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

Project Title

Observing the atmospheric boundary over the West Antarctic ice sheet

Siple Dome Camp. Photo by Eli Duke. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
O-400-M Research Location(s): Siple Dome


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 1745097

Program Director:
Dr. Rebecca Gast

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Jenny Cunningham

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. John Cassano
University of Colorado Boulder

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Siple Dome


The near surface atmosphere over West Antarctica is one of the fastest warming locations on the planet. This atmospheric warming, along with oceanic forcing, is contributing to ice sheet melt and hence rising global sea levels. An observational campaign, focused on the atmospheric boundary layer over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), is envisioned. An unmanned aerial system (UAS) field campaign will be conducted and will sample the depths of the boundary layer.

Field Season Overview

Two of three deploying science participants will travel to Siple Dome to conduct an observational campaign, focused on the atmospheric layer over WAIS. Using a UAS, the surveys will be done just beyond the edge of the camp, and they will make 5-10 UAS flights per day over two weeks. Each survey will be approximately 30 minutes and the UAS will fly up to 3,000 vertical feet. The third team member will be based at McMurdo Station to provide technical support.

Deploying Team Members

  • Mckenzie Dice (Team Leader)
  • Gina Jozef
  • Marian Mateling