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Antarctic Lecture Series Nov. 5

October 29, 2013

Michael Gooseff's lab at CSU is conducting research into the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the cold, extremely arid, and windy McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica where life approaches its environmental limits. At this Antarctic Lecture Series, he'll talk about the impact of recent, high-melt years on the McMurdo ecosystems.

Tuesday, November 5
7-8 p.m.
Fort Collins Main Library
201 Peterson Street
Antarctic researcher

Michael Gooseff, Ph.D., associate professor , Department of Civil and Chemical Engineering at CSU, is currently a primary investigator in the Long Term Ecological Research project in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

At the next Antarctica lecture series, Gooseff will talk about the Antarctic ecosystem's response to climate variability in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

Summary of lecture

The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDVs) of Antarctica, represent a cold desert ecosystem defined by extensive soils (i.e., not ice-covered), glacier melt water streams, and closed-basin, ice-covered lakes.

Despite cold temperatures and very little precipitation, a vibrant ecosystem exists across these landscape units. Previous work in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, documented significant responses of local aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to a decadal scale cooling trend prior to 2000.

However, an exceptionally high melt year occurred in 2002, influencing stream flow, lake dynamics and terrestrial ecosystems. I will describe interannual variation in Dry Valley ecosystems, focusing on the contrasts in drivers of ecological responses pre- and post 2002, i.e., the flood year.

Since 2002, the MDV ecosystem has ceased responding to only a local decadal cooling trend and is responding to several high-flow years with new trajectories in some cases and increased variability in others.


The Antarctic Lecture Series is sponsored by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability

Contact: Matt Knox
Phone: (970) 492-4155