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Friday, 23 September 2016 17:35

King George Island, one year later.

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Antarctic Specially Protected Area Ardley Peninsula, King George Island Antarctic Specially Protected Area Ardley Peninsula, King George Island

I am lucky to participate in another research trip to King George Island (KGI), West Antarctica organised by the Instituto Antartico Chileno. Last year Sharon, Andrew and I were part of a group of scientists from a diverse range of countries lead by Angélica Casanova-Katny. This time around I am accompanying Gustavo, Tavo and Marisol from USACH as part of my Endeavour program.

We touched down on Fildes Peninsula, KGI on the 6th January ready for a month full of sampling, experiments, extractions and analysis. Our research objectives until February is to monitor the biochemistry of mosses found on two of our main sites here on King George Island over the season and under salt, ultraviolet and water stresses in the field and in the laboratory at Base Escudero. These two sites are Ardley Peninsula/Island and a site adjacent to Bellingshausen Dome in Collins Harbour.

Ardley from the air

Ardley Peninsula/Island (foreground) and King George Island from the air

A collaboration between Gustavo (USACH), Angélica, and Todd Rosenstiel and Sarah Eppley from Portland State University initiated the installation of open top chambers (OTCs) at the Ardley and Collins sites in January 2015. A year later, unfortunately we found 3 broken OTCs at Collins and few OTC fixtures damaged by skuas at both sites. However, it was fantastic news to find many of the original weather sensors still in place 12 months later! I was even able to locate all 8 button temperature loggers that have been ‘missing’ since February 2015. One day in Feb 2015 the moss surface temperatures rose to a hot 32 °C.

Also, a big congratulations to Sharon on her ‘super’ professor promotion late last year! All of your students appreciate your dedication to science and advancing our careers in research. Thank you :).

Read 788 times Last modified on Friday, 23 September 2016 17:35
Andrew Netherwood

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