Aeolian collectors, cryoconites, Terrestrial Obserbatory Network

Over a decade ago, scientists and program managers from the United States, New Zealand, and Italy came together to “… conserve and protect the unique and outstanding environment of the McMurdo Dry Valleys by managing and coordinating human activities in the Area such that the values of the McMurdo Dry Valleys are protected and sustained in the long term, especially the value of the extensive scientific datasets that have been collected.”

In a similar spirit of international cooperation we initiated the McMurdo Dry Valleys Terrestrial Observation Network (MCM TON) to assess and address environmental change on Dry Valley ecosystems. Alongside our colleagues from New Zealand, Italy, Korea, and Australia, we have developed i) the minimum core set of measurements, ii) the requisite standards and protocols, iii) a draft data coordination and development plan iv) tools for assessing the effectiveness of current environmental protection guidelines.

By coordinating international experimental and observational measurements through the MCM TON, we have significantly increased our ability to measure key processes associated with environmental change in Dry Valley ecosystems, as well as assess the effectiveness of environmental stewardship and management policies.

(in the photo caption of the aeolian sediment traps include some language about how these were provided by ANZ in collaboration with their scientists)