[page_headline]October 23, 2012[/page_headline]

 Palmer Station, seen from departing LM GOULD, 28 September, 2012. Photo by LMG MPC Al Hickey Our 22nd field season opened when the LM GOULD dropped off Brown University PhD student Cat Luria and her husband Nikhil Murgai on 22 September. Cat and Nikhil arrived early to conduct experiments under late-winter oceanographic conditions, which they have in abundance. Her thesis research concerns the physical and ecological processes that structure bacterial community composition in Antarctic coastal waters. In the photo below, Cat and Nikhil express frustration that their boat hasn’t left the deck of the boathouse, due to sea ice surrounding the Station.









B-045 team members Cat Luria (left) and Nikhil Murgai checking out research Zodiac "Bruiser", beached at the Palmer Boathouse by heavy sea ice. Photo by Michiel Gitzels.The rest of the PAL early-season field team arrived 16 October, about a day late, after encountering heavier than expected ice just off Station. B-045 team members Sarah Laperriere and Stefanie Strebel (MBL, Woods Hole) will be starting Ducklow’s eleventh season following the seasonal development of the bacterial community at Palmer Station. B-019 team leader and Rutgers Master’s student Nicole Couto is the third generation of phytoplankton ecologists in Palmer LTER: phytoplankton research at Palmer Station was started in 1991 by Barbara Prezelin (UCSB), who was current co-PI Oscar Schofield’s undergraduate advisor! The PAL team is rounded out by LTER and B-013 Field Team Leader Shawn Farry, and Ben Cook, working for Bill Fraser on seabird ecology. This is Fraser’s 39th season investigating penguins and other seabirds at Palmer Station! More field team members including Debbie Steinberg’s (B-020) zooplankton group will arrive later in November.


LTER-affiliated field team members include Post-Doctoral Fellows Mike Stukel (B-252) studying carbon export processes with Hugh Ducklow; and Shellie Bench (B-018), studying phytoplankton genomics with Chris Francis (Stanford) and Ducklow.