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News & Events

Human and robotic climate and ecosystem research in Antarctica

Thursday, May 22, 2014, 1:00PM - 2:00PM


Peter Doran


RL-1 room 269

The McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are among the coldest and driest ecosystems on Earth, yet almost paradoxically, liquid water environments exist year-round in the form of ice covered lakes. Robert Falcon Scott was the first to explore this region and made a few rudimentary measurements of the lake dimensions, which was the start of research in the area. Since then the lakes have become a focus of research with the establishment of the McMurdo (MCM) Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) site there in the early 1990s. Over the first 20 years of MCM research significant advances have been made in our understanding of the lakes, their history and their interaction with the surrounding landscape. This talk will cover research being carried out in the perennial ice-covered lakes of the region with regards to the impact of climate on the ecosystem, and the use of these and similar extreme environments as analogs for other icy worlds.