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
Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (PAL-LTER) started in 1990 to address the hypothesis that the annual sea-ice cycle may be the major determinant of spatial/temporal changes in the structure and function of Antarctic marine communities. Research now includes bacteria, viruses, phytoplankton, krill, macrozooplankton, penguins, seabirds, and marine mammals. The PAL-LTER model traces the effects of changing climate and the extent, duration, and seasonality of sea ice on ecosystem composition and dynamics in the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), where satellite observations over the past 35 years indicate the average duration of sea ice cover is now about 90 days shorter. Six collaborative projects on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG) cruise and at Palmer Station will use moorings, numerical modeling, oceanographic cruises, and environmental sampling to address core hypotheses.
Field Season Overview
The science team will participate in LTER water-column sampling, focusing primarily on seawater samples collected with conductivity temperature depth (CTD) rosette.
One person will deploy to Palmer Station mid October to mid April to conduct flow cytometry, oxygen isotopic analysis and bacterial incubations. A total of four LTER members that will also contribute to field work when possible. They will participate in the once weekly Station E sampling, and twice weekly bioacoustics surveys.
Deploying Team Members