2021-2022 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. Deborah Steinberg
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
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 (PAL) LTER seeks to build on three decades of long-term research along the western side of the 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
In this zooplankton component of the LTER, a team of five researchers will sail on the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP) to the LTER research grid west of the Antarctic Peninsula. The team will collect data with a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) rosette and from the NBP’s hull-mounted EK60 sonar system, and each study station will consist of approximately three net tows. The team will also collect and sort live zooplankton, conduct microscope work, and preserve samples in formalin.
Deploying Team Members