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Antarctic Summer. 2008-2009 Scientific exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. Meet the Scientists. Elizabeth Leonardis age: 28 years old from: New York City undergrad: UC Santa Barbara grad: starting Fall 2009 profession: Nurse/Lab Technician. L. Alex Kahl age: 29 years old

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antarctic summer
Antarctic Summer
  • 2008-2009
  • Scientific exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula

Elizabeth Leonardis

age: 28 years old

from: New York City

undergrad: UC Santa Barbara

grad: starting Fall 2009

profession: Nurse/Lab Technician

  • L. Alex Kahl
  • age: 29 years old
  • from: New York City
  • undergrad: UC Santa Barbara
  • grad: Rutgers University
  • profession: Oceanographer
Palmer Station
  • The U.S. research station where we will be living and conducting research for the next 6 months
  • Accessible only by ship, a 5 day journey from Punta Arenas, Chile
  • Currently 21 employees and 5 scientists living on station for the summer season
  • Station has many luxuries including comfortable rooms, a gym, bar and 24hr internet connection





Using our zodiac “Bruiser”, we travel to stations B & E for collection of:
  • Phytoplankton samples
  • bio-optical characteristics (absorption, scattering of light)
  • physical properties (temperature, salinity) of seawater

Palmer Station



Boating Map of the Palmer Station Area

including our sampling stations B & E


photo: Scott Sternbach

photo: Scott Sternbach

Using a GPS for precise location we drive our zodiac to each sampling station

Go-Flow bottles are lowered using a winch on the zodiac to collect seawater samples at different depths

Bio-optical measurements are taken in the field by lowering a cage equipped with optical instruments that detect light utilized by phytoplankton
  • Real time data is collected that shows physical and bio-optical properties of the water column

photo: Scott Sternbach


Back at the lab......

seawater is filtered for phytoplankton

Samples are then analyzed for:
  • - total chlorophyll
  • - pigment composition
  • - nutrients
  • - dissolved organic carbon
  • - flow cytometry
  • - DNA
  • - rate of photosynthesis

Photo: Scott Sternbach

  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)
  • Gliders will be deployed from Palmer Station to study the properties of the water column in the Antarctic
palmer long term ecological research lter study
Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Study

An annual month long research cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula, Jan. 2009

Studying changes in sea ice, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and penguins

photo: Nathan Hoople


The LTER is investigating ecosystem changes in response to climate warming and pole ward shifts in the climatic gradient

Our focus on the LTER will be the phytoplankton/bio-optics component

Gliders will be deployed and programed to follow the LTER research grid


To find out more about our Antarctic research, check out our website

feel free to contact us with any questions