Start date:
Early November
End date:
Late December
Cape Bird, Garwood, Taylor, and Wright Valleys, Crary Lab
Principle Investigator:
Dr Samantha Joye
University of Georgia
Field season overview:
This field season, most team members will travel in day-trip deployments to five field sites to collect samples and to perform short-term in-situ experiments. These include Don Juan Pond (Wright Valley); Labyrinth (Don Juan Pond); Cape Bird penguin colony; Lake Colleen (Garwood Valley); Lake Bonney (Taylor Valley); Lake Vanda (Wright Valley). Work at Crary Lab will involve processing samples, establishing short-term laboratory incubations to parallel and complement field experiments, and culturing of bacteria at low temperatures.
The project will examine nitrous oxide dynamics in Antarctic environments through the collection and examination of soil and water/brine samples. The goal of the work is to conduct a systematic study of nitrous oxide emissions in contrasting habitats to determine: 1. Whether nitrous oxide is produced by way of biologically-mediated or abiotic processes; 2. To determine the mechanism(s) of abiotic nitrous oxide production and characterize how this nitrous oxide differs isotopically from biologically produced gas; and 3. To quantify landscape fluxes of N2O to the atmosphere. The experimental techniques developed during this field season will develop a means to distinguish biotic from abiotic nitrous oxide that can be applied to other habitats on Earth as well as habitats on Mars.