Antarctica - Research
Our team from two universities in the Texas A&M System combines expertise in environmental geochemistry (The Geochemical and Environmental Research Group or GERG – TAMU-College Station), Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (Department of Geography – TAMU-College Station) and benthic ecology (Harte Institute – TAMU-Corpus Christi)
A Brief History
In 1989 researchers from our team participated in a NSF-sponsored Quick Response Team that conducted field assessments of the contamination emanating from the Argentinean resupply vessel Bahía Paraíso which ran aground while exiting Arthur Harbor after visiting Palmer Station on Anvers Island. Since this initial foray, our team has continued to research into the impacts of human activities in Antarctica.
Our current monitoring program grew out of series of national and international workshops on environmental monitoring in Antarctica. In the mid-1990s, researchers from Texas A&M were involved with two environmental monitoring workshops that resulted in a joint publication the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) entitled Monitoring of Environmental Impacts from Science and Operations in Antarctica.
From this workshop our team piloted an environmental monitoring program for McMurdo Station from 1999-2001 which has continued until present. Currently, we are working to expand this program to field camps in the McMurdo Dry Valleys and Palmer Station.
Over the years we have produced a few short videos that document how we drill the dive holes that we later use to sample the local marine benthic environment and how we collect terrestrial soil samples.