2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

McMurdo LTER – Soils: Ecosystem response to amplified landscape connectivity in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

Photo by Byron J. Adams. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
C-507-M Research Location(s): Dry Valleys


Event Number:

Program Director:
Dr. Maria Vernet

ASC POC/Implementer:
Ryan Steiner / Jenny Cunningham

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Byron J Adams
Brigham Young University
College of Life Sciences

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Dry Valleys


Initially funded in 1980, the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) network is a collaborative effort of more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER (MCM-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 long-term plots near Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, and Hoare and aim to determine the impacts of natural factors and those associated with climate change on soil biota. This six-year award cycle is comprised of 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

Seven participants focused on soil studies will remain primarily based at McMurdo and Crary Laboratory and will make day trips by helicopter to field sites in Taylor, Miers, and Garwood Valleys. They will make occasional overnight trips to Taylor Valley camps as well. Their field activities will include continuing long-term measurements of soil biodiversity and biogeochemical processes, monitoring established soil meteorological (MET) stations, disassembling the long-term Permafrost Thaw Experiment (P3), monitoring recovery of the long-term Soil Stoichiometry Experiment (SSE), continuing the Soil-Lake Inundation Moat Experiment (SLIME), monitoring moss and algal ground cover and production in near-stream environments and dry soils, continuing the Stream Channel Aeolian Transect (SCAT) experiment, and monitoring benchmark soils from Cape Royds and Beacon, University, Wright, and Alatna Valleys.

Deploying Team Members

  • Byron Adams (PI)
  • John Barrett (Co-PI)
  • Abigail Borgmeier
  • William Henske
  • Jens Jorna (Team Leader)
  • Sarah Power (Team Leader)
  • Meredith Snyder
  • Ariel Waldman