2020-2021 USAP Field Season
Palmer, Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER): land-shelf-ocean connectivity, and ecosystem resilience and transformation, in a sea-ice influenced pelagic ecosystem
Dr. Oscar Schofield
Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould, Palmer Station
Seasonal sea ice-influenced marine ecosystems at both poles are regions of high productivity concentrated in space and time by local, regional, and remote physical forcing. These polar ecosystems are among the most rapidly changing on Earth. The Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (PAL-LTER) project seeks to build on three decades of long-term research along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) to gain new mechanistic and predictive understanding of ecosystem changes in response to disturbances spanning long-term, decadal, and higher-frequency “pulse” changes driven by a range of processes, including natural climate variability, long-term climate warming, resiliency/recovery in the face of press versus pulse forcing, transformed spatial landscapes, and food-web alterations. We will contribute to fundamental understanding of population and biogeochemical responses for a marine ecosystem experiencing profound change.
Field Season Overview
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual LTER cruise has been cancelled. One member of the phytoplankton team (C-019-L) will, however, deploy to Palmer Station. The science team plans on conducting repeated sampling with the conductivity temperature depth (CTD) rosette and the grantee-supplied bio-optical profiling instruments deployed at CTD stations. Sediment trap recovery and Swarm mooring recovery is also planned for this season.
The specific requirements of the C-019-P group include one person at Palmer Station in mid October through mid April. Field sampling and lab work for this season includes maintaining the phytoplankton Palmer time series measurements and Station E, and conducting water sampling one day per week. The science team will perform acoustic surveys two days per week. They will also perform CTD casts during these surveys. The team will perform a few simple incubation experiments using cubitainers/carboys in an outside tank on the aquarium deck.
Deploying Team Members