2014 U.S. AMLR Field Season
28th AMLR Field Season Kicks Off
The 28th field season of the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) Program began 30 October 2013 with the opening of the Cape Shirreff Field Camp on Livingston Island. Consistent with the historical research conducted by the Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division (AERD), land-based field research consists of five to six months of predator studies at two field stations in the South Shetland Islands. The Cape Shirreff studies will continue through to early March. The Copacabana Field Station on King George Island opened briefly in November 2013, and will be occupied again in January for a few weeks.
Weekly progress reports from the field stations can be found on this page under the menu to the left. Join us and follow chinstrap and gentoo penguins as they tend to their eggs and provision for their chicks, and follow Antarctic fur seal moms as they give birth and nurse their pups. Later in the season, check back to learn more about leopard seals as researchers follow their movements and investigate their diets.
2013 AMLR Oceanographic Cruise an Icy Success
The U.S. AMLR Program successfully completed its second winter ecosystem survey on 9 September 2013, after 30 days aboard the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer in the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula Region. Scientists onboard included AMLR personnel, as well as colleagues from the Peruvian Fisheries Agency (El Instituto del Mar del Perú; IMARPE), the Catholic University in Valparaiso, Chile, the University of Padova in Padova, Italy, the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Hawaii, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. These collaborations mark this survey as a true international effort to accomplish both the AMLR Program’s traditional research objectives and some exciting new research additions.
The 2013 austral winter set a record for northern ice extent, and several stations on the AMLR survey grid that were ice-free last year had some degree of ice cover this year, ranging from thin first-year ice to thicker, multi-year ice. Despite the challenges associated with deploying oceanographic sampling equipment in these conditions, 88 stations from the South, West, and Elephant Island Areas of the South Shetland Islands were completed, covering an area of 130,000 km2. At these stations, water column characteristics and zooplankton communities were evaluated, and several species of euphausiids, copepods, and amphipods were collected for energetic, lipid, and stable isotope analysis. Additionally, bird and marine mammal observations were conducted over 2,000 nautical miles between stations.
New this year to the AMLR survey was a collaboration between the AMLR Program and the Desert Research Institute’s Dr. Alison Murray. During the survey, ice cores were drilled from 10 ice floes to study the microorganisms inhabiting the ice and the briny water beneath.
Please visit the menu to the left to read the weekly reports from the 2013 winter survey. The next winter survey is scheduled to take place in August 2014.
AMLR 2011-12 Tracking Map
Join the AMLR team as they track animals on their summer foraging trips, and follow the oceanographic team on its survey of the South Shetland Islands pelagic ecosystem in January and February. The below map will be updated as data is available, so check back for the latest position of our team and our tracked animals!