About

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Palmer research group and ship crew aboard the LMG Gould, during the annual cruise (Click to enlarge)Palmer Station Antarctica (LTER) is an interdisciplinary polar marine research program established in 1990 as part of a national network of long-term ecological research sites created by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). Being one of three U.S. research station located in Antarctica, Palmer LTER focuses on the region along the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula (WAP).

The project is based year-round at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, New York, lead by principle investigator Dr. Hugh Ducklow.  An interdisciplinary group of co-primary scientist investigators, work along with post docs, graduate students, undergraduate students, station and affiliated personnel from institutions including College of William and Mary / Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Polar Oceans Research group, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Rutgers University, British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Duke University, Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute, INSTARR / University of Colorado Boulder, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). 

 

We are studying a region that is considered to be globally significant and exhibits the most rapid rate of regional winter warming. Our research examines the oceanic, atmospheric and biogeochemical processes that result from natural disturbances, environmental change and human impacts along the western Antarctic Peninsula. We engage in long term observations and field experiments and modeling across large spatial scales ranging from months to decades to centuries.

 

Central Driving Pardigm

How do the seasonality, interannual variability and long term trends in sea ice extent and duration influence the structure and dynamics of marginal ice zone ecosystems and biogeochemical cycling?

 

Research Questions

  • Long-term change and ecosystem transitions. What is the sensitivity or resilience of the ecosystem to external perturbations as a function of the ecosystem state?
  • Lateral connectivity and vertical stratification. What are the effects of lateral transports of freshwater, heat and nutrients on local stratification and productivity and how do they drive changes in the ecosystem?
  • Lateral connectivity and vertical stratification. What are the effects of lateral transports of freshwater, heat and nutrients on local stratification and productivity and how do they drive changes in the ecosystem?
  • Foodweb structure and biogeochemical processes. How do temporal and spatial variations in foodweb structure influence biogeochemical export and storage processes?

 

 

Information Management

Information Management for PAL provides data management services captures, preserves, and provides access to data. We continually design, develop and maintain a data system architecture that supports a efficient workflow beginning with data collection and extending through making data accessible to the public and scientific communities.

 

Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach (E/O) are central to the research and science of the Palmer LTER program and the National Science Foundation.  Our programs sustain diverse partnerships across all academic levels through collaborative partnerships that engage students, media, government agencies, museums, aquariums, local industries, tourists and the general public.