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 used GIS techniques to track them over time. The results of this research helped 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!

Latest 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 storm was like, how the sea looks with the sea ice melted, or yearn for the solitude and relative…
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 brought us back to the world north of 70 degrees south latitude included 68 other researchers and a…
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 cloudy, mild temperatures, prevailing low pressure system Saturday we were supposed to fly out to Cape…
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 cloudy, mild temperatures, prevailing low pressure system A Day at the Beach!! On Monday we were…
Dates
-
Location
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Project Funded Title
Monitoring the Effects of Human Activities at McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Ann Linsley - Teacher
Teacher
Bellaire High School

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.

Terry Palmer - Researcher
Researcher
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Terry is a Research Associate who specializes in studying the effects of humans on marine and estuarine environments, especially the benthos (organisms on the sea floor). He been involved in marine and terrestrial environmental monitoring in Antarctica for 11 years. Terry's role in the team is a benthic ecologist and scientific diver.

Andrew Klein - Researcher
Researcher
Texas A&M University

Dr. Andrew Klein is a 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. He applies Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to examine the impact of humans in and around McMurdo Station, Antarctica and other aspects of the Cryosphere. Andrew's role is team leader and GIS specialist.

Mahlon Kennicutt II - Researcher
Researcher
Texas A&M University

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 - Researcher
Researcher
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Stephen Sweet - Researcher
Researcher
Texas A&M University

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 multiple deployments to both the Antarctic Peninsula and Ross Island investigating the spatial and temporal patterns of human disturbance. Steve's role on the project is analytical geochemistry.

Human Impacts in Antarctica Resources

Overview

We go places, but what do we do with the billions of snippets of information we absorb? How do we process the information so that it means something to us when we can no longer be there? As a geographer, my objective was to be able to observe, participate and categorize the billions of pieces of visual information of my adventure which defined my time in Antarctica.

Lesson
Antarctic
n/a
Middle School and Up
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Overview

Case studies provide a brief overview or examination of events that impact or alter the way people function and live day to day within the human and physical environment. They help by providing students with “real world” examples that relate to the theoretical content they are studying.

Lesson
Antarctic
n/a
High school and Up
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Article covering Ann Linsley's PolarTREC expedition.

Article
Antarctic
All Aged
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Ann Linsley and a team of researchers from Texas A&M University are studying the impacts of humans on the land and in the water around McMurdo Station, Antarctica. About 10 teachers and 480 students joined the live event.