West Antarctic Peninsula
I am so fortunate to have called this stunning part of the world my home for some time. My first exposure to Antarctica was on a seven-week oceanographic cruise; it was such an impactful experience that I returned twice more and lived on Palmer Station.
For each deployment, I conducted research for the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Established in 1990, the program studies long-term ecological changes of the West Antarctic Peninsula with research spanning the food chain from lower trophic levels (e.g. bacteria, phytoplankton, and krill) to top marine predators (e.g. penguins and other seabirds, seals, and whales). I personally worked for the microbial biogeochemistry and primary production components, but the collaborative nature of the program facilitates the study of interactions between species in the entire ecosystem.