Human Impacts in Antarctica

What Are They Doing?

Antarctica represents one of the most strictly-monitored habitats on Earth. In addition to the desire to protect the flora, fauna, and atmosphere of a relatively pristine environment, Antarctica serves as a baseline barometer of global pollution. McMurdo Station is the largest human community on the Antarctic continent and as part of its obligations under the Antarctic Treaty's Protocol on Environmental Protection the U.S. is developing a long-term monitoring program designed to describe the environmental conditions in and around the station and to scrutinize any anthropogenic impacts that can be foreseen or detected. Ms. Linsley and the research team conducted environmental monitoring and sampling of chemical, physical, and biological variables in and around McMurdo Station from both marine and terrestrial habitats as measures of human impact and will use GIS techniques to track them over time. The results of this research will help document and minimize the impacts of future science and support operations in Antarctica.

Where Are They?

The team lived and worked around McMurdo Station in Antarctica. McMurdo is the largest station in Antarctica with more than 100 buildings, a harbor, landing strip and helicopter pad. More than 1000 people live and work at McMurdo Station during the austral summer!

Expedition Map

Journals

Reflections of a Journey of a Lifetime! I have been back in the world that I know now for almost 30 days and on many days I contemplate how others whose paths I crossed are doing, what the latest...
December 15, 2007, Christchurch , New Zealand Present Conditions: Quite Balmy, nice breeze, warm (relative) drizzly weather; 22C. Last night we returned to Christchurch from McMurdo.  The C-17 that...
December 10, 2007, Monday McMurdo Station, Antarctica 11:00pm High: +32F wind chill: +21F Low:  +18F    wind chill  +7F Winds: S8- 12 knts; Station Pressure: 28.7800” Present Conditions: Partly...
December 10, 2007, Monday McMurdo Station, Antarctica 2:00pm High: +32F wind chill: +21F Low:  +18F    wind chill  +7F Winds: S8- 12 knts; Station Pressure: 28.7800” Present Conditions: Partly...
December 7, 2007, Friday McMurdo Station, Antarctica Special Edition to the Daily Journal: Meet the Station Doctor   This morning was the IPY broadcast and we were delayed from yesterday due to...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

Dates: 12 November 2007 to 20 December 2007
Location: McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Project Funded Title: Monitoring the Effects of Human Activities at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Meet the Team

Ann Linsley's picture
Bellaire High School
Bellaire, TX
United States

Ann Linsley has taught human and physical Geography for the past 19 years at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas. Ms. Linsley is also a consultant for her College Board, the National Geographic Society, and the Texas Alliance for Geographic Education. She is particularly interested in helping students apply geographic concepts through field exercises including studies in urban, rural, and natural environments. Ms. Linsley has received various teaching awards from the National Council for Geographic Education, her College Board, and her school district, among other student nominated awards. Ms. Linsley holds a Bachelors degree in Russian language, a Masters in gifted and talented Education, and a Masters in Geosciences.

Mahlon Kennicutt II's picture
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
United States

Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt's research interests include environmental chemistry and organic geochemistry. His current research investigates the patterns of human disturbance at McMurdo Station. He has spent more than 575 days at sea and has deployed to Antarctica six times. Dr. Kennicutt serves as leader of the Sustainable Coastal Margins Program and is the United States delegate to, and the Vice President for, Scientific Affairs (USA) of the Scientific Committee of Antarctica Research (SCAR).

April Gossman's picture
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX
United States
Andrew Klein's picture
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
United States

Andrew Klein is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University. He received a B.A. from Macalester College and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Cornell University. His current research interests lie in the application of remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) techniques to studying the cryosphere and the impact of humans in and around McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Stephen Sweet's picture
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
United States

Stephen Sweet is a geochemist from the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group at Texas A&M University. His research interests have focused on environmental monitoring and assessment. He has participated in a number of scientific research programs in Antarctica, with seven deployments to both the Antarctic Peninsula and Ross Island. Dr. Sweet has been involved with the project investigating the spatial and temporal patterns of human disturbance at McMurdo Station for the past seven years.

Terry Palmer's picture
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX
United States