Start date:
Early December
End date:
Late January
Dry Valleys, Taylor Valley, Wright Valley, Victoria Valley, McKelvey Valley, Garwood Valley, Miers Valley, Marshall Valley, Beacon Valley
Principle Investigator:
Dr Diana Wall
Colorado State University
Initially funded in 1980, the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network is a collaborative effort involving more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER program is an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys. It is one of 26 LTER sites where researchers are studying ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. Researchers focusing on soils will maintain (through application of water and nutrients), monitor (soil moisture and temperature), and sample in their long-term experimental plots near Lakes Bonney, Fryxell, and Hoare. The project aims to determine the impacts of natural factors and those associated with potential climate change on the abundance, distribution, and diversity of soil biota. This six-year award cycle comprises seven collaborative projects: C-504-M (Gooseff), C-505-M (Priscu), C-506-M (Gooseff), C-507-M (Wall), C-508-M (Barrett), C-509-M (Lyons), and C-511-M (Doran).
Participants will travel by helicopter for brief (one to seven days) trips to the Dry Valleys for monitoring, maintenance and sampling of their long term experiments. They will also collect soil samples to support developing work on the N and P cycles, turnover of organic matter, and moss-soil interactions in the field. They will return to the Crary Laboratory at McMurdo Station for sample processing and initial analysis, as well as to perform incubation assays on selected soils.