk-TIME), C-448 (Goerhring-Johnson GHC Mt. Murphy) from McMurdo to forward field sites. In addition to Thwaites science, O-283-M (Lazzara-AWS) will be supported with aviation coordination for regional weather station maintenance. WAIS camp staff will also assist in the retro movement to McMurdo of field gear cached by T-150-M (IDPO).


Lower Thwaites Glacier (LTG)

76° 27.498' S, 107° 46.920' W

The Lower Thwaites Glacier site acts as an intermediary support hub between WAIS Divide and Thwaites Glacier field sites. Three residential staff (2 ASC, 1 BAS) will provide weather observation aviation ground and communication support as well as site maintenance, skiway grooming and food service for transient science personnel and residential flight crews. Supported projects include C-443-M (Goerhring-Johnson-GHC Hudson Mts.), C-444-M (Holland-MELT), C-445-M (Pettit-TARSAN), C-446-M (Tulaczyk-TIME), C-448 (Goerhring-Johnson-GHC Mt. Murphy) and G-079-M (Wilson-POLENET).


Byrd Surface Camp (NBY)

900 Nautical Miles From McMurdo Station

80° 1.094' S 119° 35.184' W

Byrd camp serves as a fueling point for aircraft operating between McMurdo Station and West Antarctica. Three resident staff will provide daily weather observations, maintain the camp and receive bulk fuel for out-year operations in support of the Thwaites Glacier campaign. In addition, this season Byrd camp will support O-400-M (Cassano) for 2 weeks during the installation of a 30m tower supporting instrumentation collecting year-round, autonomous, atmospheric and surface measurements. Byrd camp will also have the ability to support Kenn Borek Air (KBA) crews as needed.


RAID Traverse and Camp

75 Nautical Miles From McMurdo Station

78° 37.107' S, 166° 40.679' E

RAID Camp is a traverse and helo supported field camp supporting the 3rd Antarctic Field Trial for the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID D-551-M, D-552-M). Located in close proximity to Minna Bluff, RAID Camp will be installed via the Heavy Science Traverse. Four resident camp staff will support a science and driller team with equipment operations, generator support, helo operations and food service.