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Palmer Antarctica LTER - PAL


LTER Sites > Palmer Antarctica LTER

NSF Award(s) OPP-9011927 , OPP-0217282 , OPP-9632763 , OPP-0823101 (View all sites)

The Palmer Antarctica LTER, established in the Fall of 1990, is one of the National Science Foundation sponsored Long Term Ecological Research Sites which is funded by the NSF Office of Polar Programs. It focuses on the pelagic marine ecosystem along the west Antarctic Peninsula, and the ecological processes which link the extent of annual sea ice to the biological dynamics of different trophic levels. Sea ice may is the major physical factor affecting the structure and function of polar biota. Interannual cycles and/or trends in the annual extent of pack ice are hypothesized to impact all levels of the food web, from total annual primary production to breeding success in seabirds. The Antarctic Peninsula region is experiencing the most rapid climate warming on the planet with large and rapid reductions in sea ice cover and corresponding responses at all levels of the foodchain.
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Contact Information
Site Contacts
Principal Investigator: Hugh Ducklow
Primary Contact: Hugh Ducklow
Information Mgr: James Conners
Education Contact: Beth Simmons
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: 508- 289-7193
Fax: 508-457-1548
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Site History
The Palmer Antarctica LTER, established in the Fall of 1990.

Construction of the U.S. Antarctic station was completed in 1968, replacing 'Old Palmer' that was established in 1965.

Palmer LTER established in 1990.

Palmer Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) established 2008.

Research Topics
Marine ecology of the Southern Ocean focused within the Western Antarctic Peninsula area, including: physical forcing (atmospheric, oceanic and sea ice) of the ecosystem with emphasis on the ecological consequences of sea-ice variability; biological processes with emphasis on microbial, primary production and the life-history parameters of secondary producers (krill) and apex predators (penguins); physical/optical/chemical/biological modeling that links ecosystem processes to environmental variables.
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Institutional Affliations Research Sites
  • University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography - University of California at San Diego
  • Polar Oceans Research Group - Montana
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory-Columbia University
  • Rutgers University
  • Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole)
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science - College of William and Mary
  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • British Antarctic Survey
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • University of Wisconsin
Site Coordinates
Lat: -64.77417 Long. -64.05450
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Climate Info.
  High Mean Low
Temperature 9.4 c -4.0c -17.5c
Windspeed m/s m/s m/s
Preciptation NA 679 mm NA
Other Climate Info
Snow Day:
Sunshine Day:
Water Balance:
Evapotranspiration: AET: PET:
rel_parm: rel_stat: dim_parm: dim_stat: