2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Collaborative Research: Climate, Changing Abundance and Species Interactions of Marine Birds and Mammals at South Georgia in Winter
Dr. Richard Reed Veit
Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould
Ocean warming in the western Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Sea winter is among the highest worldwide. The goal of researchers on this project is to quantify the impact of ocean warming on seabirds. The objectives are to 1) identify changes in krill, bird, and mammal abundance that have occurred since the 1990s; 2) identify pairings of species that benefit each other in searching for prey; and 3) make predictions about how these changes in species pairing might continue given predicted future changes in climate.
Field Season Overview
Ten participants will embark on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG 23-06) for a winter cruise to survey two transect grids on the east and west sides of South Georgia. Each grid will consist of five 65 nautical mile transects, which can be completed within the approximately 6.5 hours of daylight available. The team will also conduct visual surveys during the transit between the Strait of Magellan and South Georgia. During the day, the team will visually census all seabirds and will collect acoustic data to estimate plankton and fish abundance. During the night, they will use the Isaacs-Kidd midwater plankton trawl to sample plankton and fish within the same transect areas at 10 km intervals. CTD (connectivity, temperature, and depth) casts will be taken at each 10 km interval as well.
Deploying Team Members