U.S. AMLR Scientists Collaborate with International Researchers to Study the Summer Ecosystem around the South Shetland Islands: Austral Summer 2013
Although the U.S. AMLR Program has recently shifted its focus to studying the winter ecosystem in the western Antarctic Peninsula region, collecting summer data on zooplankton distribution and abundance and estimating summer Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) biomass remain key objectives of the program. Collaborations with international Antarctic programs have enabled the U.S. AMLR Program to maintain its summer presence in the Southern Ocean and to collect valuable data on summer processes that may affect predator foraging, reproductive success, and survival.
Currently, Ryan Driscoll is aboard the German R/V Polarstern, participating in a krill and plankton survey in northwestern Weddell Sea. The study objectives are to describe the size and age distribution, growth, maturity, mortality, and larval development of the zooplankton community in this area, and will provide valuable information to the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The cruise departed on 20 January 2013 and will return to Punta Arenas, Chile, on 19 March 2013. Click here for cruise tracklines. Please see below for weekly updates from the R/V Polarstern.
Tony Cossio is currently aboard the Peruvian BIC Humboldt, where he working with the Peruvian Antarctic Program (IMARPE) to provide expertise in the acoustic methods used to estimate krill biomass, and where he is working with a team of zooplankton scientists to collect data on the distribution and demography of krill. The cruise departed on 20 January 2013 and will return to Punta Arenas, Chile, in mid-March.
R/V Polarstern photo credit: Alfred-Wegener-Institut fur Polar- und Meeresforschung
BIC Humboldt photo credit: www.larepublica.pe
Weekly Updates for the R/V Polarstern
Week 1: Punta Arenas
Week 2: On the way into the ice
Week 3: Diverse catches, muddy sediment samples, and first results of physical oceanography
Week 4: Searching for traces in the water and breaking the ice
Week 5: Krill: The mass occurrence of a small crustacean - still an attractive research topic
Week 6: Good-bye Weddell Sea! Hot Spot Discovered! Bransfield Strait, here we come!
Week 7: Scientific Images, precious mud, and bizarre life forms from the bottom of the sea
Week 8: A picture is worth a thousand words
Week 9: Last samples, all done, packing, cleaning, writing up - goodbye!